package.skeleton {utils}R Documentation

Create a Skeleton for a New Source Package


package.skeleton automates some of the setup for a new source package. It creates directories, saves functions, data, and R code files to appropriate places, and creates skeleton help files and a ‘Read-and-delete-me’ file describing further steps in packaging.


package.skeleton(name = "anRpackage", list,
                 environment = .GlobalEnv,
                 path = ".", force = FALSE,
                 code_files = character(), encoding = "unknown")



character string: the package name and directory name for your package. Must be a valid package name.


character vector naming the R objects to put in the package. Usually, at most one of list, environment, or code_files will be supplied. See ‘Details’.


an environment where objects are looked for. See ‘Details’.


path to put the package directory in.


If FALSE will not overwrite an existing directory.


a character vector with the paths to R code files to build the package around. See ‘Details’.


optionally a character string with an encoding for an optional ‘⁠Encoding:⁠’ line in ‘DESCRIPTION’ when non-ASCII characters will be used; typically one of "latin1", "latin2", or "UTF-8"; see the WRE manual.


The arguments list, environment, and code_files provide alternative ways to initialize the package. If code_files is supplied, the files so named will be sourced to form the environment, then used to generate the package skeleton. Otherwise list defaults to the objects in environment (including those whose names start with .), but can be supplied to select a subset of the objects in that environment.

Stubs of help files are generated for functions, data objects, and S4 classes and methods, using the prompt, promptClass, and promptMethods functions. If an object from another package is intended to be imported and re-exported without changes, the promptImport function should be used after package.skeleton to generate a simple help file linking to the original one.

The package sources are placed in subdirectory name of path. If code_files is supplied, these files are copied; otherwise, objects will be dumped into individual source files. The file names in code_files should have suffix ".R" and be in the current working directory.

The filenames created for source and documentation try to be valid for all OSes known to run R. Invalid characters are replaced by ‘⁠_⁠’, invalid names are preceded by ‘⁠zz⁠’, names are converted to lower case (to avoid case collisions on case-insensitive file systems) and finally the converted names are made unique by make.unique(sep = "_"). This can be done for code and help files but not data files (which are looked for by name). Also, the code and help files should have names starting with an ASCII letter or digit, and this is checked and if necessary z prepended.

Functions with names starting with a dot are placed in file ‘R/name-internal.R’.

When you are done, delete the ‘Read-and-delete-me’ file, as it should not be distributed.


Used for its side-effects.


Read the ‘Writing R Extensions’ manual for more details.

Once you have created a source package you need to install it: see the ‘R Installation and Administration’ manual, INSTALL and install.packages.

See Also

prompt, promptClass, and promptMethods.

package_native_routine_registration_skeleton for helping in preparing packages with compiled code.


## two functions and two "data sets" :
f <- function(x, y) x+y
g <- function(x, y) x-y
d <- data.frame(a = 1, b = 2)
e <- rnorm(1000)

package.skeleton(list = c("f","g","d","e"), name = "mypkg")

[Package utils version 4.4.0 Index]