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In some cases, your project may depend on R packages which are not available from any external source, or that external source may not accessible from the machine calling renv::restore(). To help accommodate these scenarios, renv allows you to prepare a package “cellar”, to be used as an ad-hoc repository of packages during restore. This allows you to provide package tarballs that can be used to restore packages which cannot be retrieved from any other source.

The environment variable RENV_PATHS_CELLAR can be used to customize the package cellar location. It should point to a directory containing package binaries and sources, with a structure of the form:

  • ${RENV_PATHS_CELLAR}/<package>_<version>.tar.gz; or
  • ${RENV_PATHS_CELLAR}/<package>/<package>_<version>.tar.gz

Alternatively, you can also use a project-local cellar by placing your packages within a folder located at <project>/renv/cellar. Note that this folder does not exist by default; you must create it to opt-in.

  • <project>/renv/cellar/<package>_<version>.tar.gz; or
  • <project>/renv/cellar/<package>/<package>_<version>.tar.gz

As an example, if your project depended on a package skeleton 1.0.0, you could place a tarball for this package in one of the following locations:

  • ${RENV_PATHS_CELLAR}/skeleton_1.0.0.tar.gz
  • ${RENV_PATHS_CELLAR}/skeleton/skeleton_1.0.0.tar.gz
  • <project>/renv/cellar/skeleton_1.0.0.tar.gz; or
  • <project>/renv/cellar/skeleton/skeleton_1.0.0.tar.gz

Once this is done, renv will consult these directories during future attempts to restore your packages.

To directly install a package from the cellar, you must specify the package version, or provide the full path to the tarball:

  • renv::install("<package>@<version>")
  • renv::install("<project>/renv/cellar/<package>_<version>.tar.gz")

During restore, if a compatible package is located within the cellar, that copy of the package will be preferred even if that package might otherwise be accessible from its associated remote source. For example, if skeleton 1.0.0 was also available on CRAN, renv::restore() would still use the tarball available in the cellar rather than the version available from CRAN.

If you want to see what paths renv is using for the cellar, you can use:


See ?paths for more details.

Explicit Sources

You can also provide explicit source paths in the lockfile if desired. This is most useful if you are building an renv lockfile “by hand”, or need to tweak an existing lockfile to point at a separate package for installation. For example, you could have a package record in renv.lock of the form:

  "Package": "skeleton",
  "Version": "1.0.1",
  "Source": "/mnt/r/pkg/skeleton_1.0.1.tar.gz"

Packages should have the following extensions, depending on whether the archive contains a binary copy of the package or the package sources:

Platform Binary Sources
Windows .zip .tar.gz
macOS .tgz .tar.gz
Linux .tar.gz .tar.gz

Note that on Linux, both binaries and sources should have the .tar.gz extension, but R and renv will handle this as appropriate during installation.