pak v0.1.2


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Another Approach to Package Installation

The goal of 'pak' is to make package installation faster and more reliable. In particular, it performs all HTTP operations in parallel, so metadata resolution and package downloads are fast. Metadata and package files are cached on the local disk as well. 'pak' has a dependency solver, so it finds version conflicts before performing the installation. This version of 'pak' supports CRAN, 'Bioconductor' and 'GitHub' packages as well.



A Fresh Approach to R Package Installation

lifecycle Linux Build
Status Windows Build
status CRAN RStudio mirror
downloads Coverage

pak installs R packages from CRAN, Bioconductor, GitHub, and local files and directories. It is an alternative to install.packages() and devtools::install_github(). pak is fast, safe and convenient.


Install the package from CRAN:


(After installation, you might also want to run pak::pak_setup(); it’ll be run automatically when needed but you might want to do it now to save some time later.)


Call pkg_install() to install CRAN or Bioconductor packages:


To install GitHub packages, use the user/repo syntax:


All dependencies will be installed as well, to the same library.

Why pak?


  • Fast downloads and HTTP queries. pak performs all HTTP requests concurrently.

  • Fast installs. pak builds and installs packages concurrently.

  • Metadata and package cache. pak caches package metadata and all downloaded packages locally. It does not download the same package files over and over again.

  • Lazy installation. pak only installs the packages that are really necessary for the installation. If the requested package and its dependencies are already installed, pak does nothing.


  • Private library (pak’s own package dependencies do not affect your regular package libraries and vice versa).

  • Every pak operation runs in a sub-process, and the packages are loaded from the private library. pak avoids loading packages from your regular package libraries. (These package files would be locked on some systems, and locked packages cannot be updated. pak does not load any package in the main process, except for pak itself).

  • To avoid updating locked packages, pak warns and requests confirmation for loaded packages.

  • Dependency solver. pak makes sure that you end up in a consistent, working state of dependencies. If finds conflicts up front, before attempting installation.


  • BioC packages. pak supports Bioconductor packages out of the box. It uses the Bioconductor version that is appropriate for your R version.

  • GitHub packages. pak supports GitHub packages out of the box. It also supports the Remotes entry in DESCRIPTION files, so that GitHub dependencies of GitHub packages will also get installed. See e.g.

  • Package sizes. For CRAN packages pak shows the total sizes of packages it needs to download.


  • Support GitLab repositories
  • Support Bitbucket repositories
  • Support package URLs
  • Support system requirements
  • Support older CRAN package versions
  • Support older BioConductor package versions
  • Support GitHub pull requests
  • Support local CRAN mirrors
  • Support the Additional_repositories DESCRIPTION field
  • Support SVN repos


GPL-3 © RStudio

Functions in pak

Name Description
local_install_deps Install the dependencies of a package tree
proj_create Create a project that has a private package library
proj_install Install project dependencies into the project library
pkg_remove Remove installed packages
pak_create_private_lib Install pak's dependencies into its private library
pak_cleanup Clean up pak caches and/or the pak library
proj_install_dev Install project dependencies, including development dependencies, into private project library
pkg_status Display installed locations of a package
proj_remove Remove package(s) from a project
pak_sitrep pak SITuation REPort
pkg_install Install a package
lib_status Status of packages in a library
local_install Install a package tree
proj_status Status of packages in the project library
pak_private_library The pak private library
pak_package_sources Package sources
local_package_trees Local package trees
local_install_dev_deps Install all dependencies of a package tree
pak_setup Install pak's dependencies into its private library
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