2.2 Download R and RStudio

You can download the most recent version of R at https://www.r-project.org/, which is the home of R (formally known as the R Project for Statistical Computing). The R-project home page usually includes information about the latest versions of R. Don’t be put off by the sometimes odd nicknames for R versions, such as “Very, Very Secure Dishes” and “Bug in Your Hair” – the software is much more useful than you might assume from the nicknames. (The whimsical version names come from various Peanuts cartoons.)

There should also be a prominent link to download R. Click that download option and you should be taken to CRAN, the Comprehensive R Archive Network, and a list of CRAN servers, called mirrors, around the world. Pick a server and choose the precompiled binary distribution for your operating system. Once the file finishes downloading, install it like any other software program - run the .exe for Windows or .pkg for Mac.

You should be fine accepting all the Mac defaults. On Windows, you’ll need to decide whether you want the 32- or 64-bit R version. (Unless you’ve got a pretty old system, chances are you’ll want 64-bit.)

This is all you need to start running R, but I strongly recommend also installing RStudio, a free platform designed to make it easier and more enjoyable to create and run R code. Head to RStudio.com and under products, look for RStudio and then RStudio Desktop (not Server), and download the free Open Source Edition version for your operating system. This, too, installs like a typical software program.