I am trying to install RnBeads from bioconductor but the installation of its dependancy TxDb.Hsapiens.UCSC.hg19.knownGene fails. The error is:

BioC_mirror: https://bioconductor.org
Using Bioconductor 3.6 (BiocInstaller 1.28.0), R 3.4.3 (2017-11-30).
Installing package(s) ‘RnBeads’
also installing the dependencies ‘FDb.InfiniumMethylation.hg19’, ‘methylumi’

trying URL 'https://bioconductor.org/packages/3.6/data/annotation/src/contrib/FDb.InfiniumMethylation.hg19_2.2.0.tar.gz'
Content type 'application/x-gzip' length 38996322 bytes (37.2 MB)
downloaded 37.2 MB

trying URL 'https://bioconductor.org/packages/3.6/bioc/src/contrib/methylumi_2.24.1.tar.gz'
Content type 'application/x-gzip' length 6178909 bytes (5.9 MB)
downloaded 5.9 MB

trying URL 'https://bioconductor.org/packages/3.6/bioc/src/contrib/RnBeads_1.10.2.tar.gz'
Content type 'application/x-gzip' length 6437974 bytes (6.1 MB)
downloaded 6.1 MB

* installing *source* package ‘FDb.InfiniumMethylation.hg19’ ...
** R
** data
** demo
** inst
** preparing package for lazy loading
Error: package or namespace load failed for ‘TxDb.Hsapiens.UCSC.hg19.knownGene’:
 .onLoad failed in loadNamespace() for 'TxDb.Hsapiens.UCSC.hg19.knownGene', details:
  call: NULL
  error: evaluation nested too deeply: infinite recursion / options(expressions=)?
Error : package ‘TxDb.Hsapiens.UCSC.hg19.knownGene’ could not be loaded
ERROR: lazy loading failed for package ‘FDb.InfiniumMethylation.hg19’

The downloaded source packages are in
installation path not writeable, unable to update packages: doMC, doSNOW,
  foreach, iterators, snow, boot, class, cluster, codetools, foreign,
  KernSmooth, lattice, MASS, Matrix, mgcv, nlme, nnet, rpart, spatial, survival

As suggested by the error message, I tried setting options(expressions=500000), which unfortunately did not change the error message. An important note may be that I am under network mount and don't have administrative access rights.


I don't have a .Rprofile file.

Note about installation path not writeable: Typing .libPaths() reveals that my home R folder is at the first position (and it is writable). The other paths ("/usr/local/lib/R/site-library" , "/usr/lib/R/site-library" and "/usr/lib/R/library") are not writable without sudo.

I also tried to delete my home R folder and to reinstall it. The reinstallation of all packages worked for all packages except for the three listed above (same error message). I also tried biocLite("TxDb.Hsapiens.UCSC.hg19.knownGene", lib.loc=.libPaths()[1], lib=.libPaths()[1]) to specifically address my home R directory, but the same error is showing up (but without the installation path not writeable part).

Here is my sessionInfo():

R version 3.4.3 (2017-11-30)
Platform: x86_64-pc-linux-gnu (64-bit)
Running under: Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS

Matrix products: default
BLAS: /usr/lib/openblas-base/libopenblas.so.0
LAPACK: /usr/lib/lapack/liblapack.so.3.0

 [1] LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8       LC_NUMERIC=C              
 [3] LC_TIME=en_US.UTF-8        LC_COLLATE=en_US.UTF-8    
 [7] LC_PAPER=en_US.UTF-8       LC_NAME=C                 
 [9] LC_ADDRESS=C               LC_TELEPHONE=C            

attached base packages:
[1] stats     graphics  grDevices utils     datasets  methods   base     

other attached packages:
[1] BiocInstaller_1.28.0

loaded via a namespace (and not attached):
[1] compiler_3.4.3 tools_3.4.3

Thank you very much!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It might be better then to raise the error to support.bioconductor.org to let the maintainers know about it. $\endgroup$
    – llrs
    Dec 22, 2017 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, I will do. If the error is fixable from user side, I will report the answer here. $\endgroup$
    – Bluescreen
    Dec 22, 2017 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


I have reported the error on support.bioconductor.org but we were not able to solve the problem. It seems that some dependencies are making problems, but as reinstalling my home R folder did not resolve the issue, I have come up with the following workaround:

I downloaded the latest R version from my favorite CRAN mirror, opened an R session with pathToNewR/bin/R from my terminal and installed RnBeads there. This works fine.

Note: I had to make sure that pathToNewR/library is the only entry in .libPaths(), as per default, my home R folder was also contained in .libPaths().

As a consequence, I am independent from the (maybe broken) R version and packages on my server and can finally work with RnBeads :)

  • $\begingroup$ If I come up with another solution that works fine with my server R version, I will post an update here. $\endgroup$
    – Bluescreen
    Jan 3, 2018 at 13:23

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