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I know this question has already been asked, but all the answer posted weren't able to help solve my problem. I tried the following command on Ubuntu 14.04:

sudo apt-get install r-base-core

and I get:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 r-base-core : Depends: libtiff4 but it is not installable
               Recommends: r-recommended but it is not going to be installed
               Recommends: r-base-dev but it is not going to be installed
               Recommends: r-doc-html but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

I have also tried it with aptitude:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 r-base-core : Depends: libtiff4 which is a virtual package.
The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

      Keep the following packages at their current version:
1)      r-base-core [Not Installed]                        
2)      r-base-dev [Not Installed]                         
3)      r-cran-boot [Not Installed]                        
4)      r-cran-class [Not Installed]                       
5)      r-cran-cluster [Not Installed]                     
6)      r-cran-codetools [Not Installed]                   
7)      r-cran-foreign [Not Installed]                     
8)      r-cran-kernsmooth [Not Installed]                  
9)      r-cran-lattice [Not Installed]                     
10)     r-cran-mass [Not Installed]                        
11)     r-cran-matrix [Not Installed]                      
12)     r-cran-mgcv [Not Installed]                        
13)     r-cran-nlme [Not Installed]                        
14)     r-cran-nnet [Not Installed]                        
15)     r-cran-rpart [Not Installed]                       
16)     r-cran-spatial [Not Installed]                     
17)     r-cran-survival [Not Installed]                    
18)     r-recommended [Not Installed]                      



Accept this solution? [Y/n/q/?] y
No packages will be installed, upgraded, or removed.
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B of archives. After unpacking 0 B will be used.

I then ran apt-get upgrade, update and other stuff described in this tutorial. Here is the result of the command cat /etc/apt/sources.list:

# deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 12.10 _Quantal Quetzal_ - Release amd64 (20121017.5)]/ quantal main restricted

# See http://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty main restricted
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-updates main restricted
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-updates main restricted

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty universe
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty universe
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-updates universe
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-updates universe

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
## security team.
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty multiverse
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty multiverse
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-updates multiverse
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-updates multiverse

## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-backports main restricted universe multiverse

deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-security main restricted
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-security main restricted
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-security universe
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-security universe
deb http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-security multiverse
deb-src http://mirrors.ircam.fr/pub/ubuntu/archive/ trusty-security multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
# deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu quantal partner
# deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu quantal partner

## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by third-party
## developers who want to ship their latest software.
deb http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu trusty main
deb-src http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu trusty main
deb http://cran.rstudio.com/bin/linux/ubuntu precise/

And the result of the command

cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*

is:

# deb http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu precise main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu precise main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb http://linux.dropbox.com/ubuntu precise main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/grumbel/ppa/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/grumbel/ppa/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/grumbel/ppa/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/grumbel/ppa/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/grumbel/ppa/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/grumbel/ppa/ubuntu raring main
# This file makes sure that Opera Browser is kept up-to-date
# as part of regular system upgrades

deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ stable non-free #Opera Browser (final releases)

# The line above will make sure you get all final public releases.
# Uncomment the following line if you want to get alpha and beta
# releases, too.

# deb http://deb.opera.com/opera-beta/ stable non-free #Opera Browser (beta releases)
# This file makes sure that Opera Browser is kept up-to-date
# as part of regular system upgrades

deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ stable non-free #Opera Browser (final releases)

# The line above will make sure you get all final public releases.
# Uncomment the following line if you want to get alpha and beta
# releases, too.

# deb http://deb.opera.com/opera-beta/ stable non-free #Opera Browser (beta releases)
# This file makes sure that Opera Browser is kept up-to-date
# as part of regular system upgrades

deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ stable non-free #Opera Browser (final releases)

# The line above will make sure you get all final public releases.
# Uncomment the following line if you want to get alpha and beta
# releases, too.

# deb http://deb.opera.com/opera-beta/ stable non-free #Opera Browser (beta releases)
# deb http://deb.playonlinux.com/ natty main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb http://deb.playonlinux.com/ natty main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb http://deb.playonlinux.com/ natty main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ precise steam # disabled on upgrade to raring
# deb-src http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ precise steam # disabled on upgrade to raring
# deb http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ precise steam # disabled on upgrade to raring
# deb-src http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ precise steam # disabled on upgrade to raring
# deb http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ precise steam # disabled on upgrade to raring
# deb-src http://repo.steampowered.com/steam/ precise steam # disabled on upgrade to raring
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ppa/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ppa/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ppa/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ppa/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ppa/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ppa/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/vincent-c/nevernote/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/vincent-c/nevernote/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/vincent-c/nevernote/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/vincent-c/nevernote/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/vincent-c/nevernote/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/vincent-c/nevernote/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/sublime-text-3/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/sublime-text-3/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/sublime-text-3/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
# deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/sublime-text-3/ubuntu raring main
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/sublime-text-3/ubuntu saucy main # disabled on upgrade to saucy
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/sublime-text-3/ubuntu raring main
share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Thanks a lot Wilf to answer your question. But someone else gave me the answer on the R mailing list, running the following commands :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:marutter/rrutter
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install r-base r-base-dev

helped me solve my problem !

share|improve this answer
Depends: libtiff4 but it is not installable

This issue appears to be due to the libtiff4 package not being available for Ubuntu 14.04

So a possible workaround would to download the version for Saucy, the last supported release, from here or here:

For i386:

wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/t/tiff3/libtiff4_3.9.7-2ubuntu1_i386.deb
dpkg -i libtiff4_3.9.7-2ubuntu1_i386.deb

For amd64:

wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/t/tiff3/libtiff4_3.9.7-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb
dpkg -i libtiff4_3.9.7-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb

Then you might be able to install r-base-core - if this package is available in the default Ubuntu repos, you might want to file a bug report it not having the required dependencies.

Edit: Which version are you trying to install? The version here apparently depends on libtiff5 which is available...

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