‘rcmdr’ How should I deal with “package 'xxx' is not available (for R version x.y.z)” warning?

8 Answers

In the latest R (3.2.3) there is a bug, preventing it some times from finding correct package. The workaround is to set repository manually:

install.packages("lubridate", dependencies=TRUE, repos='http://cran.rstudio.com/')

Found solution in other question

package ‘’ is not available (for r version)

11. R (or another dependency) is out of date and you don't want to update it.

Warning this is not exactly best practice.

  • Download the package source.
  • Navigate to the DESCRIPTION file.
  • Remove the offending line with your text editor e.g.

    Depends: R (>= 3.1.1)
  • Install from local (i.e. from the parent directory of DESCRIPTION) e.g.

    install.packages("foo", type="source", repos=NULL)

This saved me a lot of time debugging what's wrong. In many cases are just mirrors out of date. This function can install multiple packages with their dependencies using https://cran.rstudio.com/:

packages <- function(pkg){
    new.pkg <- pkg[!(pkg %in% installed.packages()[, "Package"])]
    if (length(new.pkg))
        install.packages(new.pkg, dependencies = TRUE, repos='https://cran.rstudio.com/')
    sapply(pkg, require, character.only = TRUE)

packages(c("foo", "bar", "baz"))

I fixed this error on Ubuntu by carefully following the instructions for installing R. This included:

  1. adding deb http://cran.utstat.utoronto.ca/bin/linux/ubuntu trusty/ to my /etc/apt/sources.list file
  2. Running sudo apt-get update
  3. Running sudo apt-get install r-base-dev

For step 1 you can chose any CRAN download mirror in place of my University of Toronto one if you would like.

I made the mistake of forgetting to put repos=NULL when installing the R package from source code. In this case the error message is slightly misleading: package 'foobarbaz' is not available (for R version x.y.z)

The problem was not the version of R, it was the repos parameter. I did install.packages('path/to/source/code/of/foobarbaz', type='source', repos=NULL) which worked for me in this occasion.

Hope this helps someone.

It almost always works for me when I use bioconductor as source and then invoke biocLite. Example:


As mentioned here (in French), this can happen when you have two versions of R installed on your computer. Uninstall the oldest one, then try your package installation again! It worked fine for me.

devtools + GitHub. These 3 lines (helped me on this error) were not yet mentioned:

install.packages("devtools")  # if not already installed