Steps to install R on personally-owned Windows machines

  1. Go to and download latest version of R

  2. During the installation process, accept all of the defaults

  3. Once the install is complete, open R - admittedly it's not very exciting to look at, RStudio will help with that

  4. At the command prompt type .libPaths()

    + This function returns the directories where R can store your downloaded packages

    + As you're installing R for the first time, there may be only one directory listed now - as you use R the number of directories is likely to increase

    + The order of the directories indicates the order R will use in trying to store the package

    + A custom library may be specified by creating an environment variable called R_LIBS and assigning it the path of the desired folder

    + If you don't know how to set environment variables don't worry about this right now

  5. Now type names(installed.packages()[,1])

  6. This returns a list of the packages that installs with R
  7. These packages should be stored in the first directory returned by .libPaths()

Installing R Packages

  1. The real power of R is experienced by using AND creating packages

  2. R packages can be downloaded and used like apps on your smartphone

  3. Packages allow researchers to share their work with the world, very quickly

  4. Packages allow users to use the latest methods, almost immediately after they are developed

  5. In many cases there's an app a package for that!

  6. There are also several 'stores' or repositories from which packages can be installed

    a. The Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) - the official repository for R packages

    b. GitHub - many packages are stored here prior to being accepted for publication to the CRAN

    c. Bioconductor - a repository of bioinformatics-related R packages

    d. The Microsoft R Archive Network (MRAN)

  7. Ok, let's install a package to make sure everything is working

    a. Run install.packages('data.table') to install the data.table package from the CRAN

    b. As this is your first package, you will likely be asked to choose a 'CRAN mirror' - select 0 - Cloud

    c. You may then be asked if you would like to create a personal library - select Yes and accept the default folder location

    d. If the package (and it's dependencies) downloaded you're all set to continue

    e. If the package failed to download, skip ahead to 2) Installing RStudio and try to install the data.table package again once RStudio is installed

  8. In addition to the data.table package there are several packages every R user needs

  9. To install these packages paste the following lines into R

    a. install.packages(c('installr','devtools','rmarkdown'))

    b. install.packages(c('DT','knitcitations','RefManageR'))

    c. install.packages(c('shiny','RJSONIO','xtable'))

  10. If these packages (and their dependencies) install - you're all set!

Try the teachingApps package in your browser

Any scripts or data that you put into this service are public.

teachingApps documentation built on July 1, 2020, 5:58 p.m.