How To Install R on Debian 10 Buster

Install R on Debian 10

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install R on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, R is an open-source programming language and software environment that comes with GUI (Graphical User Interface). R language specialized in statistical computing and graphics so it is widely used in statistical software development and data analysis.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of R on a Debian 10 (Buster) server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 10 (Buster).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install R on Debian 10 Buster

Step 1. Before we install any software, it’s important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

apt update
apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing R on Debian 10.

Now we add the GPG key by using the following command:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-key 'E19F5F87128899B192B1A2C2AD5F960A256A04AF'

Next, add the repository by running the below command:

sudo add-apt-repository 'deb stretch-cran35/'

Then, run the following command to install R in Debian:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install r-base

Verify the installation by printing the R version:

$ R --version

R version 3.6.4 (2020-03-16) -- "Holding the Windsock"
Copyright (C) 2020 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
Platform: x86_64-pc-linux-gnu (64-bit)

Step 3. Installing R Packages from CRAN.

First, install the required tools for compiling R packages:

sudo apt install build-essential

Next, open the R console as root:

sudo -i R

Example install the stringr package:


The installation will take some time and once completed, load the library by typing:


You can find more R packages on the CRAN Packages page, and install them with install.packages().

Congratulations! You have successfully installed R. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing R open source programming language on Debian 10 (Buster) system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official R website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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