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Allow installing package dependencies from repositories not named CRAN #1762

jmcphers opened this issue Nov 16, 2017 · 2 comments


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Today, we test to see if versions of needed packages are available in either:

  1. a repository named "CRAN", if available, or
  2. the first repository, if repositories are not named.

This logic lives here:

.rs.addFunction("packageCRANVersionAvailable", function(name, version, source) {
# get the specified CRAN repo
repo <- NA
repos <- getOption("repos")
# the repos option is canonically a named character vector, but could also
# be a named list
if (is.character(repos) || is.list(repos)) {
if (is.null(names(repos))) {
# no indication of which repo is which, presume the first entry to be
# CRAN if it's of character type
if (length(repos) > 0 && is.character(repos[[1]]))
repo <- repos[[1]]
} else {
# use repo named CRAN
repo <- as.character(repos["CRAN"])
# if no default repo and no repo marked CRAN, give up
if ( {
return(list(version = "", satisfied = FALSE))
# get the available packages and extract the version information
type <- ifelse(source, "source", getOption("pkgType"))
pkgs <- available.packages(
contriburl = contrib.url(repo, type = type))
if (!(name %in% row.names(pkgs))) {
return(list(version = "", satisfied = FALSE))
pkgVersion <- pkgs[name, "Version"]
version = pkgVersion,
satisfied = package_version(pkgVersion) >= package_version(version)))

However, we've found in the wild that it's possible that a CRAN-like repository may be named something other than CRAN. This is the motivation this Packrat change, which switches from a whitelist to a blacklist for identifying CRAN-like repos:


We should be more permissive in RStudio, too. The proposal here is to change RStudio such that it looks for needed packages in:

  1. a repository named "CRAN", if available, or
  2. the first repository otherwise, regardless of name.
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jmcphers commented Dec 1, 2017

Backported to 1.1 in 3c99f02.

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ronblum commented Dec 5, 2017

Verified in RStudio server and desktop v1.1.393.

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