Are there performance problems with having package library on a network drive?

I've just started a new job with a governemnt agency and I'm in the middle of getting all my software and tools configured. I haven't worked in a controlled IT environment before so I'm trying to figure out the best way to get everything installed.

One issue I've run into is that I don't have permission to modify files on my local machine, but rather I have a network drive assigned to me that I have full read/write permissions on. IT installed R and RStudio locally for me, but I can't install packages to my machine. For now, I've been installing packages to a library on the network drive and pointed .libPaths() to that location. Are there known performance issues with having libraries located on a network drive?

Anything else I should be aware of when working with networked file systems and R? I'm kind of hoping the answer is "IT'S AWFUL" so I can convince the IT folks to give me access to my local machine.

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To share experience, I have done the same thing and I did not find any performance issues.


I think the specific network infrastructure of your organization is going to play a big role here, because this is going to depend on the network speed (and writing/reading speeds of the storage server) that your infrastructure is capable of.

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I think I have read here that others have had this problem. My search fu is failing me, however. Though I found a few things here: most of that does not have to do with lib location.

My experience is that some things with R/RStudio are surprisingly chatty and can be problematic if your network share is not low latency / high bandwidth. I have a network share that I work off of that is >600 miles away from me and I quickly learned that mounting that driven and trying to run an RStudio project with git out of that share is a really bad idea. I often work locally and then sync remote with Unison (which I realize does not address your use case).


Thanks @jdlong! I think I found the thread you were referring to:

And as @davis indicated, when I run .rs.listInstalledPackages() with my network library, I get a lot of lag. So, I think I'll see about getting IT to let me install my packages locally. I'm hoping to use git with some of my work too, so we'll see how that goes on the NFS.


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