Identify R Package Dependencies Using miniCRAN

MarlonRibunal, 2018-03-20

Installing R packages in SQL Server 2017 is a breeze with the stored procedure sp_execute_external_script. But so far, it is limited to installing one package at a time. If you have an R Package with dependencies, you have to install those in a separately.

Here’s an easy way to check for package dependencies using the package miniCRAN.

Using RGUI.exe

Find RGUI.exe in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL14.MSSQLSERVER\R_SERVICES\bin\x64. Run the executable as an administrator (Right-Click & Select “Run as administrator”).

If you want to add the new package to the default library, you have to tell the installer exactly that by using the lib argument. I previously installed R and its environment in my laptop. Without specifying a library, R would have installed the package in the old default library. See the list of my library paths below (.libPaths())

install.packages("miniCRAN", lib="C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft SQL Server\\MSSQL14.MSSQLSERVER\\R_SERVICES\\library")


Then you should get a message like this one:

trying URL ''
Content type 'application/zip' length 1025529 bytes (1001 KB)
downloaded 1001 KB
package ‘miniCRAN’ successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked
The downloaded binary packages are in

You can find all your library paths with the .libPaths() function.

> .libPaths() [1] "C:/Users/Marlon.Ribunal/Documents/R/win-library/3.3" [2] "C:/Program Files/Microsoft SQL Server/MSSQL14.MSSQLSERVER/R_SERVICES/library"

Then we can double check real quick if the package actually made it:

sp_execute_external_script @language = N'R',
 @script = N'OutputDataSet <- data.frame(installed.packages())';



> library("miniCRAN")
> pkg <- "ggplot2"
> pkgDep(pkg)



You may not need all the listed packages. Check the web page for the package you’re installing for the info.

The post Identify R Package Dependencies Using miniCRAN appeared first on SQL, Code, Coffee, Etc..





Related content

Database Mirroring FAQ: Can a 2008 SQL instance be used as the witness for a 2005 database mirroring setup?

Question: Can a 2008 SQL instance be used as the witness for a 2005 database mirroring setup? This question was sent to me via email. My reply follows. Can a 2008 SQL instance be used as the witness for a 2005 database mirroring setup? Databases to be mirrored are currently running on 2005 SQL instances but will be upgraded to 2008 SQL in the near future.

Robert Davis


1,567 reads

Networking – Part 4

You may want to read Part 1 , Part 2 , and Part 3 before continuing. This time around I’d like to talk about social networking. We’ll start with social networking. Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are all good examples of using technology to let…

Andy Warren


1,530 reads

Speaking at Community Events – More Thoughts

Last week I posted Speaking at Community Events – Time to Raise the Bar?, a first cut at talking about to what degree we should require experience for speakers at events like SQLSaturday as well as when it might be appropriate to add additional focus/limitations on the presentations that are accepted. I’ve got a few more thoughts on the topic this week, and I look forward to your comments.

Andy Warren


360 reads