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R comes with a very large number of packages, many of which available through nixpkgs. In particular, any package available through CRAN.

Similarly to Python, your packages must be declared when installing R. Commands such as install.packages("ggplot2") will not work.

To install R with a collection of packages, a new nix package must be defined, for instance

with pkgs;
  R-with-my-packages = rWrapper.override{ packages = with rPackages; [ ggplot2 dplyr xts ]; };
in ...

and then you can put R-with-my-packages into your environment.systemPackages for a system-wide installation, for instance.

If you with to use `nix-shell` to generate an on-the-fly environment with some R packages, the command is similar:

nix-shell --packages 'rWrapper.override{packages = [ rPackages.ggplot2 ];}'


RStudio uses a standard set of packages and ignores any custom R environments, like the one set up above. To install it you can use rstudioWrapper just as we used rWrapper earlier.

RStudio-with-my-packages = rstudioWrapper.override{ packages = with rPackages; [ ggplot2 dplyr xts ]; };

Jupyter Notebook

Use jupyterWith

This shell.nix file creates a jupyter environment with the IRKernel available.

{ pkgs ? import <nixpkgs> {} }:                                                 
  jupyter = import (pkgs.fetchFromGitHub {                                      
    owner = "tweag";                                                            
    repo = "jupyterWith";                         
    # Replace this with current revision.                              
    rev = "269999caa8d506e93ff56c8643cecb91ded2fdef";                           
    sha256 = "08iig872ay8d711n2gbfzrf496m9x9a9xwr0xca9hn7j61c3xr43";            
    fetchSubmodules = true;                                                     
  }) {};                                                                        
  kernels = jupyter.kernels;                                                    
  irkernel = kernels.iRWith {                
      name = "nixpkgs";                                                         
      # Libraries to be available to the kernel.                                
      packages = p: with p; [                                                   
  jupyterEnvironment = (jupyter.jupyterlabWith {                                
      kernels = [ irkernel ];                                                   

R with Lorri

An example of a shell.nix for usage with lorri is shown below:

  pkgs = import <nixpkgs> {};
  pkgs.mkShell {
    buildInputs = with pkgs; [

A note on knitr

To knit a .Rmd file to a pdf (or .Rnw), you need to have included in your envronment pkgs.texlive.combined.scheme-fullas well as pandoc or it will fail to knit. None of the other texlive packages contain the proper "frame" package. Note there are likely other workarounds but this requires the least effort.

Other Editors

with vim - nvim-r

with emacs - emacs speaks statistics

External Documentation

Officer package

When the R package "officer" has been installed from the Nix package manager, "save_as_docx" does not work:

Error in write_xml.xml_document(private$doc, file = private$filename) : Error closing file Calls: save_as_docx ... print.rdocx -> <Anonymous> -> write_xml -> write_xml.xml_document In addition: Warning messages: 1: In write_xml.xml_document(private$doc, file = private$filename) : Permission denie [1501] 2: In write_xml.xml_document(private$doc, file = private$filename) : Permission denie [1501]

However officer does work if installed using the conventional install.packages() which can be enabled as discussed in https://churchman.nl/tag/r/