Installing R on Debian – 64-bit?

I’m installing R & R-studio on the old Dell in preparation for a forthcoming university module.

In a previous post, I talked about converting the old WinXP Dell 5100 to Linux using Unetbootin.

However, I’ve never been sure if the chip in the Dell is so old as to not be able to handle 64-bit programs. I’d rather install the 64-bit version than the 32-bit if I’m drawing on large(ish) datasets from my MongoDB cluster.

  • Open a terminal window
  • $ lscpu
Architecture:          i686
CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit, 64-bit
CPU(s):                2
Thread(s) per core:    1
Core(s) per socket:    2
CPU socket(s):         1
Vendor ID:             GenuineIntel
CPU family:            15
Model:                 4
Stepping:              7
CPU MHz:               2792.942
L1d cache:             16K
L2 cache:              1024K

This isn’t entirely clear to me – looks like I can run both?

$ getconf LONG_BIT
Returns ’32’

$ arch
Returns i686, which upon Googling looks like it’s an old, only 32-bit compatible chip. Shame! I guess it doesn’t really matter too much given the machine has a max of 4GB of RAM anyway

$ top
$ free
$ cat /proc/meminfo
All show memory information

The installation itself was simple
$ sudo apt-get install r-base r-base-dev
to start R
$ R
To quit

Sucking up some Tweets, analysing/processing in R and storing them in MongoDB could  be a neat experiment.

JeffGentry’s twitteR package makes searching Twitter easy:

># load the package
># get the n most recent tweets mentioning ‘@raspberry pi’
>delta.tweets = searchTwitter(‘Raspberry Pi’,n=n)

See more here

When I open R and try to<install.packages(‘twitteR’)>
I get  argument ‘lib’ is missing: using ‘/home/stuart/R/i486-pc-linux-gnu-library/2.11’
I’m looking here for an answer….

Am also going to install RStudio IDE. Follow the instructions here


Successful Debian (6.0) installation

It’s nice working on a 42″ plasma TV in the living room(!) where the internet router is situated. I managed to get a DVI <> HDMI cable for the old Dell Dimension (which  means no more bulky old Dell monitor)

Installed a Debian image onto the previously WinXP Dell, using Unetbootin and a USB drive.

Fun with .tar filesImage

I now have 5 x R Pi with 32GB SD cards and MongoDB installed on Raspbian O/S, plus MongoDB installed on the old Dell.

I have also installed Oracle Virtual Box which lets you create virtual machines relatively easily.

My new 8-port network switch should hopefully come in the post today.
Should be in business!

Don’t forget, you’ll need to configure WiFi access too! Although for the RPi, this was pretty helpful, as was this & this

The Dell is so old it doesn’t have an internal wireless card. Instead I use a wifi dongle
$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0846:4260 NetGear, Inc. WG111v3 54 Mbps Wireless [realtek RTL8187B]

$ sudo iwlist wlan0 scan | grep ‘BT’

$ man 5 interfaces
$ man 8 wpa_supplicant
$ man 8 iwconfig
$ man 8 iwlist

Take a look/install these Unix GUIs to help with setting up a network connection

  • kmanager
  • wicd

Useful reading

  1. 50 Tips & Tricks for MongoDB Developers,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_.jpg
  2. Big Data Glossary
  3. Designing Data Visualisations
  4. Inside Relational Databases
  5. Linux Pocket Guide
  6. MongoDB In Action
  7. MongoDB The Definitive Guide
  8. NoSQL Distilled
  9. Pentaho Data Integration 4 Cookbook
  10. Pentaho Kettle Solutions
  11. Professional noSQL
  12. Raspberry Pi User Guide
  13. Scaling MongoDB
  14. Seven Databases in Seven Weeks

R Pi / Linux headaches

Attempted to download the firmware for the Pis. Real hassle having to hook up directly to the router and cart everything up and down the stairs! Maybe i ought to prepare an ‘image’ myself and put it onto the PI’s SD cards manually?

Also trying to download & install windows 7 on the Dell 5100 (update from XP as MongoDB doesn’t run on XP), but so far the download via Dreamspark (students) has taken 1/2 a day and keeps crashing at 48% then failing on restart. Microsoft can’t seem to give their software away for free!

Gonna try installing Linux on the old dell now instead.

All this config stuff is really holding me back!

Pi config/setup

Thanks to some great suggestions & help from Simon via his blog
I managed to ‘see’ a Pi alive. Looks like the O/S is good and now I just need to run some updates/config.

For some reason, I could not see the RPi on my laptop. I can on an HDMI TV. Turns out both the laptop and Pi are HDMI *out* only – this is why it works on a TV with an HDMI input.

[Note to self (after a very expensive ethernet and ‘gold plated’ 3m HDMI lead from Asda) Farnell is *far* cheaper for everything needed than Maplin, Asda etc]

So, tomorrow, I’ll be buying a powered USB hub so I can connect a mouse and keyboard to the PIs, and the Pi to the bedroom TV(!) and begin the O/S stuff.

Painful progress today, but progress nontheless.

Simon also recommends XMing for emulation/control.
– I guess i’ll be battling with that soon!