[R] Windows Installation Without Third-Party Packages

John McKown john.archie.mckown at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 20:13:45 CEST 2015

On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 8:42 AM, Elliot Joel Bernstein <ejb6 at cornell.edu>

> I am trying to install R for Windows, but when I use the installer provided
> on CRAN, a number of third-party packages are installed by default (i.e.
> lattice, Matrix, codetools, etc.). If R is installed with administrator
> privileges, so it's available for all users, non-administrators can't
> update those packages. Is there any way to just install R without any
> third-party packages, and let individual users install the packages they
> want?
> Thanks.
> - Elliot
>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

​Please try to not post in HTML, per forum standards.

I don't know if this will help, but I hope so. I think what I did will be
self explanatory

> install.packages('plyr',lib=.libPaths()[1])
trying URL 'http://cran.rstudio.com/bin/windows/contrib/3.1/plyr_1.8.1.zip'
Content type 'application/zip' length 1154715 bytes (1.1 Mb)
opened URL
downloaded 1.1 Mb

package ‘plyr’ successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked

The downloaded binary packages are in
> .libPaths()
[1] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1"
[2] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library"
> .libPaths()
[1] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1"
[2] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library"
> list.dirs(.libPaths()[1])
  [1] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1"

[116] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr"

[117] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/data"

[118] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/help"

[119] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/html"

[120] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/libs"

[121] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/libs/i386"

[122] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/libs/x64"

[123] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/Meta"

[124] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/R"

[125] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/plyr/tests"

[126] "C:/Users/john.mckown/Documents/R/win-library/3.1/R6"


As you can see, "plyr" got installed in my personal area. And it is still
on the system directory:

> list.dirs(.libPaths()[2])[seq(from=1050,to=1061)]
 [1] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/parallel/tests"
 [2] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr"
 [3] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/data"
 [4] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/help"
 [5] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/html"
 [6] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/libs"
 [7] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/libs/i386"
 [8] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/libs/x64"
 [9] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/Meta"
[10] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/R"
[11] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/plyr/tests"
[12] "C:/Program Files/R/R-3.1.1/library/proto"

Pardon the weird subscript, but the list was way to big to cut, paste, and
edit. So your users should be able to force any package, even a "system"
package, into their personal R directory using the "lib=" parameter of the
install.packages() function. This will allow them to update their copy of
any R package from CRAN.

I hope.​

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Maranatha! <><
John McKown

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