Oct 24, 2023 4 min read

How to Install R on Debian 11

Install r on debian 11 with our step-by-step tutorial.R is a programming language and environment for statistical computing and graphics.

Install R on Debian 11
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Before we begin talking about how to install R on Debian 11, let's briefly understand – What is R ?

"R" is a programming language widely used in statistical computing and data analysis. It provides a comprehensive set of tools for manipulating, visualizing, and modeling data. With its user-friendly interface and a vast collection of packages, R is ideal for data scientists, statisticians, and researchers.

Whether you're exploring data, building predictive models, or creating data visualizations, R is a powerful and versatile tool that can help you uncover valuable insights and make data-driven decisions. Discover the capabilities of R and unleash the potential of your data analysis.

In this tutorial, you will install R on Debian 11. We will also address a few FAQs on how to install R on Debian 11.


  1. Versatile: R offers a vast array of packages for diverse data analysis tasks.
  2. Data Visualization: R provides powerful tools to create visually appealing and informative data visualizations.
  3. Statistical Analysis: R has extensive statistical capabilities for conducting advanced analyses.
  4. Community Support: R benefits from an active and supportive user community, ensuring prompt assistance and shared knowledge.
  5. Integration: R seamlessly integrates with other programming languages and tools, enabling efficient data workflows and collaborations.

Prerequisites to Install R on Debian 11

Before proceeding with this tutorial, make sure you have the following criteria met:

Install R on Debian

In the Debian repositories, the R packages are usually out of date. R will be installed from the CRAN repository.

Follow the following steps to install R on Debian 11:

The following steps demonstrate how to install the latest stable version of R on Debian 11:

1) Install the essential packages, so you can create a new repository over HTTPS:

sudo apt install dirmngr apt-transport-https ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg2

2) To enable the CRAN repository and add the CRAN GPG key to your system, run the commands below:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-key '95C0FAF38DB3CCAD0C080A7BDC78B2DDEABC47B7'

sudo add-apt-repository 'deb http://cloud.r-project.org/bin/linux/debian bullseye-cran40/'

3) Install the R package and update the packages list:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install r-base

4) Print the R version to confirm the installation:

R --version

The most recent stable version of R is 4.3.0 as of the time this article was written.


R version 4.3.0 (2023-04-21) -- "Already Tomorrow"
Copyright (C) 2023 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
Platform: x86_64-pc-linux-gnu (64-bit)

R is free software and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
You are welcome to redistribute it under the terms of the
GNU General Public License versions 2 or 3.
For more information about these matters see

Install R Packages from CRAN

The extensive selection of packages made available by the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) is one of the key factors contributing to R's popularity.

Install the build-essential package, which contains the necessary tools for compiling R packages:

sudo apt install build-essential

The packages are installed globally and made accessible to all users of the system if the R binary is launched as root or sudo users. Invoke the binary as a regular user to create a personal library for your user.
As an example, we will install the stringr package, which offers quick and accurate implementations of popular string manipulations.

Launch the R console as root:

sudo -i R

R version 3.5.1 (2018-07-02) -- "Feather Spray"
Copyright (C) 2018 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
Platform: x86_64-pc-linux-gnu (64-bit)

R is free software and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
You are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions.
Type 'license()' or 'licence()' for distribution details.

  Natural language support but running in an English locale

R is a collaborative project with many contributors.
Type 'contributors()' for more information and
'citation()' on how to cite R or R packages in publications.

Type 'demo()' for some demos, 'help()' for on-line help, or
'help.start()' for an HTML browser interface to help.
Type 'q()' to quit R.


The R console is used to run the commands listed below.

Install the stringr package as follows:


It will take some time to install. Once finished, load the library:


Build a basic character vector called tutorial:

tutorial <- c("How", "to", "Install", "R", "on", "Debian", "9")

Run the function that prints a string's length by doing as follows:


[1] 3 2 7 1 2 6 1

More R packages are available on the CRAN Packages website. You can install them using the install.packages ().

FAQs to Install R on Debian 11

How can I check the installed version of R on Debian 11?

In the terminal, type R --version. It will display the installed R version and other information.

Can I install specific packages in R on Debian 11?

Yes, you can install packages using the install.packages("package_name") command within the R console.

Are there any additional repositories for R packages on Debian 11?

Yes, you can add the CRAN (Comprehensive R Archive Network) repository to access a vast collection of R packages.

Is there a command-line interface available for R on Debian 11?

Yes, R provides a command-line interface called R Console, which you can access by typing R in the terminal.

How do I upgrade R to the latest version on Debian 11?

To upgrade R to the latest version on Debian 11, run sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade to update all installed packages, including R.

How can I install R on Debian 11 using the package manager?

You can install R on Debian 11 by running the command sudo apt update && sudo apt install r-base to install the R base package from the official Debian repositories.

Is there a graphical user interface available for R on Debian 11? 

Yes, RStudio is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) for R that provides a user-friendly interface for writing and executing R code.


You now know how to install R on Debian 11 and how to install R packages by going through the steps mentioned in the tutorial.

If you have any queries, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to respond to them.

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