Getting started… first steps into R

May 13, 2016

(This article was first published on R – Data Science Africa, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)


We all started R from somewhere. Some of us progressed quickly and some of us struggled and suffered through every step. But we all started. This post is written for the absolute beginners, and details how to install R, RStudio and how to deal with package installation problems.




  • And then you open and operate out of RStudio (you don’t need to use R directly, RStudio will use it for you in a more convenient way).
  • The next thing that you will need to be able to do is install packages. This is as simple as writing:


However, frequently the installation process fails (most times this is due to an antivirus or firewall issue. When the installation fails, it is typically one of two things: The package will download partially (in that case, just run the install command again), or it will download correctly, but didn’t copy over to your library correctly. This error will look like this:


When this happens, you will have to finish copying links over yourself. To do this:

  • copy the folder location marked with “copy this link” above, and open a windows explorer session there.
  • Find the zip file for whatever package you were trying to download
  • Open the zip file to reveal a folder
  • Finally, copy THAT folder into your Library (the path to your library is given in R… take a look at the R screenshot above and note where it says “THIS IS YOUR LIBRARY”


Welcome to R!!

The post Getting started… first steps into R appeared first on Data Science Africa.

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