Re: [R] Linux Distribution Choice

From: Dirk Eddelbuettel <>
Date: Mon 20 Feb 2006 - 10:49:42 EST


On 19 February 2006 at 15:59, Graham Smith wrote:
| I am making some tentative steps into using Linux (Mandriva at the moment)
| and notice that not all the Linux binaries on CRAN are the latest release.
| As R (plus Grass) will be key programs for me on Linux, is there a preferred
| Linux distribution that people in the R communiuty use?

Picking your preferred distribution is a fairly complex undertaking that will invariably reflect a lot of your personal preferences. Just like we may all pick a different desk, chair or desk lamp for our work environment, we also often end up with different computing choices. [1]

That said, if you are looking for R and Grass pre-built you could consider either Debian, or the Ubuntu/Kubuntu derivatives. We work fairly hard at keeping the packages in Debian timely, and you'd get R and some 50 or so CRAN packages already prebuilt and ready to use, as well as goodies like ESS, Ggobi and more. Likewise, my personal Quantian project may well be unique in containing all that plus essentially all of CRAN and BioConductor (and lots more) in a single DVD.

But at the end of the day you need to decide what you are comfortable with installing and administrating. If you have friends or colleagues that use a particular flavour then that may be reason enough to go with that flavour. Finally, R and Grass don't care and you can always carry your scripts over to another variant.

Hth, Dirk

[1] Provided they all run an Emacs flavour and ESS. Just kidding.

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something. 
                                                  -- Thomas A. Edison

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Received on Mon Feb 20 10:55:25 2006

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