R (Programming Language)

Description: R is an open source programming language used for statistical computing and graphics that is supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing. It is widely used by statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis. Functions and results of analysis are all stored as objects, allowing easy function modification and model building. 

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix
Cost: No charge (Open Source)


R is an open source programming language used to implement a variety of stastical and graphical techniques. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS. R provides the language, tool, and environment in one convenient package. R is an implementation of the S programming language. R was created at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and is now developed by the R Development Core Team. R uses a command line interface. The capabilities of R are extended through user-submitted packages. Several graphical user interfaces are available.  SAS integrated R within SAS/IML Studio. R can also be called from SPSS.

Graphical User Interfaces (GUI)

R has a library of GUI's that implement a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques, including linear and nonlinear modeling, classical statistics tess, time-series analysis, classification, clustering and others.

Among the various GUI's available for R:

R GUI for Data Mining:

License Information

R is an open source programming language and is part of the GNU Project.  R source code is freely available under the GNU General Public License.    

Download, Patch and Access "R" 

R and various user created packages may be downloaded and installed on your computer to meet statistical and graphical needs. R is also available on the Koti Server to process sensitive and confidential data. Periodic updates and patches are provided.

Download and Install R

Pre-compiled binary versions of "R" are available for various operating systems such as Windows, Mac and Linux:

  1. Download R  from the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN)

  2. For Windows, launch the install by right clicking on the install program and selecting "Run as administrator".

Use R on a Server

R is available at VCU on the Koti central Linux server.  R on Koti may be used for analysis of "Category I" confidential and sensitive data, except for Payment Card Industry Data (PCI Data), such as credit/debit card numbers.

Patches & Updates

To update your R packages, use the installr package or update.packages() function.

Training and Support

A variety of training videos, manuals and resources are available to help you expand your knowledge on the use of the R programming language. Support resources are available for assistance with the installation and use of R.

Training & Manuals

Safari Books Online

VCU Libraries subscribes to Safari Books Online, an online database of  books on all aspects of computers, programming, and the web, from such publishers as O'Reilly, Sams, New Riders and Adobe.  Many books on R are available, such as:

  • Art of R Programming
  • R Cookbook (O'Reilly Cookbooks) by Paul Teetor
  • R in a Nutshell
  • R in Action: Data analysis and graphics with R
  • R for Medicine and Biology
  • 25 Recipes for Getting Started with R
  • Mathematical Statistics with Resampling and R

There is no charge for this service to VCU students, faculty, and staff, due to the VCU Libraries subscription.  To access a book online, visit Safari Books Online and perform a search for the book title.  You may be prompted to login with your VCU eID and password.

Support & Consultation

The Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research provides statistical and programming consultation for the use of R in teaching and research. To request a consultation appointment, contact statconsult@vcu.edu.

If you need assistance with the installation of R, contact the IT Support Center.