INSTALL {utils}R Documentation

Install Add-on Packages


Utility for installing add-on packages.


R CMD INSTALL [options] [-l lib] pkgs


pkgs A space-separated list with the path names of the packages to be installed.
lib the path name of the R library tree to install to.
options a space-separated list of options through which in particular the process for building the help files can be controlled. Options should only be given once. Use R CMD INSTALL --help for the current list of options.


This will stop at the first error, so if you want all the pkgs to be tried, call this via a shell for or foreach loop.

If used as R CMD INSTALL pkgs without explicitly specifying lib, packages are installed into the library tree rooted at the first directory in the library path which would be used by R run in the current environment.

To install into the library tree lib, use R CMD INSTALL -l lib pkgs. This prepends lib to R_LIBS for duration of the install, so required packages in the installation directory will be found (and used in preference to those in other libraries).

Both lib and the elements of pkgs may be absolute or relative path names of directories. pkgs may also contain names of package/bundle archive files of the form ‘pkg_version.tar.gz’ as obtained from CRAN: these are then extracted in a temporary directory. Finally, binary package/bundle archive files (as created by R CMD build --binary can be supplied.

Some package sources contain a ‘configure’ script that can be passed arguments or variables via the option --configure-args and --configure-vars, respectively, if necessary. The latter is useful in particular if libraries or header files needed for the package are in non-system directories. In this case, one can use the configure variables LIBS and CPPFLAGS to specify these locations (and set these via --configure-vars), see section “Configuration variables” in “R Installation and Administration” for more information. (If these are used more than once on the command line, only the last instance is used.) One can bypass the configure mechanism using the option --no-configure.

If --no-docs is given, no help files are built. Options --no-text, --no-html, and --no-latex suppress creating the text, HTML, and LaTeX versions, respectively. The default is to build help files in all three versions.

If the attempt to install the package fails, leftovers are removed. If the package was already installed, the old version is restored. This happens either if a command encounters an error or if the install is interrupted from the keyboard: after cleaning up the script terminates.

Use R CMD INSTALL --help for more usage information.

Packages using the methods package

Packages that require the methods package, and that use functions such as setMethod or setClass, should be installed either (preferably) using lazy-loading or by creating a binary image: use the flags LazyLoad and SaveImage in the ‘DESCRIPTION’ file to ensure this.

See Also

REMOVE and library for information on using several library trees; update.packages for automatic update of packages using the internet (or other R level installation of packages, such as by install.packages).

The section on “Add-on packages” in “R Installation and Administration” and the chapter on “Creating R packages” in “Writing R Extensions” (see RShowDoc and the ‘doc/manual’ subdirectory of the R source tree).

[Package utils version 2.5.0 Index]