GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
R: Statistical Software
Debian Packages: r-base ess
There is an excellent selection of very high quality statistical software available for Debian GNU/Linux. A favourite is R, an open source version of S/SPlus, widely used in the academic statistical community.
The R packages from CRAN (the Comprehensive R Archive Network) are packaged in quite a collection for Debian (but not all are included yet), and you may want to pick and choose, or just install the whole lot:
$ wajig install `wajig listnames ^r-`
See the Data Mining Survivor for examples of using R.
R itself also has a package management facility and you can install packages directly from CRAN:
Emacs, provided by the emacs21 package, with the additional ess package, provides an excellent interface for working with R. To get started within emacs, simply issue the command M-x R enter. This will ask for a starting data directory which defaults to the current working directory (if you simply press enter again). Alternatively, load in a file with a .R extension and the R mode will be loaded. You will have a collection of convenient R buttons added to your button bar, as in Figure 73.1.