Re: [Rd] update.packages(1)

From: Seth Falcon <seth_at_userprimary.net>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 13:48:19 -0700

On 3/27/10 1:43 PM, Duncan Murdoch wrote:

> On 25/03/2010 3:16 PM, Arni Magnusson wrote:

>> I'm relaying a question from my institute's sysadmin:
>>
>> Would it be possible to modify update.packages() and related functions
>> so that 'lib.loc' accepts integer values to specify a library from the
>> .libPaths() vector?
>>
>> Many Linux users want to update all user packages (inside the
>> R_LIBS_USER directory, e.g. ~/r/library) and none of the system
>> packages (inside the /usr directory, e.g. /usr/lib64/R/library),
>> because they don't have write privileges to update the system packages.
>>
>> Currently, this can be done by pressing 'y RET' for all the user
>> packages and 'RET' for all the system packages. This hard work and
>> careful reading when there dozens of packages. Another way is to run
>>
>> update.packages(Sys.getenv("R_LIBS_USER"))
>>
>> or:
>>
>> update.packages(.libPaths()[1])
> 
> You could also save some work by putting ask=FALSE, or ask="graphics" in
> as another argument.  But isn't it easy enough to write your own
> function as a wrapper to update.packages, suiting your own local
> conventions?   It seems like a bad idea to make update.packages too
> friendly, when there are several different friendly front-ends for it
> already (e.g. the menu entries in Windows or MacOS GUIs).
> 

>> But it would be nicer for the user to type
>>
>> update.packages(1)
>>
>> using a 'pos' like notation to indicate the first element of the
>> .libPaths() vector.
>>
>> ---
>>
>> A separate but related issue is that it would be nice if the
>> R_LIBS_USER library would be the first library by default. Currently,
>> my sysadmin must use Rprofile.site to shuffle the .libPaths() to make
>> R_LIBS_USER first, which seems like a sensible default when it comes
>> to install.packages() and remove.packages().

I'm confused. AFAICT, R_LIBS_USER _is_ put first. Following the advice in the Admin manual, I created a directory matching the default value of R_LIBS_USER (Sys.getenv("R_LIBS_USER") to see it). Then when I start R, I get:

> .libPaths()
[1] "/home/sfalcon/R/x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu-library/2.11" [2] "/home/sfalcon/build/rd/library"

Isn't that what you want?



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