R resources

Collection of resources about R, a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics.


What is R?

Read the R page on Wikipedia.

Hello World

Anybody can downlad latest R build and launch its environment, but the first thing that has real value, in my opinion, is to schedule R script to create daily reports. My use case is a set of script scheduled nightly on an Ubuntu crontab. Follows setup instructions

Install R on Ubuntu

# See instructions here: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-r-on-ubuntu-16-04-2
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys E298A3A825C0D65DFD57CBB651716619E084DAB9
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb [arch=amd64,i386] https://cran.rstudio.com/bin/linux/ubuntu xenial/'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install r-base

Create an hello-world.R script that generates a /tmp/hello-R.png plot file.

#!/usr/bin/env Rscript

data <- c(1, 3, 6, 4, 9)

# Exit without saving workspace
quit(save = "no", status = 0, runLast = TRUE)

Note that the R executable is a REPL and not intendend to be used in a shebang, use Rscript instead. Make it executable with chmod +x hello-world.R as usual, and then you can launch it or schedule it.


The killer app of R is CRAN and its massive number of available packages. How to use and install them? If you are on a remote Linux server, you should create a folder for your user libs, for instance

mkdir $HOME/.R_packages

and add to your profile

export R_LIBS_USER=$HOME/.R_packages

I suggest to install Tidyverse that is a collection of R packages.

On Ubuntu, install required deps

sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev -y

Then pick up a CRAN mirror from this list and create an install_packages.R script like

#!/usr/bin/env Rscript

install.packages("tidyverse", repos="https://ftp.heanet.ie/mirrors/cran.r-project.org/")

You can make it executable and run it when necessary.


The R Project for Statistical Computing



R Graphical Manual

Learn R Programming

Free books online

See my book collection


introducing R to a non-programmer in one hour

7+ ways to plot dendrograms in R