macrtools - v0.0.1 Released: Automatic macOS R Compiled Toolchain Installation from within R

The macrtools (Website) package lowers the barrier of entry for R developers who work on macOS that want to incorporate compiled code on macOS. The package provides an interface in native R to install and configure software libraries required for development on macOS.

That being said, you may be wondering:

Why not a macOS installer package (.pkg) or Apple Disk Image (.dmg) ?

We previously wrote two very successful installer packages ( r-macos-rtools and r-macos-clang). However, as part of the up-keep of the installer package, we needed to have a yearly subscription to Apple’s Developer program, which has a base cost of ~$99 and sales tax of about ~$6 leading to an annual expense of ~$105 per year. Given that we only used the Developer account to sign and notarize only the installers packages, we opted not to continue on this path.

That said, we are grateful to Professor Timothy Bates of the University of Edinburgh. He provided the initial financial support that allowed for the installer to be signed and tested.

Moreover, we hope that by placing the logic inside of an R package, the community of R developers will be able to play a more active role in feature development.

macrtools news file entry for version 0.0.1 (2023-03-07)


  • Automatic compiled code toolchain installation on macOS for R 4.0 - 4.2
    • Install Xcode CLI Tools with: macrtools::xcode_cli_install()
    • Install gfortran with: macrtools::gfortran_install()
    • Install precompiled binaries from the recipes for macOS project with macrtools::recipes_binary_install('r-base-dev')
  • Check if toolchains components are available:
    • Check if Xcode CLI Tools is installed with: macrtools::is_xcode_cli_installed()
    • Check if gfortran is installed with: macrtools::is_gfortran_installed()
  • Uninstall toolchains components when they are no longer needed:
    • Uninstall Xcode CLI Tools with: macrtools::xcode_cli_uninstall()
    • Uninstall gfortran with: macrtools::gfortran_uninstall()

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