Hotfix for Microsoft R Open 3.5.0 on Linux

By David Smith

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

On Monday, we learned about a serious issue with the installer for Microsoft R Open on Linux-based systems. (Thanks to Norbert Preining for reporting the problem.) The issue was that the installation and de-installation scripts would modify the system shell, and did not use the standard practices to create and restore symlinks for system applications.

The Microsoft R team developed a solution the problem with the help of some Debian experts at Microsoft, and last night issued a hotfix for Microsoft R Open 3.5.0 which is now available for download. With this fix, the MRO installer no longer relinks /bin/sh to /bin/bash, and instead uses dpkg-divert for Debian-based platforms and update-alternatives for RPM-based platforms. We will also request a discussion with the Debian maintainers of R to further review our installation process. Finally, with the next release — MRO 3.5.1, scheduled for August 9 — we will also include the setup code (including the installation scripts) in the MRO GitHub repository for everybody to inspect and give feedback on.

You can find more details about the issue, the how it was resolved, and the processes we have put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the blog post linked below.

Microsoft Machine Learning Server blog: How we are fixing our installer for Microsoft R Open on Linux

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