R (openSUSE)

The split up

We decided to split up R in a subprojects to allow for frugal installations, i.e. on servers. If you run into problems, let us know, please. It worked here, but you never know.

Any feedback about the split-up of R-base is very appreciated!

If you just install R-base you get a complete installation of R-core, recommended packages, docs, and devel files. This is the standard way of installation.

For server installations you can now start from R-core and add only what you need to your R installation. The R-lib is in R-core-libs.

Following a list of all the packages that now make R-base-4.0.3:

  • R-base-4.0.3: contains all of the following.

    Use R-base, if you don´t have a good understanding what it means to install only parts!

  • R-base-devel-4.0.3: dummy, contains R-core-devel
  • R-core-4.0.3: R core, no packages at all
  • R-core-devel-4.0.3: devel files
  • R-core-libs-4.0.3: contains Rlib
  • R-core-doc-4.0.3: all the documentation of R-core
  • R-core-packages-4.0.3: dummy package to load all core packages, that are

    • R-compiler-4.0.3,
    • R-datasets-4.0.3,
    • R-grDevices-4.0.3,
    • R-graphics-4.0.3,
    • R-grid-4.0.3,
    • R-methods-4.0.3,
    • R-parallel-4.0.3,
    • R-splines-4.0.3,
    • R-stats-4.0.3,
    • R-stats4-4.0.3,
    • R-tcltk-4.0.3,
    • R-tools-4.0.3,
    • R-utils-4.0.3.

    Each of these packages may be installed alone.

  • R-recommended-packages-4.0.3: dummy package to load all recommeded packages, that are
    • R-boot-1.3.22,
    • R-class-7.3.15,
    • R-cluster-2.1.0,
    • R-codetools-0.2.16,
    • R-foreign-0.8.71,
    • R-KernSmooth-2.23.15,
    • R-lattice-0.20.38,
    • R-MASS-7.3.51,
    • R-Matrix-1.2.17, R-Matrix-devel-1.2.17,
    • R-mgcv-1.8.28,
    • R-nlme-3.1.140,
    • R-nnet-7.3.12,
    • R-rpart-4.1.15,
    • R-spatial-7.3.11,
    • R-survival-2.44.1 .

Each of these packages may be installed alone.

Structure of R in openSUSE

R has its own top level project in openSUSE's build service devel:languages:R.

R is included in the latest releases of openSUSE since 11.3, so it may be installed without adding any repositories directly from yast. Obviously you only get the version of R that was current, when a openSUSE release got frozen. I.e. 42.1 contains R-3.2.2 but we already have R-3.4.0 out by now. Read on to find out how to stay current with R!

Since a few weeks there are maintenance updates to older releases of openSUSE or SLE whenever a new release of R occurs. So you should stay current with R releases if you perform your regular OS upodates.

Below devel:languages:R you find a few subprojects:

  • released (built on release date, replaces the old R-base) This contains R itself and a lot of CRAN packages, emacs-ess, rkward, rstudio, littler. It is intended to be a one-stop-for-all repository.
  • patched (daily, recommended) and
  • devel (daily)

for at least all actively maintained releases of openSUSE available. For the time being these are 42.3 and 15.0. For your convenience older releases are supported as long as no work is required to keep R compiling for those unmaintained releases of openSUSE.

Nevertheless if you must for some cause use an older version you can still use the source rpm and try to install it on your system. You will probably get some error message about missing packages first, but after you collected the needed versions from software.opensuse.org the build will probably work.

Furthermore the adventurous can download packages for Factory and Tumbleweed.

At the moment only SLE_12 builds after some work. All these packages provide a resource 'R-base' for installation.

In subproject R-released you'll find the latest released version of R. This is the version, which goes into the next openSUSE release. This project gets updates if and when R itself is officially released.

R-patched is updated daily with the latest patches from upstream. Same version number as R-base, but patches.

R-devel is updated daily and contains today's devel version of R.

Naturally R-patched now is the recommended version to run.

If you compile packages for yourself you must install R-base-devel, too.

For discontinued releases R-base gets build as long as it "just works" with the current spec file. No effort is put in keeping the latest R-base build on these ancient releases.


The generic method to install R on openSUSE Linux is using the 1-click install facility the openSUSE Build Service (OBS) provides in their search interface. As r-base-devel requires r-base it is easiest to install r-base-devel. Most will need it anyway.

Nevertheless some seemed to have trouble using that interface, what inspired creating a page collecting direct links to the packages' installation sources.

Installing R with 1-click-install

The links in the table below invoke yast2 directly to provide access to openSUSE's 1-click-install. Architecture and dependencies are handled automatically. You must be root to do this, resp. you will be asked to give the superuser password during installation. If available you'll receive current R-patched, otherwise R-base.

The devel package is needed, if you want to install add-on packages. You'll probably need to install a compiler, too. Some packages will need additional dependencies. See install instructions for the package, if an installation fails.

openSUSE R-base-4.0.3 (patched) R-base-devel-4.0.3 (patched)
Version 1-click-install 1-click-install
SLE 12 (with backports) Install Install
SLE 15 Install Install
SLE 15 SP1 Install Install
Leap 15.0 Install Install
Leap 15.1 Install Install
Leap 15.2 Install Install
Factory Install Install
Tumbleweed Install Install

The version provided at the moment is R-4.0.3 (patched). The installation includes all recommended packages.

Installing using the command line

As superuser do

VERSION=$(grep "^PRETTY_NAME" /etc/os-release | tr " " "_" | sed -e 's/PRETTY_NAME=//' | sed -e 's/"//g')
zypper addrepo -f http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel\:/languages\:/R\:/patched/$VERSION/ R-base

which automatically determines your installed version of openSUSE. After that

zypper install R-base R-base-devel

will install R and all dependencies. This only works for supported versions of openSUSE.

Staying uptodate with zypper

After the first installation the appropriate repositories have been added to your installation superuser may use

zypper update R-base

to update to the latest version of R-base (usually the patched version) from the command line.

Using R-devel

To install R-devel just use the zypper command line with "patched" replaced by "devel". Using R-devel implies you know what you are doing.

Download for later installation

If for whatever reason you prefer downloading and manual installation of R or you need a src.rpm and the spec file, using of the search interface is recommended.

R packages pre-compiled for openSUSE and SLE releases

Quite a few packages and add-ons exist as rpm binary packages in our repository devel:languages:R:released. The easiest way to install those ist the search interface.

  • Add-Ons

    We have rstudio, rkward, and ESS available as binary packages!

  • Packages

    If you look for an R package "foo" search for "R-foo" there. Dependencies etc will be handled according to the distibution's policy.

    Many thanks to Matthias Mailänder, Darin Perusich, and Daniel Harnett, who compiled (and still compile) them over time.


These packages are maintained by Detlef Steuer (steuer@hsu-hh.de). All feedback very much appreciated!