Downloading R and RStudio

If you plan to use R, you will need to download R and install it on your computer. It is also advised that you download and install RStudio. RStudio will make it easier to use R and manage your R scripts. 

Two good things about R, are that it is free and it runs on most computers. 

You can download R from: 

Figure 1 - R Project Main Page

What is CRAN and why is that a good thing? When you try to download R from the R Project website, you will have to pick a CRAN site to get your download of R. CRAN stands for the “Comprehensive R Archive Network” (CRAN), which is a collection of sites carrying identical material, consisting of the R distribution(s), the contributed extensions, documentation for R, and binaries. 

The CRAN master site is at WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien) in Austria and is mirrored daily to many other CRAN sites around the world. Please use the CRAN site closest to you to reduce network load. 

From CRAN, you can obtain the latest official release of R, daily snapshots of R (copies of the current source trees), as gzipped and bzipped tar files, a wealth of additional contributed code, as well as pre-built binaries for various operating systems (Linux, Mac OS Classic, OS X, and MS Windows). CRAN also provides access to documentation on R, existing mailing lists and the R Bug Tracking system. 

Downloading R You can download R from: Simply click on the CRAN link under Download in the list on the left side of the main R site. You can then pick from the list of worldwide CRAN sites for your download. There is a CRAN server at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA. That would be a good option. Clicking on the link will take you to the actual download page. 

Figure 2 - Main CRAN Web PSage

Figure 3 - Washington University Saint Louis CRAN Mirror

The simplest option is to download the pre-compiled binary distribution for your operating system. Links for those are at the top of the Downloads page.

Figure 4 - R Downloads Page

Clicking the link on the downloads page will take you to the file repository. If you are trying to download R for OSX, the page will look like this.

Figure 5 - R OSX Downloads Page

You can either select the most recent version of R [arrow A] or download the version with the latest date [arrow B]. Select the download and save it to your Downloads folder. That is it. You are ready to install R on your computer.

If you are trying to download R for Windows, the page will look like this.

Figure 6 - R File Download Folders for Windows

You only need the base install of R. When you click the link for the base folder the next page will look like this: 

Figure 7 - R Download Files for Windows

Select the most recent version of R [arrow A]. This will be the version with the latest date of posting. If you have questions, you can read the version notes [arrow B]. Select the download and save it to your Downloads folder. That is it. You are ready to install R on your computer.

Downloading RStudio You can use R as it was installed on your computer but that involves entering commands from the Terminal prompt and editing R scripts in a separate text editor. RStudio is an easier option and it provides a useful set of tools that will make your work easier. 

You can download RStudio from Click the Download RStudio button near the top of the page. You will want to download the Open Source Edition of RStudio Desktop. This is the free version of the application. Commercial entities must pay for an RStudio license. As a student, you do not.

Figure 8 - RStudio Main Page

Click the Download RStudio link at the bottom of the page [red arrow] and then click the installer for your operating system. Save the RStudio installer download to the Downloads folder on your computer. Be sure to select the RStudio Desktop Open Source License version. You are ready to install RStudio on your computer. 

Figure 9 - RStudio Downloads Page

Figure 10 - RStudio Installers Page

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