arm64 binary packages for Linux in Posit Public Package Manager

Thanks for providing the Posit Public Package Manager to the R community! It's an amazing public resource.

Does Posit plan on adding support for arm64 binary R packages for Linux in the Posit Public Package Manager, and any ETA on when that may happen?

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Hi @Lmendy

Thanks for the feedback! Glad you're finding Public Package Manager (and our Linux binaries) useful!

We do have arm64 binaries on our list of requested binary distributions, but it's not currently on our short term roadmap. Since we provide comprehensive binary support for the entirety of CRAN, not just on the latest version of R but also for the past four R releases, every distribution / platform variant we support adds over 100,000 binaries that have to be built and maintained. While we'd love to provide binaries for every requested environment, we do need to prioritize our limited resources where most needed.

Requests like this are appreciated and encouraged, as it does help us recognize the demand and prioritize accordingly. In that vein, can you give us a little more detail about how you use these binaries, and what arm64 Linux distribution(s) are most important to you?

Cheers,
Joe

P.S. If you haven't seen it, we recently published a post on our blog giving a little more background of our binary build process. The Road to Building Ten Million Binaries - Posit

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Hi!

I was searching around to see if there was a plan for linux/arm64 binaries, and found your post above. I thought I would chime in here and answer your question above with my own use case:

I work between an Apple Silicon Mac (arm64), and an Intel-powered remote cluster. I would like to be able to develop multi-platform Docker containers containing a synchronised development environment, so I can test my pipelines locally before running on the remote cluster. Currently, creating the arm64 container requires compiling packages from source - this is slow, and times out if I run the build on e.g. Github Actions.

I would say that binaries for Ubuntu would be most important to me, as this would allow me to continue to use Rocker base images, but I don't know if that would be the most useful more generally.

I certainly appreciate the resources may not be there for this, but I hope that gives you some sense of at least one use-case, if it's still on your roadmap!

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At R-hub we have an experimental repo [1] that has aarch64 Linux R packages for Ubuntu 22.04 and R 4.4. Only a subset of popular and slow-to-build packages are available and they are updated daily.

The caveat is that you need to use pak [2] to install the R packages.

[1] GitHub - r-hub/repos: Custom R package repositories — work in progress!
[2] All about installing pak. — Installing pak • pak

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Thanks for the info everyone! The use case we have in mind is using renv to install binary package from Posit Package Manager in our arm64 Docker builds using Ubuntu based images.

Thanks @cenococcum and @Lmendy for the additional info and use cases.

We are still exploring including full CRAN binaries for arm64 on selected platforms via Posit Package Manager. Hearing both of you interested in Ubuntu is a helpful data point. No timeline for availability yet, but still hoping to get it on the roadmap soon. Thanks as always for your interest!

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