R Language Installing packages Install packages from GitHub


To install packages directly from GitHub use the devtools package:


To install ggplot2 from github:


The above command will install the version of ggplot2 that corresponds to the master branch. To install from a different branch of a repository use the ref argument to provide the name of the branch. For example, the following command will install the dev_general branch of the googleway package.

devtools::install_github("SymbolixAU/googleway", ref = "dev_general")

Another option is to use the ghit package. It provides a lightweight alternative for installing packages from github:


To install a package that is in a private repository on Github, generate a personal access token at http://www.github.com/settings/tokens/ (See ?install_github for documentation on the same). Follow these steps:

  1. install.packages(c("curl", "httr"))
  2. config = httr::config(ssl_verifypeer = FALSE)
  3.  install.packages("RCurl")
     options(RCurlOptions = c(getOption("RCurlOptions"),ssl.verifypeer = FALSE, ssl.verifyhost = FALSE ) )
  4. getOption("RCurlOptions")

    You should see the following:

    ssl.verifypeer ssl.verifyhost 
    FALSE          FALSE 
  5. library(httr)
    set_config(config(ssl_verifypeer = 0L)) 

    This prevents the common error: "Peer certificate cannot be authenticated with given CA certificates"

  6. Finally, use the following command to install your package seamlessly


Alternatively, set an environment variable GITHUB_PAT, using

Sys.setenv(GITHUB_PAT = "access_token")

The PAT generated in Github is only visible once, i.e., when created initially, so its prudent to save that token in .Rprofile. This is also helpful if the organisation has many private repositories.