Re: [R] Linux, UNIX, XP32, Vista X64 or ...? [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

From: Don MacQueen <>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 23:02:35 -0800

At 10:27 AM +1100 2/12/08, <> wrote:
>Thanks to all for your kind suggestions.
>After some discussion with our IT staff, I was told the UNIX system we have
>is Solaris and installation of R is very time consuming because "Given that
>this software is not standard, and given the amount of time required to
>compile the software (and potentially it's dependencies), it will need to be
>resourced as a project ..."

Even if pre-built versions of R were not available, I think your IT staff is exaggerating -- or at least being overly cautious when faced with something unfamiliar.

Although I have used unix for many years, I am not a trained or experienced Solaris system administrator. Yet I have been able to install R from source on a modern Solaris using not more than a day or so. And most of that time was spent doing things that an experienced Solais sysadmin should be able to do relatively quickly.


> From my experience with IT staff, it may take
>quite a long time for them to set up such project, let alone the
>Given that, I wonder if it is possible to install it myself. As I have
>mentioned before, I have no experience in using UNIX, but I will have an
>access to the UNIX system soon. Any suggestions and help are greatly

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Gabor Grothendieck []
>Sent: Monday, 28 January 2008 11:38
>To: Li Jin
>Subject: Re: [R] Linux, UNIX, XP32, Vista X64 or ...? [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
>On the PC there is a builtin GUI but not on UNIX and there are
>some packages that are OS specific in which case you might
>get more or less selection but probably more. Also depending
>on the specific system you may have greater difficulty installing
>certain packages due to the need to compile them on UNIX
>and the possibility exists that you don't quite have the right
>libraries. On Windows you get binaries so this is not a problem.
>I have repeatedly found that common packages that I took
>for granted on Windows had some problem with installation
>on UNIX and I had to hunt around and figure out what the problem
>was with my UNIDX libraries or possibly some other problem.
>For all R packages this won't be a problem but for packages
>that use C and FORTRAN this can be. Although I am lumping
>all UNIX systems together I think this varies quite a bit from
>one particular type/distro of UNIX/Linux to another and I suspect if you
>are careful in picking out the right one (if you have a choice) you
>will actually have zero problems.
>On Jan 23, 2008 6:08 PM, <> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> I am currently using R in Windows PC with a 2 GB of RAM. Some pretty large
>> datasets are expected soon, perhaps in an order of several GB. I am facing
>> similar situation like Ralph, either to get a new PC with a bigger RAM or
>> else. I am just wondering if R is getting faster in other systems like UNIX
>> or Linux. Any suggestions are appreciated.
>> Regards,
>> Jin
>> --------------------------------------------
>> Jin Li, PhD
>> Spatial Modeller/
>> Computational Statistician
>> Marine & Coastal Environment
>> Geoscience Australia
>> Ph: 61 (02) 6249 9899
>> Fax: 61 (02) 6249 9956
>> email:
>> --------------------------------------------
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: [] On

>> Behalf Of Prof Brian Ripley
>> Sent: Thursday, 24 January 2008 12:05
>> To: Ralph79
>> Cc:
>> Subject: Re: [R] Problems with XP32-"3GB-patch"?/ Worth upgrading to Vista
>> X64?
>> On Wed, 23 Jan 2008, Ralph79 wrote:
>> >
>> > Dear R-Users,
>> >
>> > as I will start a huge simulation in a few weeks, I am about to buy a new
>> > and fast PC. I have noticed, that the RAM has been the limiting factor in
>> > many of my calculations up to now (I had 2 GB in my "old" system, but
>> > Windows still used quite a lot of virtual memory), hence my new computer
> > > will have 4 GB of fast DDR2-800 RAM.
>> >
>> > However, I know that 1.) Windows 32 bit cannot make use of more than
>> > 3,2 GB RAM and 2.) it is normally not allowed to allocate more than 2 GB
>> > RAM to one single application (at least under XP, I don't know if that
>> > changed under Vista?).
>> >
>> > I remember from the R-FAQ that you can manually adjust XP so that it
>> > allocates up to 3 GB to one application ("the 3GB patch"), but I read in
>> > PC-magazine and some message boards that this may cause problems. Does
>> > anybody of you successfully use this "trick" without any problems?
>> Yes, many people: most 32-bit Exchange servers use it. Please don't rate
>> the advice in the R documentation below tittle-tattle you read on the web.
>> > Would it be wise to use a 64bit OS, as e.g. Vista X64? I think, under
>> > X64 it should be no problem to allocate 4 GB of RAM to R. Any experiences
>> > with that?
>> That's what the rw-FAQ says, and we do write answers based on experience!
>> > Thanks in advance,
>> > Ralph Wirth
>> >
>> >
>> > -----
>> > Ralph Wirth
>> > University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Statistics
>> > GfK Group, Department of Methods and Product Development
>> >
>> >
>> --
>> Brian D. Ripley,
>> Professor of Applied Statistics,
>> University of Oxford, Tel: +44 1865 272861 (self)
>> 1 South Parks Road, +44 1865 272866 (PA)
>> Oxford OX1 3TG, UK Fax: +44 1865 272595
>> ______________________________________________
>> mailing list
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
>> ______________________________________________
>> mailing list
>> PLEASE do read the posting guide
>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
> mailing list
>PLEASE do read the posting guide
>and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

Don MacQueen
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, CA, USA

______________________________________________ mailing list
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Received on Tue 12 Feb 2008 - 07:09:02 GMT

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