R for absolute beginners: Setup

Setup instructions

Where to install?

Please do NOT install R and RStudio on Onedrive or other clouddrives. R will work but you will not be able to install the extensions to R that you will need in this course!

R and RStudio are separate downloads and installations. R is the underlying statistical computing environment, but using R alone is no fun. RStudio is a graphical integrated development environment (IDE) that makes using R much easier and more interactive. You need to install R before you install RStudio. Once installed, because RStudio is an IDE, RStudio will run R in the background. You do not need to run it separately.

After installing both programs, you will need to install the tidyverse package from within RStudio. The tidyverse package is a powerful collection of data science tools within R see the tidyverse website for more details. Follow the instructions below for your operating system, and then follow the instructions to install tidyverse.


Rather than installing R and RStudio on your personal computer, Rstudio Cloud offers a free, online alternative, where you will be able to run R and RStudio in your browser. Sign up with your Google/Gmail account if you have one, or with any other email.

The free version of RStudio Cloud places limitations on the number of projects you can work on, and the amount of memory and processing power you can access. For the purposes of following these lessons, RStudio Cloud is perfectly adequate, and what we recommend if you have any problems installing R and RStudio on your personal computer.


If you already have R and RStudio installed

If you don’t have R and RStudio installed


If you already have R and RStudio installed

If you don’t have R and RStudio installed


For all

Data used


You do not need to download the file. We will do that together during the course.