[aur-general] Packaging all CRAN packages for R

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Thu May 31 01:53:41 UTC 2018

On 05/27/2018 12:15 PM, Eli Schwartz wrote:
> On 05/27/2018 11:25 AM, Alex Branham wrote:
>>> No, I assume that all cran packages are ELF executable code, unlike how
>>> ruby or python can be interpreted scripts marked as "any".
>> R packages do not usually (ever? need to check...) produce executable
>> files. R CMD INSTALL copies over the package to a library (AKA a
>> directory. R's term for where packages live on your system). In the
>> latest version of R (3.5.0), they've also started byte compiling it by
>> default.
> Either it is architecture-dependent, or it's an "any" package. I've
> never used R, but I've seen people complaining whenever gcc updates,
> that their AUR packages or things installed to $HOME, are linked against
> old versions of libgfortran.so -- well, usually they complain that R
> itself is linked that way, but the answer we give is always "recompile
> your stuff against the current version."
>>> (In those cases, well, quarry has a function to detect whether the
>>> package contains native extensions, and sets the arch=() of the
>>> generated PKGBUILD as appropriate.)
>> Is this something I need to worry about since Arch only supports x86_64
>> now? So far I've just been setting
>> arch=('x86_64')
>> in the PKGBUILDS.
> If it works on x86_64, it probably works on i686 too, and possibly
> aarch64 users will crave it as well. There's no official policy saying
> you must support that in AUR packages, but OTOH there's no rule saying
> you cannot, if you the maintainer feel comfortable claiming support.
> Either way, I'd encourage your tool to be flexible enough to support
> configurable arch specification.
> ...
> It is, however, a rule that packages which are "build once, run on any
> CPU architecture" should specify "any" (which is the truth), not
> "x86_64" (which is not the truth).

So, I looked into this a bit.


Looks like the rule is, if NeedsCompilation = yes, then the package
contains C or Fortran code which must be compiled into an ELF library foo.so
In this case, the PKGBUILD should specify arch=('x86_64') and
additionally any other architectures you feel comfortable supporting in
the AUR package.

In the case where NeedsCompilation = no, then the package contains only
R code which is byte-compiled, but can run on any architecture and
should therefore specify arch=('any')

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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