Difficulties installing rgl

rgl is a R package for three-dimensional visualisation using OpenGL. The package provides functions implementing a new graphics device suitable for visualisation of R objects in three dimensions using the OpenGL libraries.

It can be installed from the Ubuntu repostitories with

sudo aptitude install r-cran-rgl

or on all platforms inside R with



It depends on some GL libraries installed, which do not get installed by default. So you might expect unsuccessful installation, with an error message like
missing required header GL/gl.h.

The solution is to install the missing library manually with

sudo aptitude install libglu1-mesa-dev

… one of those inconveniences preventing mainstream users switching to OpenSource software – it seems to me.


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