Change R default library path using .libPaths in R

2019-08-11 14:17发布

I am running R on Windows, not as an administrator. When I install a package, the following command doesn't work:

> install.packages("zoo")
Installing package(s) into ‘C:/Program Files/R/R-2.15.2/library’
(as ‘lib’ is unspecified)
Warning in install.packages :
  'lib = "C:/Program Files/R/R-2.15.2/library"' is not writable

To install a package, I have to specify a library location:

install.packages("zoo", lib="C:/software/Rpackages")

To load a package, I also have to specify the library location:

library("zoo", lib.loc="C:/software/Rpackages")

All of this is OK, but I wanted to see if I could add C:/software/Rpackages to the library path somehow and thus not have to type it each time.

As I searched online, I found that one way to do this is to edit the file and to add the line


However, after doing this, and starting RStudio, this is the output that I get

> .libPaths()
[1] "C:/Program Files/R/R-2.15.2/library" "C:/Program Files/RStudio/R/library" 

The .libPaths command that I added to the doesn't seem to have had any effect! Why is this the case? Or more importantly, how can I fix the problem so that I can install and load packages without typing in the library location?

Note: if I start RStudio the .libPaths() command seems to work as it is supposed to

> .libPaths()
[1] "C:/software/Rpackages"               "C:/Program Files/R/R-2.15.2/library"

Isn't that strange?

2楼-- · 2019-08-11 14:26
# [1] "C:/Users/..../software/My R studio"

copy the above link with double inverted comma

.libPaths(new="C:/Users/..../software/My R studio")

Your default path will change for installing pakages

3楼-- · 2019-08-11 14:29

I managed to solve the problem by placing the code in the .Rprofile file in the default working directory.

First, I found the location of the default working directory

> getwd()
[1] "C:/Users/me/Documents"

Then I used a text editor to write a simple .Rprofile file with the following line in it


Finally, when I start R and run .libPaths() I get the desired output:

> .libPaths()
[1] "C:/software/Rpackages"               "C:/Program Files/R/R-2.15.2/library"
[3] "C:/Program Files/RStudio/R/library"
4楼-- · 2019-08-11 14:29

just change the default folder for your R libraries in a directory with no Administrator rights, e.g.

5楼-- · 2019-08-11 14:32

I've had real trouble understanding this. gorkypl gave the correct solution above when I last re-installed my OS & Rstudio but this time round, setting my environment variable didn't resolve.

Uninstallled both R and Rstudio, creating directories C:\R and C:\Rstudio then reinstalled both.

Define R_LIBS_USER user variable to your prefered directory (as per gorkypl's answer) and restart your machine for User variable to be loaded. Open Rstudio, errors should be gone.

You can also use Sys.setenv() to modify R_LIBS_USER to the path of your alternative library which is easier and does not need to restart your computer.

To see what R_LIBS_USER is set to: ?Sys.getenv()

Reading help(Startup) is useful.

6楼-- · 2019-08-11 14:33

I generally try to keep all of my packages in one library, but if you want to add a library why not append the new library (which must already exist in your filesystem) to the existing library path?

.libPaths( c( .libPaths(), "~/userLibrary") )

Or (and this will make the userLibrary the first place to put new packages):

.libPaths( c( "~/userLibrary" , .libPaths() ) )

Then I get (at least back when I wrote this originally):

> .libPaths()
[1] "/Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Versions/2.15/Resources/library"
[2] "/Users/user_name/userLibrary"  

The .libPaths function is a bit different than most other nongraphics functions. It works via side-effect. The functions Sys.getenv and Sys.setenv that report and alter the R environment variables have been split apart but .libPaths can either report or alter its target.

The information about the R startup process can be read at ?Startup help page and there is RStudio material at:

In your case it appears that RStudio is not respecting the settings or perhaps is overriding them by reading an .Rprofile setting from one of the RStudio defaults. It should also be mentioned that the result from this operation also appends the contents of calls to .Library and, which is further reason why an RStudio- (or any other IDE or network installed-) hosted R might exhibit different behavior.

Since Sys.getenv() returns the current system environment for the R process, you can see the library and other paths with:

Sys.getenv()[ grep("LIB|PATH", names(Sys.getenv())) ]

The two that matter for storing and accessing packages are (now different on a Linux box):

R_LIBS_SITE                          /usr/local/lib/R/site-library:/usr/lib/R/site-library:/usr/lib/R/library
R_LIBS_USER                          /home/david/R/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-library/3.5.1/
7楼-- · 2019-08-11 14:35

I was looking into this because R was having issues installing into the default location and was instead just putting the packages into the temp folder. It turned out to be the latest update for Mcaffee Endpoint Security which apparently has issues with R. You can disable the threat protection while you install the packages and it will work properly.

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