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Drat R Archive Template


The R package ecosystem is one of the cornerstones of the success seen by R. As of September 2017, over 11000 packages are on CRAN, with about one thousand more at BioConductor and probably another hundred at OmegaHat.

Support for multiple repositories is built deeply into R; mostly via the (default) package utils. The update.packages function (along with several others from the utils package) can be used with ease for these three default repositories as well as many others. But it seemed that support for simple creation and use of local repositories was missing.

Drat tries to help here and supports two principal modes:

Please see the next section about how to get started, the package documentation, the drat package page or the blog section on drat for more.

Getting Started

See the vignettes

for the FAQ, two principal uses cases, basic motivation and an overview / introduction. The package documentation provides more details. The drat package page has a longer tutorial, and the blog section on drat has even more.


You can install the package from CRAN via the standard


or alternatively, you can also do

install.packages("drat", repos="http://eddelbuettel.github.io/drat")

to install directly from the drat repository.


The package has been available from CRAN since the Spring of 2015 and starting to get some use. Possible improvements, additions and next steps are listed in the TODO.md file.

A few drat repositories are starting to appear (besides this one). An incomplete list (looking at the direct forks as well as GitHub search):

The rOpenSci project uses drat to distribute their code and has written a nice blog post about it.

Travis Integration

Colin Gillespie has started to integrate Travis CI with drat, see his dratTravis repository for more details, and the contributed vignette Combining Drat and Travis


Dirk Eddelbuettel, with contributions by Carl Boettiger, Sebastian Gibb, Colin Gillespie, Matt Jones, Thomas Leeper, Steven Pav, Jan Schulz, and Christoph Stepper.


GPL (>= 2)