When you want to share a project with other collaborators, you may
want to ensure everyone is working with the same environment –
otherwise, code in the project may unexpectedly fail to run because of
changes in behavior between different versions of the packages in use.
You can use
renv to help make this possible.
If you’re planning to collaborate with others using
renv, we recommend the following steps to get started:
Select a way to share your project sources. We recommend using a version control system alongside a public repository; e.g. git with GitHub, but many other options are available.
One user (perhaps yourself) should explicitly initialize
renv in the project, via
will create the initial
renv lockfile, and also write the
renv auto-loaders to the project’s
renv/activate.R. These will ensure the right version of
renv is downloaded and installed for your collaborators
when they start in this project.
Share your project sources, alongside the generated lockfile
renv.lock. Be sure to also share the generated auto-loaders
When a collaborator first launches in this project,
renv should automatically bootstrap itself, thereby
downloading and installing the appropriate version of
into the project library. After this has completed, they can then use
renv::restore() to restore the project library locally on
renv auto-loader is not enabled, or if the
.Rprofile is not shared, your collaborator may see
the following after calling
> renv::restore() This project has not yet been activated. Activating this project will ensure the project library is used during restore. Please see `?renv::activate` for more details. Would you like to activate this project before restore? [Y/n]:
They can enter
Y to ensure the project is activated
before restore, thereby ensuring that
restores package into the project library as expected.
For more information on collaboration strategies, please visit environments.rstudio.com.
While working on a project, you or your collaborators may need to update or install new packages in your project. When this occurs, you’ll also want to ensure your collaborators are then using the same newly-installed packages. In general, the process looks like this:
A user installs, or updates, one or more packages in their local project library;
That user calls
renv::snapshot() to update the
That user then shares the updated version of
renv.lock with their collaborators;
Other collaborators then call
install the packages specified in the newly-updated lockfile.
A bit of care is required if collaborators wish to update the shared
renv.lock lockfile concurrently – in particular, if
multiple collaborators are installing new packages and updating their
own local copy of the lockfile, then conflicts would need to be sorted
One way to guard against this it to use a version control system, and
have all collaborators work off the same branch. This way, if someone
needs to update
renv.lock in the public repository, all
collaborators will see that updated lockfile and will gain access to it
next time they pull those changes. Depending on the size of your team,
you may want to ensure any changes to
communicated so that everyone knows and understands when and why
packages have been installed or updated.