Module 6 Setting up RStudio

First, let’s get the right programs installed on your computer. Then we will explain what they are and why you need them.

First, download and install R:

Go to the following website, click the Download button, and follow the website’s instructions from there.


Second, download and install RStudio:

Go to the following website and choose the free Desktop version:


Third, make sure RStudio opens successfully:

Open the RStudio app. A window should appear that looks like this:


Fourth, make sure R is running correctly in the background:

In RStudio, in the pane on the left (the “Console”), type 2+2 and hit Enter.
If R is working properly, the number “4” will be printed in the next line down.


Finally, some minor adjustments to make RStudio run smoother (and look cooler):

Go to Tools > Global Options and make sure your General settings match these exactly:

Specifically, uncheck the option under Workspace to ‘Restore .RData into workspace at startup.’

Now go to the Appearance settings and choose a cool theme!



Instructor tip:

These installations can be clunky with a large class, and it is never fun to start out with a bunch of technical hang-ups. We recommend assigning this work prior to the start of the first class. Hold office hours the hour before class in order to troubleshoot one-on-one with students if they need help.


Appendix, install supplementary software:

In order to install certain packages, you’ll need to take one more step:

  • On Windows, download and run the installer
  • On Mac, you need Xcode Command Line Tools. You might already have this. Check by running devtools::has_devel(). If You don’t have it, open shell/terminal and run
xcode-select --install