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Why still cannot use own R distribution on Mac?

Posted 2 months ago
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Mathematica on Windows has for some time allowed using InstallR to install one's own R distribution instead of the curated Wolfram provided version. But not on other platforms, including Mac

Still in Mathematica 12.1, only Windows is supported for such user-provided R distributions.

Why is that facility still not supported on Mac (and other platforms)?

What is the impediment?

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My colleague reported this issue to Wolfram support back in February. The Prerelease team said older versions of R were working on their computers. They sent the information over to the developers though. I don't think we've heard back since then. Sorry I don't have anything more useful than that to add.

My colleague reported this issue to Wolfram support back in February.

This was actually already reported back in 2012 when RLink came out, and many more times since then. The only conclusion I can draw is that WRI simply has no interest in giving RLink any developer time.

RLink was very promising, but it looked only 90% complete. It could have been an extremely useful tool, if just a few critical missing features had been added ...

@Murray, you are probably aware of these workarounds (scroll to the bottom): http://szhorvat.net/pelican/setting-up-rlink-for-mathematica.html

Alas, the method described at http://szhorvat.net/pelican/setting-up-rlink-for-mathematica.html#elcap in "Note for R version 3.5 (and possibly later) on macOS" does not work under macOS Catalina 10.15.3. This is with the current R version, which is 3.6, and Mathematica 12.1.

Instead, it generates error:

InstallR::fail: Failed to install R. The following error was encountered: Unable to load dynamic libraries 

I presume this is caused by the SIP issue (or other stricter security under macOS Catalina).

The problem must be specific to Catalina.

I tried it with Mojave (10.14) before posting, and there it works. Indeed it must be a security issue. Unfortunately, I cannot upgrade to Catalina because some of the programs I use are not compatible.

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