Re: [Rd] compiler usage after successful UNIX build

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 09:47:57 +0100 (BST)

On Mon, 11 Jun 2007, Louisell, Paul wrote:

> Hi,
> I believe my question is pretty simple, but I'd like to give you brief
> background first:
> I work at a company with UNIX installed on a sparc-sun-solaris platform;
> the OS version is SunOS 5.9. Several of us who work here have been
> advocating for the installation of R on this server. The IT security
> group at my company prefers not to install the gcc compilers on our UNIX
> production servers; they're okay doing this in a test environment.

Is their objection to gcc or compilers at all? Sun's own Studio 11 compilers are now free (and at least as good as gcc in that environment).

> My question: After a successful build, is there anytime that R might
> call the compiler? My (limited) understanding was that once the binaries
> are created, the compiler is not used unless you're doing another build,
> e.g., compiling source code for a package. Does R ever compile routines
> during execution? Does it depend on how the installation was done?

It only compiles code when asked to do so. That means running R CMD COMPILE or R CMD SHLIB. The latter is run by R CMD INSTALL and that is run by install.packages() and elsewhere. But you would need to have specified some C/C++/Fortran source code, so would be expecting this.

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

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