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Install R from Source#

These instructions describe how to install R from source on a Linux server.

We recommend installing R from precompiled binaries instead, following these steps.

Install required dependencies#

  • First follow the steps to enable the required and optional repositories, as listed here.
  • Next, install the build dependencies for R:

    $ sudo yum-builddep R
    $ sudo apt-get build-dep r-base
    $ sudo zypper install \
        gcc \
        gcc-c++ \
        gcc-fortran \
        readline-devel \
        xorg-x11-devel \
        liblzma5 \
        xz-devel \
        pcre-devel \
        libcurl-devel \

Specify R version#

  • Define the version of R that you want to install:

    $ export R_VERSION=4.1.3
    Available versions of R

    Versions of R that are available include:

    4.2.1, 4.2.0, 4.1.3, 4.1.2, 4.1.1, 4.1.0, 4.0.5, 4.0.4, 4.0.3, 4.0.2, 4.0.1, 4.0.0

    3.6.3, 3.6.2, 3.6.1, 3.6.0, 3.5.3, 3.5.2, 3.5.1, 3.5.0, 3.4.4, 3.4.3, 3.4.2, 3.4.1, 3.4.0, 3.3.3, 3.3.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.0

    If you need to use an earlier version of R, then you will need to modify the export command shown above:

    $ export R_VERSION=3.X.X

    Please see the cran.r-project index for all available versions of R.

Download and extract R#

  • Download and extract the version of R that you want to install:

    $ curl -O${R_VERSION}.tar.gz
    $ tar -xzvf R-${R_VERSION}.tar.gz
    $ cd R-${R_VERSION}


    If you need to use R version 3.X.X, then replace R-4 with R-3 in the curl command listed above.

Build and install R#

  • Build and install R by running the following commands:

    $ ./configure \
        --prefix=/opt/R/${R_VERSION} \
        --enable-memory-profiling \
        --enable-R-shlib \
        --with-blas \
    $ make
    $ sudo make install

Verify R installation#

  • Test that R was successfully installed by running:

    $ /opt/R/${R_VERSION}/bin/R --version
  • To ensure that R is available on the default system PATH variable, create symbolic links to the version of R that you installed:

    $ sudo ln -s /opt/R/${R_VERSION}/bin/R /usr/local/bin/R
    $ sudo ln -s /opt/R/${R_VERSION}/bin/Rscript /usr/local/bin/Rscript

We recommend installing several optional system dependencies that are used by common R packages. Additional information about installing them is provided in our documentation.

(Optional) Install multiple versions of R#

If you want to install multiple versions of R on the same server, you can repeat these steps to specify, download, and install a different version of R alongside existing versions.