Specifying an R environment with a runtime.txt file
Binder supports using R and RStudio, with libraries pinned to a specific snapshot on packagemanager.rstudio.com.
Requirements and suggestions
You need to have a
runtime.txt file that is formatted like:
<r-version> is a version of R (like 4.1, 4.0, etc) you want to use,
<YYYY>-<MM>-<DD> is the date for a snapshot
from packagemanager.rstudio.com that will
be used for installing your R packages.
Try using a date newer than
2022-01-01, as you'll get faster
package installs thanks to binary packages
To install R libraries, add
install.package("<package-name>") calls to
install.R. If you want to pin to a specific version of the library, you
can also do
For some R packages, you might need to install system packages via apt - you can
do so by writing out a list of apt package names in
apt.txt. You can find
the list of such packages in the page for your package at
packagemanager.rstudio.com. Make sure
to select "Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic)" in the dropdown on the top right.
This repository also contains an example of a Shiny app.
There are many ways to use R in mybinder.org!
rocker/binder - this uses a base image from the R community's excellent rocker project - you get a lot of curated base packages, faster binary package installs as well as ability to pin to a specific version of R (>4.0).
r-conda - mybinder.org also supports using the conda package manager to manage R and R packages. This gives you access to specific R versions as well as fast installs of R packages available in conda-forge
Another alternative is to use the holepunch package for R.
URL addresses for RStudio and Shiny environments
The Binder repository can be used to allow anyone to access an RStudio environment containing our code and data right in their web browser. It also allows hosting a Shiny app. For those purposes, we have to append a bit of text to the URL of our Binder repository, which we can find out at mybinder.org when we enter the URL of our original repository from GitHub or Figshare, etc.
For the RStudio environment, we must add the following at the end of the URL:
For the Shiny app environment, we must add the following at the end of the URL:
?urlpath=shiny. In this case, we also have to note that if the Shiny app files are located in a folder, this folder should be specified in the URL, after a slash. We would then also have to put in a trailing slash at the end of the URL, and to avoid spaces in the name of the repository, placing instead a hyphen (the reason is that spaces are converted to