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R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics (http://www.r-project.org/).

Installing R

It is very easy to install R in Arch Linux:

# pacman -S r

R has some dependencies in tcl and tk (required to install an R package from R). To install then:

# pacman -S tcl tk

Some external packages may require to be compile in Fortran as well, so installing gcc-fortran can be a good idea:

# pacman -S gcc-fortran

Installing R packages

There are many add-on R packages, which can be browsed on The R Website.. They can be installed from within R using the R install.packages command. It is not necessary to be superuser or have root privileges when doing this -- R can install its packages locally for the individual user. This is the safest way to install R packages and won't conflict with the pacman package management.

To set the location of your local R package library, create a ~/.Renviron file and set R_LIBS_USER:


Running R

R can be run from the command line, by using the R command:

$ R

Adding a graphical frontend to R

The linux version of R does not include a graphical user interface. However, third-party user interfaces for R are available, such as R commander and RKWard.

R Commander frontend

R Commander is a popular user interface to R. There is no Arch linux package available to install R commander, but it is an R package so it can be installed easily from within R. R Commander requires Tk:

# pacman -S tk

To install R Commander, run 'R' from the command line. Then type:

> install.packages("Rcmdr", dependencies=TRUE)

This can take some time.

You can then start R Commander from within R using the library command:

> library("Rcmdr")

RKWard frontend

RKWard is an open-source frontend which allows for data import and browsing as well as running common statistical tests and plots. You can install rkwardAUR from AUR.

Rstudio IDE

RStudio an open-source R IDE. It includes many modern conveniences such as parentheses matching, tab-completion, tool-tip help popups, and a spreadsheet-like data viewer.

Install rstudio-desktop-binAUR (binary version from the Rstudio project website) or rstudio-desktop-gitAUR (development version) from AUR.

The R library path is often configured with the R_LIBS environment variable. RStudio ignores this, so the user must set R_LIBS_USER in ~/.Renviron, as documented above.