E-mail Tips and Installing R Packages Locally

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006, 1:30 P.M., Conference room MRBIII 1220

Using the Thunderbird email client with the Vanderbilt Medical Center's Exchange Server email server

The Biostatistics IT group recommends Thunderbird as our standard email client for accessing the VUMC Microsoft Exchange email servers. Thunderbird is a great email client program and it runs well on both Linux and Windows. However, those of us who are running both Thunderbird and the Outlook Web Access client may need a little orientation to understand the interaction between these clients. In this session, we will explain some of the Thunderbird behavior having to do with deleting messages, using folders to organize emails, and VUMCs automatic archiving procedures. See the notes here.

Installing R Packages Locally

If you want to install your own R packages but you don't have superuser access to the computer you're working on (such as your workstation or statcomp), you can have R install them into your home directory (or any other directory you have write access to).

First create a directory where you want R to install packages, such as .R-library.
cd ~
mkdir .R-library

Next, you need to edit your ~/.bashrc file so that it sets the R_LIBS environment variable. This variable is what tells R where you want packages installed. Add the following line to the end of ~/.bashrc:
export R_LIBS=~/.R-library

Whenever you edit your .bashrc file, you need to either close and re-open your console or re-source .bashrc by running source ~/.bashrc in order for the changes to apply. You only need to do this whenever you make changes; every time after that your console will be set up correctly. Go ahead and reload your settings now.

Now that you've got your R_LIBS environment variable set, R will always install packages into the .R-library directory, which lives in your home directory. You can test this by looking at the return value of the .libPaths function in R. If the .R-library directory is in the character vector returned by .libPaths(), then you've successfully set up R to install packages locally! This works with both the install.packages() function and by running R CMD INSTALL.

For more information about installing add on packages, check out the Add-on packages section of the R Installation and Administration Manual.
Topic revision: r3 - 23 May 2006, JeremyStephens

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