Remembering server installation details

I’ve been moving part of my work to university servers, where I’m just one more peasant user with little privileges. In exchange, I can access the jobs from anywhere and I can access multiple processors if needed. Given that I have a sieve-like memory, where configuration details quickly disappear through many small holes, I’m documenting the little steps needed to move my work environment there.

The server provides a default R installation but none of the additional packages I often install are available (most people accessing the servers don’t use R). I could contact the administrator to get them installed, but I’ve opted for installing them under my user space. For that I followed the instructions presented here, which in summary require adding the name of the default folder (/hpc/home/luis/rpackages) for the local library of packages to my .bashrc file:

I also have a temporary folder (called rpackages)in the account where I move the source of the packages to be installed (using SFTP). Once the R session is started it is possible to check that the local folder is first in the library path, confirming that R_LIBS has been made available to R.

Then I can install the packages I moved to the server with SFTP from the temporary folder to the local library using install.packages().

Now we can load the package as normal:

Nothing complicated or groundbreaking, just writing down the small details before I forget them.

Gratuitous picture: just different hardware (Photo: Luis, click to enlarge).
Gratuitous picture: just different hardware (Photo: Luis, click to enlarge).

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