Generate PACKAGES files

Generate ‘PACKAGES’ and ‘PACKAGES.gz’ files for a repository of source or Mac/Windows binary packages.

utilities, file
write_PACKAGES(dir = ".", fields = NULL, type = c("source", "mac.binary", "win.binary"), verbose = FALSE, unpacked = FALSE, subdirs = FALSE, latestOnly = TRUE, addFiles = FALSE)
Character vector describing the location of the repository (directory including source or binary packages) to generate the ‘PACKAGES’ and ‘PACKAGES.gz’ files from and write them to.
a character vector giving the fields to be used in the ‘PACKAGES’ and ‘PACKAGES.gz’ files in addition to the default ones, or NULL (default). The default corresponds to the fields needed by available.packages: "Package", "Version", "Priority", "Depends", "Imports", "LinkingTo", "Suggests", "Enhances", "OS_type", "License" and "Archs", and those fields will always be included, plus the file name in field "File" if addFile = TRUE and the path to the subdirectory in field "Path" if subdirectories are used.
Type of packages: currently source ‘.tar.gz’ archives, and Mac or Windows binary (‘.tgz’ or ‘.zip’, respectively) packages are supported. Defaults to "win.binary" on Windows and to "source" otherwise.
logical. Should packages be listed as they are processed?
a logical indicating whether the package contents are available in unpacked form or not (default).
either logical (to indicate if subdirectories should be included, recursively) or a character vector of name of subdirectories to include.
logical: if multiple versions of a package are available should only the latest version be included?
logical: should the filenames be included as field File in the ‘PACKAGES’ file.

write_PACKAGES scans the named directory for R packages, extracts information from each package's ‘DESCRIPTION’ file, and writes this information into the ‘PACKAGES’ and ‘PACKAGES.gz’ files.

Including non-latest versions of packages is only useful if they have less constraining version requirements, so for example latestOnly = FALSE could be used for a source repository when foo_1.0 depends on R >= 2.15.0 but foo_0.9 is available which depends on R >= 2.11.0.

Support for repositories with subdirectories and hence for subdirs != FALSE depends on recording a "Path" field in the ‘PACKAGES’ file.

Support for more general file names (e.g. other types of compression) via a "File" field in the ‘PACKAGES’ file can be used by download.packages. If the file names are not of the standard form, use addFiles = TRUE.

type = "win.binary" uses unz connections to read all ‘DESCRIPTION’ files contained in the (zipped) binary packages for Windows in the given directory dir, and builds files ‘PACKAGES’ and ‘PACKAGES.gz’ files from this information.


Invisibly returns the number of packages described in the resulting ‘PACKAGES’ and ‘PACKAGES.gz’ files. If 0, no packages were found and no files were written.


Processing ‘.tar.gz’ archives to extract the ‘DESCRIPTION’ files is quite slow.

This function can be useful on other OSes to prepare a repository to be accessed by Windows machines, so type = "win.binary" should work on all OSes.

See Also

See read.dcf and write.dcf for reading ‘DESCRIPTION’ files and writing the ‘PACKAGES’ and ‘PACKAGES.gz’ files.

  • write_PACKAGES
library(tools) ## Not run: # write_PACKAGES("c:/myFolder/myRepository") # on Windows # write_PACKAGES("/pub/RWin/bin/windows/contrib/2.9", # type = "win.binary") # on Linux # ## End(Not run)
Documentation reproduced from package tools, version 3.1.0, License: Part of R 3.1.0

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