Package Copier


  1. Amy just got a brand new computer. She is excited and wants to do some R programming right away, until she realize that she doesn't have her favorite packages installed...
  2. Jeff wants to jump start Peter, a student intern who recently joined Jeff's company, on R and teach him some R tricks. As soon as he opens Peter's RStudio, he realizes that he needs to spend some time on installing packages before he can get started.
  3. Steve is TAing a university class using R. He received a lot of questions from students asking for recommendations of good R packages. Steve hates to tell them one by one.
  4. Mary just did a major upgrade for R. She sadly realized that she needs to reinstall her R packages.


Set up R packages in a new environment is annoying.

Even though we have packrat to help us manage package dependency, sometimes the process is still too complicated, especially for new R users. The problem is that packrat manages the project level package dependency (somewhat similar with npm) while in many real world cases, all we need is just to "copy" all the R packages I have on computer A and "paste" them to computer B. Could we just have a simple solution for this simple task?

This package will allow you to copy the names of your favorite packages to a public cloud space using pkg_copy(). Your package info will stay there for 24 hrs and you will get a download code. On a new computer, you can use that code inside pkg_paste() to download all the packages that are not on the new computer. It is just that simple!

How to

In you old environment


Success! You just copied your R package info to cloud!
Your download code is: mh223J3LHD0a
This code will expire in 24 hours. Re-run this function if time runs out.

Then in your new environment

# install.packages("devtools")
# devtools::install_github("haozhu233/pkgcopier")

That's it!



Welcome contributions from all levels. Also, feel free to use the source code in other packages.

Future plans

  1. In case goes down, I will create a centralized file hosted on github or somewhere for similar services.
  2. Currently, I only saved package name to cloud as I believe you should always keep your packages updated and a new environment is a good place to do that. If people needs that feature, I will add it.
  3. Alternatively, users can create permentant download link. I will see what I can do
  4. Also, people should be able to save a specific package list to the cloud instead of backing up their whole library of packages.