Compile BayesX from source code – via Fink in OSX 10.10

My PC just passed away. My good old one since 2009… so I decided to buy a desktop computer running OSX 10.10 (although I cannot exclude the possibility of partitioning the disk and installing also Linux…). For now, I missed some apps, which I installed with Fink (a popular debian-based distro ported to Mac).

One of the programs I was fiddling around with was BayesX: “Bayesian Inference in Structured Additive Regression Models”, authored by great people at Muenchen University, (specially Nadja and Thomas, whom I’m glad to know personally).

The problem is that I used to have both BayesX binaries for Linux and Windows, but now I needed one for my Mac. Here’s how I did (pretty easy once I figured out how to do it!):


Xcode, Xquartz and Java are the first tools you will need in order to build Fink, and hence BayesX.


Fink is a popular port of GNU-Linux for MacOS. You can install it easily following the steps in this page.

Because my OS was 10.10, I had to follow instructions to compile Fink from source. Fortunately, the page provides a handy helper script to run in the terminal (for OSX 10.10). This script goes through all the steps. Open the Terminal and just either run the script or the commands one by one, and follow the instructions. It may take a while to download and install.


Go to the Download page and get the source. I suggest that you store the .zip file in a dedicated directory such as /Users/me/Downloads/source/code (changing “me” for your user). Then, open the Terminal and type:

cd /Users/me/Downloads/source/code
unzip -a # or whatever the name is


If you want to compile this source for Mac, you’ll see you need two more components (at least in this tutorial): cmake and the GNU Scientific Library (GSL).

Cmake is used to create a custom Makefile which will be used in compilation. You can insytall it typing in the Terminal:

sudo apt-get install cmake

Or you can use a (very useful for debugging) graphical user interface for Cmake.

To install GSL, simply type:

sudo apt-get install gsl


Once everything is installed, you can start to compile. Run in the Terminal

cd /Users/me/Downloads/source/code
cmake . # this will create the Makefile
cd /Users/Auri/Downloads/source/ # locate the Makefile

You will obtain an Unix Executable File in /Users/me/Downloads/source called BayesX. Double-clicking on it should open the BayesX prompt!.


Please, go to README.BayesX in the source for more information and issue solving.

I have tested this tutorial in another Mac machine -OSX 10.10- without any of this software installed, and it worked well. However, you may experience (mostly unknown) issues that may depend on different versions of Xcode, Fink, Java, GSL… etc. Despite this, I hope these steps will help you.

Also, from here you can only compile a mere console version of BayesX. I’m not sure how to run the Java user interface, but I will update this post to include any progress.

Hope you enjoy!


Install R in Android, via GNURoot -no root required!

Playing with my tablet some time ago, I wondered if installing R could be possible. You know, a small android device “to the power of R”…

After searching on Google from time to time, I came across some interesting possibilities:

  • R Instructor, created “to bridge the gap between authoritative (but expensive) reference textbooks and free but often technical and difficult to understand help files“.
  • R Console Free. provides the necessary C, C++ and Fortran compilers to build and install R packages.
  • There’s always possible to root your device and install a Linux distribution for Android, which will let you install any repository/package, just like in any linux console.
  • Running R from your dedicated R server or from an external one (see R-fiddle), using your own browser. I see this option as particularly useful for those who want maximum performance.
  • Some additional thoughts on this topic are also stored in these Stack Overflow pages.
  • Without needing to root my device, I found GNURoot, an app that “provides a method for you to install and use GNU/Linux distributions and their associated applications/packages alongside Android“.

Finally, my preferred solution came with GNURoot (see this tutorial), and here’s how I managed to install the newest CRAN repositories! (NOTE: It should work “out of the box” but, as problems might appear, some experience with Linux is always advisable).

1. Install the .apk of GNURoot in your Android device. Don’t forget to donate if you like it! 🙂

2. Following the app instructions, download and install a linux distribution to run. In my case, I chose the .apk GNURoot Wheezy (a Debian Wheezy distro without Xterms). EDIT: Just be sure of having enough memory for it in your device

3. Once installed, just follow the steps to launch the Rootfs (Wheezy) as Fake Root. You will see a bash prompt, from which you can access a complete linux directory tree. This is the same as if you were in a computer (however, if you aren’t root you won’t be able to access the directories via your file browser from Android)


4. Now, we just have to update and upgrade:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

5. Then, update the sources.list file. We don’t have any graphical text editor (like gedit or kate)… but we have nano!:

nano /etc/apt/sources.list


Using the volume up + “W/S/A/D” you can move between the lines. Or alternatively, you can install a convenient keyboard with arrow buttons, like Hacker’s Keyboard! (thanks to JTT!)

Following instructions from CRAN, I added the following line to sources.list:

deb http://<favorite-cran-mirror>/bin/linux/debian wheezy-cran3/

Exit saving changes. But before “update and upgrade” again, don’t forget to add the key for the repository running the following:

apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-key 381BA480

5. Update and upgrade…. voilà!

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install r-base r-base-dev

6. Now, you only have to run R just like in any bash console:



With this method you only have a prompt, without any graphical interface. ¿How do I make and see plots here?. If R runs from “inside” Android one option is to connect your Linux to an X-server app (thanks, J. Liebig). However, due to memory issues, I couldn’t put in practice this idea and see what happens. Try at your own risk! 🙂

Fortunately, there’s always possible to print R graphs in various formats, with the inconvenient that you have to browse to the plot’s location in Android -every time you need to check the output.


Here I leave a small script to begin playing with R on Android. Hope you enjoy it!