Installing R and R Studio

We will do all of our work in this course with the free & open source programming language R. While you can run everything you need directly in the command line using R, it is a lot more convenient to use an integrated development environment (IDE) like R Studio. Think of R as the engine of a car, and R Studio as the dashboard.

You will need to install both, but we will ever only open R Studio.

Installing R

First you will need to download and install R on your computer.

  1. Go to the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) that maintains R and its official packages at:
  2. Click on “Download R for …” your operating system (Mac or Windows)
  • If you use a Mac, scroll to the first .pkg file listed on the left and download.
  • If you use Windows, click on base (“This what you want to install R for the first time”)
  1. Install the downloaded package like you would any software application on your computer.
  • Typically, open the file from your Downloads folder (or whever you save downloaded files) and follow the prompts to install on your computer.
  1. If you use a Mac, also download and install XQuartz ( You do not need to do this on Windows.

Install R Studio

  1. Go to and download the free desktop version.
  2. The website should automatically detect your operating system and give you a large button to click to download the application.
  3. Install the downloaded package like you would any software application on your computer.

R Studio Cloud

R is free, but sometimes can be difficult to install and configure on your computer. To make things easier, and to ensure everyone has a consistent experience for class, you can (and should) use the free Rstudio.Cloud service initially. This allows you to run R in your browser (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc), meaning you don’t need to worry about installing things on your computer.

Go to and create an account (please use your first and last name). I will send you a link via email to join our class workspace.

R Studio Cloud is convenient, but is not designed to be as fully customizable and extensive as the main desktop version. I would start with the Cloud version if you have trouble with your own computer or computers on campus running R or R Studio. But ultimately, you will want to eventually do everything on your own computer and not the cloud version.