R (programming language)/Installation

On this page you can learn about the installation (setup) of R on a Windows PC. Please note that R is a multi platform programming language working also under MacOS X and Linux machines. The description on these should be added here as well.





To install R under Windows operating system you have to download the binaries from the web. First go to r-project.org and click CRAN under download section on the left panel and select a mirror site, from where you could download the required content. The best idea is pick a mirror closest to your actual geographical location, but other ones should work as well. The click Windows and in subdirectories base. The windows binary is the exe file, in form R-x.x.x-win32.exe, where x denotes the actual version of the program. Regardless of the version the setup has the same steps.


Selecting components at the beginning
The final step

As usually in Windows, if you click just the Next button, you will install the program without any problems. There are few things, that you can alter however.

  1. On the welcome screen click Next.
  2. Read or just notice the GNU license, and click Next.
  3. Select the location, where R should be installed. In case you don't prefer a particular location on your hard disc, the default choice will be OK for you.
  4. During the next step you can specify which parts of R you want to install. Choices are: User installation, Minimal user installation, Full installation and Custom installation. Notice the required space under the selection panel (varies between 20 and 66 MB). In case you are a beginner in R, choose the default User installation.
  5. In this step you can choose between 2 ways. If you accept defaults, you skip the 3 "extra" steps during installation (see lower).
  6. You can specify the Start menu folder.
  7. In the next step you can choose, between shortcut possibilities (desktop icon and/or quick launch icon) and specify registry entries.

Extra steps:
With these steps you can customize the R graphic user interface.

  • You can choose if you want an R graphic user interface covering the whole screen (MDI) or a smaller window (SDI).
  • You can select the style, how the Help screen is displayed in R. You will use help a lot, so this may be an important decision. It is up to you, which style you prefer. Please note, that the content of help file will be the same regardless of your choice. Here you specify just the appearance of that particular window.
  • In the next step you can specify, whether you want to use internet2.dll. If you are a beginner, pick the Standard option here.



The 3 extra steps:






First of all, you have to download the bundle package for MacOS X, so go to [1]. Stable release to-date is 3.1.2 "Pumpkin Helmet". Simply install the package you downloaded and three main components will be installed: R framework, Tcl/Tk support for GUI and R.app (main IDE with GUI). You may want to consider another IDE, if so RStudio is a good choice. Both the bundle package and RStudio are freeware.