Upgrading R

Every couple of months there’s a new version of R. Now it’s R 2.9.1. I better download it, since some packages I use might depend on the latest version.

Can somebody out there in R-land please put an “update” button in the R console? Or, better yet, have R check occasionally for updates and then allow me to install with one click, in a way that will transfer all my downloaded packages automatically.


P.S. Yes, yes, I know. R is free, and if I really want this done, I can do it myself. But I’m doing other things for R! And others would be much better able than I to set up the automatic install as described above.

P.P.S. If youall are making changes to R for me, I also suggest replacing the current display of lm and glm fits with the output from display() in the arm package.

9 thoughts on “Upgrading R

  1. I'd like to second the comment of the computer economist above.

    In Ubuntu I subscribe to the 64-bit repository maintained by Michael Rutter (Vincent Goulet maintains the 32-bit version), and thanks to those excellent gentlemen whenever an update is posted they update the repositories and I receive them without having to lift a finger (automatic updates are excellent).

    All the benefits of Unix without having to pray at the really expensive altar of Steve Jobs.

  2. I agree: the issue is to have an update that *also* updates the currently installed extra packages. Every update (and I am on Mac OS X), I have to then remember to use install.packages(), and which packages in particular, to return to where I was. I have no idea how difficult this would be, but I do second the the desire for it.

  3. Hey Dr. John, my apologies if I have misinterpreted your request, but doesn't that kind of capability already exist?
    If you maintain your downloaded packages in a single library and point R to it after the upgrade (assuming it didn't maintain the connection through the upgrade) then you can use update.packages() to update all of the packages in your library to their latest versions.

  4. Well, for WinXP there *is* an "Update Packages" capability off the toolbar, via

    >>Packages>>Update Packages

    It needs an election of a CRAN mirror first, but will ask you for one if you forget, as I frequently do. This is using the default rgui.exe for Windows.

    If it's the main update that concerns, getting the autoinstall binary and simply dumping it into the same directory as the old one seems to work well. I actually asked about this on the Help mailing list and was told this is the recommended approach. I keep R in a subdirectory. When the 2.9.2323929 version installs, I simply copy all the goodies up to the proper subdirectory and delete the rest.

    R 2.9.2 is coming out Monday the 24th, BTW. From Peter Dalgaard:

    "This is to announce that we plan to release R version 2.9.2 on Monday,
    August 24, 2009.

    Release procedures start Friday, August 14.

    Those directly involved should review the generic schedule at

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