packageDescription {utils}R Documentation

Package Description


Parses and returns the ‘DESCRIPTION’ file of a package.


packageDescription(pkg, lib.loc = NULL, fields = NULL, drop = TRUE,
                   encoding = "")


pkg a character string with the package name.
lib.loc a character vector of directory names of R libraries, or NULL. The default value of NULL corresponds to all libraries currently known. If the default is used, the loaded packages are searched before the libraries.
fields a character vector giving the tags of fields to return (if other fields occur in the file they are ignored).
drop If TRUE and the length of fields is 1, then a single character string with the value of the respective field is returned instead of an object of class "packageDescription".
encoding If there is an Encoding field, to what encoding should re-encoding be attempted? If NA, no re-encoding. The other values are as used by iconv, so the default "" indicates the encoding of the current locale.


A package will not be ‘found’ unless it has a ‘DESCRIPTION’ file which contains a valid Version field. Different warnings are given when no package directory is found and when there is a suitable directory but no valid ‘DESCRIPTION’ file.


If a ‘DESCRIPTION’ file for the given package is found and can successfully be read, packageDescription returns an object of class "packageDescription", which is a named list with the values of the (given) fields as elements and the tags as names, unless drop = TRUE.
If parsing the ‘DESCRIPTION’ file was not successful, it returns a named list of NAs with the field tags as names if fields is not null, and NA otherwise.

See Also



packageDescription("stats", fields = c("Package", "Version"))

packageDescription("stats", fields = "Version")
packageDescription("stats", fields = "Version", drop = FALSE)

[Package utils version 2.5.0 Index]