Welcome to the (very brief) nineteenth post in the ruefully recalcitrant R reflections series of posts, or R4 for short.
About two months ago, in the most recent post in the series, #18, we provided a short tutorial about how to add the Intel Math Kernel Library to a Debian or Ubuntu system thanks to the wonderful
apt tool — and the prepackaged binaries by Intel. This made for a simple, reproducible, scriptable, and even reversible (!!) solution—which a few people seem to have appreciated. Good.
In the meantime, more good things happened. Debian maintainer Mo Zhou had posted this ‘intent-to-package’ bug report leading to this git repo on salsa and this set of packages currently in the ‘NEW’ package queue.
So stay tuned, "soon" (for various definitions of "soon") we should be able to directly get the MKL onto Debian systems via
apt without needing Intel’s repo. And in a release or two, Ubuntu should catch up. The fastest multithreaded BLAS and LAPACK for everybody, well-integrated and package. That said, it is still a monstrously large package so I mostly stick with the (truly open source rather than just ‘gratis’) OpenBLAS but hey, choice is good. And yes, technically these packages are ‘outside’ of Debian in the
non-free section but they will be visible by almost all default configurations.