Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams


The cran2deb archive used in the install instructions specifically only supports the Debian GNU/Linux Testing release. This will be similar to the latest Ubuntu release, but is continually updated whilst the Ubuntu release remains stable for 6 months. Thus at times the packages in the cran2deb archive will be incompatible with Ubuntu.

An alternative install compiles each of the required packages through R itself, rather than using the operating system provided pre-compiled packages. This takes more time, but is still a straightforward process. Some mixture of the following hints may help. John Nash's instructions give more specific details.

  1. Add an appropriate binary package repository for obtaining the latest pre-compiled R packages for your operating system:

    $ sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

    Then add one of the following lines depending on your system.

      deb lenny-cran/
      deb etch-cran/
      deb karmic/
      deb jaunty/
      deb intrepid/
      deb hardy/

  2. Update the operating system's list of available pacakges:

    $ wajig update

  3. Install the basic collection of R packages:

    $ wajig install r-base r-base-dev libglade2-dev r-cran-rgtk2

  4. Start up R as the root user so that the following packages are installed for all users. If you don't have root access, drop the sudo so that the packages will be installed locally, just for you.

    $ sudo R

  5. Try installing Rattle and all of the required and suggested packages. If that fails, try the next option.

    > install.packages("rattle")

  6. Install the basic required packages for Rattle. Rattle will start up but you will be notified of other packages that are required as you interact with Rattle. You can install these in the same way as you proceed.

    > install.packages("RGtk2")
    > install.packages("colorspace")
    > install.packages("cairoDevice")
    > install.packages("pmml")
    > install.packages("rattle")

  7. Now we can start up Rattle.

    > library(rattle)
    > rattle()

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