Using Use

The renv::use() function can make it easier to define stand-alone R scripts that include their R package requirements directly in the script itself. For example:

# write down the set of packages required by this script
  "digest",         # use the latest-available version of digest
  "rlang@0.3.4"     # use an older release of rlang (installed from archive)

# use the requested packages
digest::digest(list(answer = 42))

Running a script with these contents will:

  1. Automatically download the requested packages (the latest release of digest, alongside rlang 0.3.4),

  2. Install the requested packages (plus their recursive package dependencies) to a temporary library path,

  3. Activate that library path, so that it’s used subsequently in the script.

renv::use() can hence be a useful way of sharing standalone R scripts with a set of specific package requirements. Running these scripts will ensure the requested packages are automatically downloaded and installed.