Specify a local library search location.
You can use several library trees of add-on packages. The easiest way to tell R to use these via a 'dotfile' by creating the following file '$HOME/.Renviron' (watch the quotes and ~ character):
This specifies a keyword (R_LIBS_USER) which points to a colon-separated list of directories at which R library trees are rooted. You do not have to specify the default tree for R packages.
If necessary, create a place for your R libraries
mkdir ~/R ~/R/library # Only need do this once
Set your R library path
echo 'R_LIBS_USER="~/R/library"' > $HOME/.Renviron
Installation is dead easy. Start up R and tell R to fetch your package from CRAN, compile whatever needs compiling and set everything else up.
Beware - each package will only work for the platform (i.e. Linux or Solaris) where you installed it. If you want a package on both Linux and Solaris, you'll need to install it in different directories for each system type.
R # Invoke R > install.packages("name-of-your-package",lib="~/R/library")
Once you try out a package and it proves useful, tell Terry or Peggy and ask them to install the package globally so everyone can use it.