Frequently I am running R scripts in bash mode. My script is called 981_conduct_regression.R. In this script, I call required packages with


Now when I call the script from bash mode (on Ubuntu 14.04), the script (shown below) fails to install the packages:

Loading required package: gridExtra
Installing package into ‘/home/michael/R/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-library/3.1’
(as ‘lib’ is unspecified)
Error in contrib.url(repos, type) : 
  trying to use CRAN without setting a mirror
Calls: source ... eval -> eval -> install.packages -> grep -> contrib.url
In addition: Warning message:
In library(package, lib.loc = lib.loc, character.only = TRUE, logical.return = TRUE,  :
  there is no package called ‘gridExtra’
Execution halted

What do I have to change for my idea to work?

Edit: Here is the .sh file:


Rscript Code/981_conduct_regression.R
  • What is 981_conduct_regression.R? It is better if you keep things self-contained. Less confusing. Give a minimal named example script in your question, run it, then give the output. – Faheem Mitha Feb 7 '15 at 12:22
  • Thats the name of the RScript. – MERose Feb 7 '15 at 12:25
  • On a side note, if you put #!/usr/bin/env Rscript as the first line of your R file, and chmod u+x the file, you can just run it, rather than depending on a separate bash script to execute the intended script. stackoverflow.com/a/969680/1834057 – Nicholas Hamilton Apr 15 '15 at 3:49
  • Yes I know, thanks. But commonly, we pass arguments to the RScript. I don't do here because it's not necessary to replicate the problem. – MERose Apr 15 '15 at 7:08

You need to specify your CRAN mirror; interactively in R, run


to pick an appropriate mirror, then


to see the resulting URL. You can add this permanently to your configuration in ~/.Rprofile:

local({r <- getOption("repos")
   r["CRAN"] <- "<URL from above goes here>" 
  • please, should I add this chunk of code at the beginning of the R script, or within batch file? – maycca Jul 13 '20 at 15:08
  • You should add it to your ~/.Rprofile. – Stephen Kitt Jul 13 '20 at 16:42

Based on Stephen Kitt's suggestion, this resolved the problem:

~ $ cat .Rprofile 
local({r <- getOption("repos")
   r["CRAN"] <- "https://mirror.las.iastate.edu/CRAN/" 

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