Possible to have R API without terra support?

Is it possible to install the ipumsr package without terra support? I’m trying to install it in R on a Linux system that doesn’t provide a current-enough gdal RPM in its repositories (the Oracle-supported version of RHEL 7.9). I have gdal 1.11, but the terra install reports that it isn’t compatible with versions below 2.0.1. I could probably install GDAL from source, but I don’t plan to use the terra capabilities of the API, and I’d prefer not to install applications that I can’t easily keep updated.

Hi Phil, thanks for this question. Unfortunately, there is not currently an officially supported way to install ipumsr without also installing terra. However, we are planning to spin off terra support into its own package in the coming months to help users in your situation. I’ll make a note to respond to this question when we do make that change.

In the meantime, I can suggest a stopgap solution, but I’m not sure how stable it will be:

# Install ipumsr without installing dependencies
install.packages("ipumsr", dependencies = FALSE)

# Manually install all dependencies except the raster package
install.packages(c("dplyr", "haven", "hipread", "purrr", "R6", "readr", "rlang", "tibble", "tidyselect", "xml2", "zeallot", "jsonlite", "httr"))

I don’t believe that the stopgap solution would work, because dependencies = FALSE doesn’t stop the package installation from requiring its dependencies; it just stops it from automatically installing them.

What I plan to do is to tear down my Oracle Linux 7.9 virtual machine and rebuild as 8.6. If that doesn’t work I’ll try a different Linux distro. If nothing else, it will finally motivate me to get these machines defined in Terraform and, if I’m really ambitious, in Ansible.

I had no trouble installing the prerequisite libraries and installing the ipumsr package after provisioning a Ubuntu Linux virtual machine.

Glad to hear you resolved the issue on your own. I think you are correct that my proposed “stopgap solution” would not have worked – I just tested it out and was able to install ipumsr, but not able to actually load or use it, without all “Imports” dependencies installed. Sorry for suggesting a dead end.

In any case, as of ipumsr 0.5.1, raster is now only a “Suggests” dependency, so hopefully you and other users who don’t need the raster-functionality of ipumsr won’t have to deal with issues like this in the future.