Packrat is a dependency management system for R.
Use packrat to make your R projects more:
- Isolated: Installing a new or updated package for one project won't break your other projects, and vice versa. That's because packrat gives each project its own private package library.
- Portable: Easily transport your projects from one computer to another, even across different platforms. Packrat makes it easy to install the packages your project depends on.
- Reproducible: Packrat records the exact package versions you depend on, and ensures those exact versions are the ones that get installed wherever you go.
Start by installing Packrat:
Then, start a new R session at the base directory of your project and type:
This will install Packrat, set up a private library to be used for this
project, and then place you in
packrat mode. While in packrat mode, calls to
remove.packages will modify the
private project library, rather than the user library.
When you want to manage the state of your private library, you can use the Packrat functions:
packrat::snapshot(): Save the current state of your library.
packrat::restore(): Restore the library state saved in the most recent snapshot.
packrat::clean(): Remove unused packages from your library.
Share a Packrat project with
packrat::bundle(): Bundle a packrat project, for easy sharing.
packrat::unbundle(): Unbundle a packrat project, generating a project directory with libraries restored.
Navigate projects and set/get options with:
packrat::off(): Toggle packrat mode on and off, for navigating between projects within a single R session.
packrat::set_opts: Get/set project-specific settings.
Manage ad-hoc local repositories (note that these are a separate entity from CRAN-like repositories):
packrat::set_opts(local.repos = ...)can be used to specify local repositories; that is, directories containing (unzipped) package sources.
packrat::install_local()installs packages available in a local repository.
For example, suppose I have the (unzipped) package sources for
within the folder
~/git/R/digest/. To install this package, you can use:
packrat::set_opts(local.repos = "~/git/R") packrat::install_local("digest")
There are also utility functions for using and managing packages in the
external / user library, and can be useful for leveraging packages in the user
library that you might not want as project-specific dependencies, e.g.
packrat::extlib(): Load an external package.
packrat::with_extlib(): With an external package, evaluate an expression. The external package is loaded only for the duration of the evaluated expression, but note that there may be other side effects associated with the package's
.onUnloadcalls that we may not be able to fully control.
Packrat supports a set of common analytic workflows:
packrat::init()to initialize packrat with your project, and use it to manage your project library while you develop your analysis. As you install and remove packages, you can use
packrat::restore()to maintain the R packages in your project. For collaboration, you can either use your favourite version control system, or use
packrat::bundle()to generate a bundled version of your project that collaborators can use with
When-you're-done: take an existing or complete analysis (preferably collected within one directory), and call
packrat::init()to immediately obtain R package sources for all packages used in your project, and snapshot that state so it can hence be preserved across time.
Setting up your own custom, CRAN-like repositories
Please view the set-up guide here for a simple walkthrough in how you might set up your own, local, custom CRAN repository.