Then I wanted 64-bit R, and it turned out that by far the easiest thing was to launch a Windows instance on Amazon EC2. I googled for an explanation, but it doesn't really need one. You launch a Windows instance, make sure the security group allows RDP, and connect with Remote Desktop. Works very smoothly. I could even connect with my phone.
But now I wanted to run R on a virtual machine which I could (for free) leave running all the time. For this I needed to run Amazon Linux on a "micro" instance, which ruled out both of the above. I launched a micro instance running Amazon Linux, and ssh'd into it.
Okay, now how do I install R?
I'll outline the process I went through. But I also went through a lot more confusion/frustration than I'll describe!
- Can I use an automatic installer? Apt-get and yum seem to work for various people on the internet. But not for me! Oh well.
- How do I install R? Where are the files I need to download to install R?
- How do I get a file? Googled, found wget.
- How do I unzip this? Googled, found:
tar xf R-2.12.1.tar.gz
- There's an error message! Google the error message to learn I need a C compiler. I had learned earlier that yum is for installing things, and googling reveals that gcc is a C compiler:
sudo yum install gcc
- Another error message! Google the message to find that I need a C++ compiler. Maybe something like gcc will help...
yum search gcc
- Yep! I now see gcc-c++, so I'll install that:
sudo yum install gcc-c++
- Another error message! I need a fortran compiler. In the search above, I saw gcc-gfortran, so:
sudo yum install gcc-gfortran
- Another error message! Google the message, revealing that I need readline-devel. I still don't know what that is, but this works:
sudo yum install readline-devel
- Another error message! Google shows me a post from someone who seems a bit confused, but less confused than I am. Following the advice in that post (which seems like it will get me an incomplete R build, maybe with something related to windowing missing--but I won't be using windows anyway):
- It works!
- Yippeee! I have R now. You can follow these steps, or I think you can use the public AMI I've created, AmazonLinuxWithR_c.