Checking an R package
If you’d never previously written an R package, then you’ve probably never used
R CMD check. But this is an essential tool for R package developers,
and you are now an R package developer. (That is, if you’ve been
doing your homework.)
R CMD check runs all sorts of checks on the contents of an R
package, and gives warnings and error messages when it finds things
that aren’t right. It also will run the examples in the
for each of your functions, as well as other
automated tests that you’ve included. If a function uses
a variable that doesn’t exist (due to a typo or a copy-paste error),
R CMD check will often find it.
submit a package to the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN),
you should first run
R CMD check (including with the option
--as-cran) and revise your package so that there are no warnings or errors.
From the command line
R CMD check from the command line, I will typically first
build the package file (say
R CMD build,
and then I’ll type:
R CMD check brocolors_0.1.tar.gz
The output is quite verbose, but any warnings or errors will be quite prominent. Look through each of them carefully, and modify your package to resolve the problems.
For reasons that I don’t entirely understand, there’s a
flag that will do a few additional checks. If you’re considering
submitting your package to CRAN, you should try it that way, too.
R CMD check --as-cran brocolors_0.1.tar.gz
You can also run these checks from within R, using the devtools package.
Start R within your package directory, load the devtools library with
library(devtools) and then type
check(), just as you had used
install() to build and install the package.
R CMD check and
R CMD check --as-cran or, with devtools,
Modify your package so that there are no errors or warnings.
You are now done with the essentials and have a proper R package!