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Testing renv and RStudio Package Manager

This repo provides a quick example of how to combine renv and RStudio Package Manager (RSPM) to create a reproducible R project.

The repo contains a single demo script, creatively called script.R. To install all of the R packages needed to run this script, simply clone the repo and then run the following commands in your R console:

#renv::init()    ## Automatically run if you cloned/opened the repo as an RStudio project
renv::restore()  ## Enter "y" when prompted

This will automatically download all of the necessary packages in a sandboxed, project-specific library. You are now free to run my (amazing) script.

Details

renv generates an environment lockfile that snapshots package versions and dependencies. The lockfile here references against RSPM as the default package repository (i.e. where to download packages from), rather than one of the usual CRAN mirrors. Among other things, this enables time-travelling across different package versions and fast installation of pre-compiled R package binaries on Linux.

While renv and RSPM certainly can work independently of another, they work very well as complements. One reason is that you need simply set the base RSPM repo URL (e.g. options(repos = c(RSPM = "https://packagemanager.rstudio.com/all/latest"))) and renv will automatically transform the URL so that it fetches the binaries appropriate for your platform (OS, distro, etc.), or whoever else you have shared your lockfile with. For this example, I have enabled this behaviour directly in the project's local .Rprofile file. I expect that this approach makes sense for the majority of use cases. As an aside, note that RSPM does not yet provide binaries for Mac, hence I am defaulting to CRAN/MRAN for those users. Here is the relevant part of the project's .Rprofile file:

## For Linux and Windows users, we'll use RStudio Package Manager (RSPM).
if (Sys.info()[['sysname']] %in% c('Linux', 'Windows')) {
	options(repos = c(RSPM = "https://packagemanager.rstudio.com/all/latest"))
	} else {
		## For Mac users, we'll default to installing from CRAN/MRAN instead, since
		## RSPM does not yet support Mac binaries.
		options(repos = c(CRAN = "https://cran.rstudio.com/"))
		# options(renv.config.mran.enabled = TRUE) ## TRUE by default
	}
options(renv.config.repos.override = getOption("repos"))

Here is a video of me explaining the same ideas at greater length.

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