R macOS toolchain Evolution

As the years pass by, the R development toolchain for macOS changes. The goal of this post is to provide a summary of how the toolchain has evolved across the releases.

For help installing or removing the current toolchain, please see the guidelines set forth in:

Historical Information

The toolchain has changed overtime with respect to the compiler and gfortran requirements. In particular, in prior version of R the compiler was:

  • R 4.y.z
    • Compiler: Xcode CLI from the macOS SDK 10.13
    • Fortran:
      • gfortran8.1 if on Mojave (10.14) or Catalina (10.15)
      • gfortran6.3 if on Sierra (10.12) or High Sierra (10.13)
  • R 3.6.z
    • Compiler: clang7 and OS X SDK 10.11
    • Fortran: gfortran6.1
  • R 3.5.z: clang6 and OS X SDK 10.11
    • Compiler: clang6
    • Fortran: gfortran6.1
  • R 3.4.z: clang4 and OS X SDK 10.11
    • Compiler: clang4
    • Fortran: gfortran6.1
  • R 3.0.0 - 3.3.3:
    • Compiler: Included Xcode CLI clang version and OS X SDK 10.9
    • Fortran: gfortran4.8.2 (custom)


The gfortran binary has shifted from a custom version of gfortran4.8.2 compiled by the CRAN macOS maintainers to the official binaries by the GNU project.

comments powered by Disqus