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Problems with R?

Ian Witten discusses some problems that people have setting up R, and introduces a VirtualBox workaround.

Some people have reported difficulty setting up R and making the connection with Weka.

Several of us here at Waikato have gone through all the quizzes and test questions, on different systems, without encountering problems, so we’re a bit stumped as to what the issues are. However, they may include:

  • typing errors when configuring environment variables – nothing works unless everything is exactly correct!

  • mixing components intended for 32-bit and 64-bit machines

  • network access problems, including proxies – behind the scenes, R downloads packages over the internet

  • a new release of R was made on 30 Nov 2017 (this is outside our control)

  • (possibly) other problems that we don’t understand because we can’t replicate them.

Here’s a workaround for those in trouble.

If you are not having trouble, we recommend that you ignore this article, because the workaround, although easy to use, has some limitations.

Eibe has created a VirtualBox virtual machine image based on a minimal Xubuntu Linux installation in which Java 8, WEKA 3.8.1, R 3.4.3, and all the R packages required for this course are pre-installed. To use this, download VirtualBox for your operating system from

and install it. Then grab Eibe’s image from

It’s a large download: 2.1 GB (Eibe tried hard to minimize it). Having downloaded the image, import it into VirtualBox and run it. I did this just by clicking the image.

When the virtual machine starts, start Weka by double-clicking the file run_weka.sh on the desktop. All the data files you need for the course are in weka-3-8-1/data.

Please use the comment thread to provide feedback on this workaround.

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