Configure different behaviors of renv.


For a given configuration option:

  1. If an R option of the form renv.config.<name> is available, then that option's value will be used;

  2. If an environment variable of the form RENV_CONFIG_<NAME> is available, then that option's value will be used;

  3. Otherwise, the default for that particular configuration value is used.

Any periods (.)s in the option name are transformed into underscores (_) in the environment variable name, and vice versa. For example, the configuration option auto.snapshot could be configured as:

  • options( = <...>)

  • Sys.setenv(RENV_CONFIG_AUTO_SNAPSHOT = <...>)

Note that if both the R option and the environment variable are defined, the R option will be used instead. Environment variables can be more useful when you want a particular configuration to be automatically inherited by child processes; if that behavior is not desired, then the R option may be preferred.

If you want to set and persist these options across multiple projects, it is recommended that you set them in your user startup files (e.g. in ~/.Rprofile or ~/.Renviron).


The following renv configuration options are available:

Automatically snapshot changes to the project library after a new package is installed? Defaults to FALSE.

The default Bitbucket host to be used during package retrieval. Defaults to "".


The method to use when attempting to copy directories. See Copy Methods for more information. Defaults to "auto".


The amount of time to spend (in seconds) when attempting to download a file. Only applicable when the curl downloader is used. Defaults to 20L.


The number of times to attempt re-downloading a file, when transient download errors occur. Only applicable when the curl downloader is used. Defaults to 3L.


Enable the global renv package cache? When active, renv will install packages into a global cache, and link or copy packages from the cache into your R library as appropriate. This can greatly save on disk space and install time when R packages are shared across multiple projects in the same environment. Defaults to TRUE.


Symlink packages from the global renv package cache into your project library? When TRUE, renv will use symlinks (or, on Windows, junction points) to reference packages installed in the cache. Set this to FALSE if you'd prefer to copy packages from the cache into your project library. Defaults to TRUE.


Many renv APIs require the enumeration of your project's R package dependencies. This option controls how errors that occur during this enumeration are handled. By default, errors are reported but are non-fatal. Set this to "fatal" to force errors to be fatal, and "ignored" to ignore errors altogether. See dependencies() for more details. Defaults to "reported".


A character vector of external libraries, to be used in tandem with your projects. Be careful when using external libraries: it's possible that things can break within a project if the version(s) of packages used in your project library happen to be incompatible with packages in your external libraries; for example, if your project required xyz 1.0 but xyz 1.1 was present and loaded from an external library. Can also be an R function that provides the paths to external libraries. Library paths will be expanded via .expand_R_libs_env_var() as necessary. Defaults to NULL.


Enable the renv file-backed cache? When enabled, renv will cache the contents of files that are read (e.g. DESCRIPTION files) in memory, thereby avoiding re-reading the file contents from the filesystem if the file has not changed. renv uses the file mtime to determine if the file has changed; consider disabling this if mtime is unreliable on your system. Defaults to TRUE.

The default GitHub host to be used during package retrieval. Defaults to "".

The default GitLab host to be used during package retrieval. Defaults to "".


A character vector of library paths, to be used by hydrate() when attempting to hydrate projects. When empty, the default set of library paths (as documented in ?hydrate) are used instead. See hydrate() for more details. Defaults to NULL.


Allow for a set of 'shortcuts' when installing packages with renv? When enabled, if renv discovers that a package to be installed is already available within the user or site libraries, then it will install a local copy of that package. Defaults to TRUE.


DEPRECATED: Please use renv.config.install.transactional instead. Defaults to TRUE.


Perform a transactional install of packages during install and restore? When enabled, renv will first install packages into a temporary library, and later copy or move those packages back into the project library only if all packages were successfully downloaded and installed. This can be useful if you'd like to avoid mutating your project library if installation of one or more packages fails. Defaults to TRUE.


Be verbose when installing R packages from sources? When TRUE, renv will stream any output generated during package build + installation to the console. Defaults to FALSE.


Use interprocess locks when invoking methods which might mutate the project library? Enable this to allow multiple processes to use the same renv project, while minimizing risks relating to concurrent access to the project library. Disable this if you encounter locking issues. Locks are stored as files within the project at renv/lock; if you need to manually remove a stale lock you can do so via unlink("renv/lock", recursive = TRUE). Defaults to FALSE.


Attempt to download binaries from MRAN during restore? See vignette("mran", package = "renv") for more details. Defaults to TRUE.


Override the R package repositories used during restore()? Primarily useful for deployment / continuous integration, where you might want to enforce the usage of some set of repositories over what is defined in renv.lock or otherwise set by the R session. Defaults to NULL.


Boolean; enable RSPM integration for renv projects? When TRUE, renv will attempt to transform the repository URLs used by RSPM into binary URLs as appropriate for the current platform. Set this to FALSE if you'd like to continue using source-only RSPM URLs, or if you find that renv is improperly transforming your repository URLs. Defaults to TRUE.


Enable sandboxing for renv projects? When active, renv will attempt to sandbox the system library, preventing non-system packages installed in the system library from becoming available in renv projects. (That is, only packages with priority "base" or "recommended", as reported by installed.packages(), are made available.) Sandboxing is done by linking or copying system packages into a separate library path, and then instructing R to use that library path as the system library path. In some environments, this action can take a large amount of time -- in such a case, you may want to disable the renv sandbox. Defaults to TRUE.


Should renv shims be installed on package load? When enabled, renv will install its own shims over the functions install.packages(), update.packages() and remove.packages(), delegating these functions to install(), update() and remove() as appropriate. Defaults to TRUE.


Validate R package dependencies when calling snapshot? When TRUE, renv will attempt to diagnose potential issues in the project library before creating renv.lock -- for example, if a package installed in the project library depends on a package which is not currently installed. Defaults to TRUE.


Be quiet during startup? When set, renv will not display the typical Project <path> loaded. [renv <version>] banner on startup. Defaults to NULL.


Check that the project library is synchronized with the lockfile on load? Defaults to TRUE.


Check for package updates when the session is initialized? This can be useful if you'd like to ensure that your project lockfile remains up-to-date with packages as they are released on CRAN. Defaults to FALSE.


Check for package updates in parallel? This can be useful when a large number of packages installed from non-CRAN remotes are installed, as these packages can then be checked for updates in parallel. Defaults to 2L.


Include the user library on the library paths for your projects? Note that this risks breaking project encapsulation and is not recommended for projects which you intend to share or collaborate on with other users. See also the caveats for the renv.config.external.libraries option. Defaults to FALSE.


Load the user R profile (typically located at ~/.Rprofile) when renv is loaded? Consider disabling this if you require extra encapsulation in your projects; e.g. if your .Rprofile attempts to load packages that you might not install in your projects. Defaults to FALSE.

Copy Methods

If you find that renv is unable to copy some directories in your environment, you may want to try setting the copy.method option. By default, renv will try to choose a system tool that is likely to succeed in copying files on your system -- robocopy on Windows, and cp on Unix. renv will also instruct these tools to preserve timestamps and attributes when copying files. However, you can select a different method as appropriate.

The following methods are supported:

autoUse robocopy on Windows, and cp on Unix-alikes.
RUse R's built-in file.copy() function.
cpUse cp to copy files.
robocopyUse robocopy to copy files. (Only available on Windows.)
rsyncUse rsync to copy files.

You can also provide a custom copy method if required; e.g.

options(renv.config.copy.method = function(src, dst) {
  # copy a file from 'src' to 'dst'

Note that renv will always first attempt to copy a directory first to a temporary path within the target folder, and then rename that temporary path to the final target destination. This helps avoid issues where a failed attempt to copy a directory could leave a half-copied directory behind in the final location.

Project-Local Settings

For settings that should persist alongside a particular project, the various settings available in settings can be used.


# disable automatic snapshots options( = FALSE) # disable with environment variable Sys.setenv(RENV_CONFIG_AUTO_SNAPSHOT = FALSE)