Installing Packages

This page describes what a package is, what happens during installation, and the tools you can use to install packages.

The best resource for understanding package installation is Wickham’s “What is a package?”.

Most R users are familiar with the R function install.packages. Here, we recommend two alternatives:

  1. The pak package is used to install packages interactively. pak is designed to help humans install packages quickly and safely.

  2. The remotes package is used to install packages programmatically. remotes is designed with to help machines install package. The remotes package is intentionally lightweight and does not, itself, have any dependencies.1

Back to top


  1. remotes powers devtools::install_ and is a suitable, lightweight alternative.↩︎