Differentiating R from RStudio


Aside: goals for this thread

I'm hoping this will help people disambiguate R from RStudio, and also help with getting questions in the right category. This is a bit of a mashup of the times I've tried to explain this in individual threads, so please feel free to add to this topic for further clarification/point out corrections, etc.

Before putting a code-related question in the #rstudio-ide category or using the rstudio tag, it's helpful to ask yourself:

Does this work in the regular R GUI, but not when you're in RStudio?

If you're using RStudio, you're using R — RStudio is just an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) in which you are using the R language. (On of my favourite figures from Modern Dive, below, illustrates the difference nicely).

If you're having a problem running code and think it might be IDE-related, it's a good idea do try it out in vanilla R (which has its own GUI as well that will be on your computer) — the logos, below, might help as a visual reference for you.

For further disambiguation/a good explanation of the relationship between R and RStudio, check out this chapter of Modern Dive:

R session aborted using R studio
Rstudio malfunction
RStudio v1.2.830 changes != into =/=
Can't load relimp package
Package installation on MAC
Having trouble installing and loading tidyverse/readr- No hms package
R Studio 3.5 errors and Reverting to previous version 3.3
Stringi Package Installation Failure
Installation package problem - IOS - had non-zero exit status
Unable to Install and Use library(rpivotTable) in RStudio
R : dynamic plot value and x axis value for line chart
R 3.5.0 problem installing libraries
How can i found code of simulation diffusion process in rstudio?
How do I ask for help solving an Rstudio crash
Rstudio asking to save something on startup, failing to launch
R studio cannot plot
Issue with installation and updating packages
RStudio Update, Installed packages are not working
Stepwise regression in r-studio - can you run stepwise regression with the condition that it throws out any coefficients greater than 1,000 in value?
Missing three of the four panes
Rstudio is not any reaction when I implement the R codes
Graphs don't show up in the plot pane
Error when trying to launch R 3.2.5: The Application Virtualization Could not launch client
R does not launch properly
How do I solve below Error?Trying to open an an Rworkspace
Package "car" does not install on Mac
I deleted all of my R packages and libraries in a lapse of judgement and now I am in a limbo where I cannot either fully uninstall or fully install R Studio
Basic sample function returns unused arguments
Timeseries analysis on R
R Session Aborted Fatal error
RStudio Server open source not running .Renviron
Error while Fetching data of YouTube Videos
Uninstalling and reinstalling R and RStudio
Persistent problem installing tidyverse and stringr

Thank you for this post @mara!!! Since I don't use RStudio, I was initially ignoring

posts in the RStudio IDE category. But I quickly noticed that many R questions

were actually wrongly posted there. I even considered posting something about it. So I am glad you did!


Thank you very much for taking your time to explain things. I think with this I'll be better at operating Rstudio as a starter without stress. I'm looking forward to getting better understanding from this platform. Thank you very much.