This is a short post giving steps on how to actually install R packages. Let’s suppose you want to install the ggplot2 package. Well nothing could be easier. We just fire up an R shell and type:
In theory the package should just install, however:
- if you are using Linux and don’t have root access, this command won’t work.
- you will be asked to select your local mirror, i.e. which server should you use to download the package.
Installing packages without root access
First, you need to designate a directory where you will store the downloaded packages. On my machine, I use the directory
/data/Rpackages/ After creating a package directory, to install a package we use the command:
> library(ggplot2, lib.loc="/data/Rpackages/")
It’s a bit of a pain having to type
/data/Rpackages/ all the time. To avoid this burden, we create a file
.Renviron in our home area, and add the line
R_LIBS=/data/Rpackages/ to it. This means that whenever you start R, the directory
/data/Rpackages/ is added to the list of places to look for R packages and so:
Setting the repository
Every time you install a R package, you are asked which repository R should use. To set the repository and avoid having to specify this at every package install, simply:
- create a file
.Rprofilein your home area.
- Add the following piece of code to it:
cat(".Rprofile: Setting UK repositoryn")
r = getOption("repos") # hard code the UK repo for CRAN
r["CRAN"] = "http://cran.uk.r-project.org"
options(repos = r)
I found this tip in a stackoverflow answer .