Our organization hosts a Shiny Server on CentOS. While package binaries are available for Ubuntu thanks to a lot of volunteer effort, our server has to install packages from source.
Some packages, like rgdal, have linux library dependencies listed in free text under the “SystemRequirements” field in their DESCRIPTION file, but the amount of detail there is insufficient to identify the specific libraries needed for a given linux distribution. Therefore, our admin team has to manually track down the library versions and install them - we would like to make this process less labor-intensive.
This problem occurs in other domains:
- Gabor Csardi’s r-hub project maintains a list of os-specific library dependencies that users can add to as necessary.
- RStudio maintains a similar list for packages used on shinyapps.io
We scrape those lists, but they only contain libraries for packages that have been tested on r-hub or used on shinyapps.io, respectively. Ideally, we would like to identify the libraries necessary for every package on CRAN.
It seems like CRAN must have this list since it tests every package it hosts and builds binaries for Windows and OS/X - does anyone know if that is true? How do others address this problem?