If your project depends on R packages not available in any external source, you can set up an ad-hoc local source to use during restore. This allows you to provide package tarballs that can be used to restore packages otherwise not available elsewhere.

The environment variable RENV_PATHS_LOCAL can be used to customize where this local source of packages should live. It should point to a directory containing package binaries and sources, with a structure of the form:

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

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

  • <project>/renv/local/<package>_<version>.tar.gz; or
  • <project>/renv/local/<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_LOCAL}/skeleton_1.0.0.tar.gz
  • ${RENV_PATHS_LOCAL}/skeleton/skeleton_1.0.0.tar.gz
  • <project>/renv/local/<package>_<version>.tar.gz; or
  • <project>/renv/local/<package>/<package>_<version>.tar.gz

Once this is done, renv will consult these directories during future attempts to restore packages installed from unknown sources.

Note that packages placed in one of these local sources will override any default source recorded in the lockfile. For example, if skeleton 1.0.0 was also available on CRAN, renv::restore() would still use the locally-provided tarball rather than the version available from CRAN.

If you want to see what directory is being used by renv for local package sources, you can execute:

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"
}

The main requirement is that your source path exists, and the path has an extension of either .tar.gz, (for source packages), .tgz (for macOS binaries) or .zip (for Windows binaries).