Re: [Rd] R CMD install: problem quoting spaces when calling gzip?

From: Prof Brian Ripley <>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 09:19:49 +0000 (GMT)

You haven't told us your version of R (nor any of the other information requested in the posting guide). As far as I can see this works in 2.11.0 alpha.

On Fri, 26 Mar 2010, jochen laubrock wrote:

> There appears to be a quoting problem in the way R CMD install handles file names containing spaces, more specifically, in the way the argument is passed through to gzip.
> The install.packages command
> (from R)
> install.packages("~/Projects/R library/bar/eyetrackR_0.13.tar.gz", repos = NULL, type = "source")
> expands to
> system("R_LIBS='/Users/foo/Library/R/2.10/library' "/Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Resources/bin/R CMD INSTALL -l '/Users/foo/Library/R/2.10/library' '/Users/foo/Projects/R\ library/bar/eyetrackR_0.13.tar.gz'")

So that is fine.

> and gives the same error messages as the following commands from on Mac OS X
> (from bash)
> R CMD install /Users/foo/Projects/R\ library/bar/eyetrackR_0.13.tar.gz
> R CMD install "~/Projects/R library/bar/eyetrackR_0.13.tar.gz"
> R CMD install '~/Projects/R library/bar/eyetrackR_0.13.tar.gz'

the documented command is INSTALL.

> , namely (the error messages):
> gzip: /Users/foo/Projects/R.gz: No such file or directory
> gzip: library/bar/eyetrackR_0.13.tar.gz: No such file or directory

Yes, and INSTALL is not designed to work with paths with spaces in on Unix-alikes.

> The following commands do work
> (from R)
> setwd("~/Projects/R library/bar/")
> install.packages("eyetrackR_0.13.tar.gz", repos = NULL, type = "source")
> (from bash)
> cd ~/Projects/R\ library/bar/
> R CMD install eyetrackR_0.13.tar.gz
> Interestingly, if the file is unpacked on the command line (tar xzvf), then both R CMD install and install.packages work fine using the quoted path name syntax, i.e.,
> R CMD install /Users/foo/Projects/R\ library/bar/eyetrackR
> install.packages("~/Projects/R library/bar/eyetrackR", repos = NULL, type = "source")
> Is this a known problem?

It is a known restriction.

> I searched the archives, but did not find a decisive answer (only
some rather old posts suggesting not to use path names containing spaces--unfortunately this is not an option in the managed Windows environment I need to work in next week).
> Sorry for the long post and thanks for your time,
> Jochen
> ----
> Jochen Laubrock, Dept. of Psychology, University of Potsdam,
> Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
> phone: +49-331-977-2346, fax: +49-331-977-2793
> ______________________________________________
> mailing list

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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