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
R does not launch properly
Unable to select 32-bit R version in RStudio v1.2.1047-1 Preview
Error while Fetching data of YouTube Videos
Graphs don't show up in the plot pane
Rstudio asking to save something on startup, failing to launch
Rstudio is not any reaction when I implement the R codes
Missing three of the four panes
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?
RStudio Update, Installed packages are not working
Issue with installation and updating packages
Installation package problem - IOS - had non-zero exit status
How can i found code of simulation diffusion process in rstudio?
R 3.5.0 problem installing libraries
Package installation on MAC
R : dynamic plot value and x axis value for line chart
Unable to Install and Use library(rpivotTable) in RStudio
Can't load relimp package
R Studio 3.5 errors and Reverting to previous version 3.3
Having trouble installing and loading tidyverse/readr- No hms package
Uninstalling and reinstalling R and RStudio
Shut down during computing
Functions of R Studio
RStudio v1.2.830 changes != into =/=
Rstudio malfunction
RStudio Server open source not running .Renviron
Word Analysis using R studio
R Session Aborted Fatal error
installed packages
Timeseries analysis on R
Basic sample function returns unused arguments
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
Strange locale problems in R after update to Mojave
R studio cannot plot
Problems with installing BH package
Attaching to rserver from outside
R markdown and R Notebook won't work
Alternatives for classify_sentiment and classify_polarity in R 3.4.4
ggplot2 package loading and activating issue
Problem installing dplyr package
R Studio crashing with dplyr joins?
unable to install R Package
since newest rstudio update ggplot : The downloaded source packages are in ‘/private/var/.../downloaded_packages’ >
Install of R in miniconda
integer64 type column in dataframe seem to crash my code?
Rstudio v1.1.456 rpubs upload error, no login prompt
Unable to connect to sparklyr from R or RStudio
Errors loading rJava - ".onLoad failed in loadNamespace() for 'rJava', details..."
Errors loading rJava - ".onLoad failed in loadNamespace() for 'rJava', details..."
Persistent problem installing tidyverse and stringr
Stringi Package Installation Failure
Rstudio does not work
rlang error in installing in ggplot2
R installation issues on Ubuntu
My R only shows console and nothing else
Error in 'pillar' when installing 'tidyverse'
Can't open R after I download it
XTS objects with duplicate index have X in front of all index values.
Issue with R-studio Server installation in RedHat
R Program Vs Rstudio
Graphics error: Plot rendering error Error in gzfile(file, "wb") :cannot open the connection
saving with csv
"undefined" appears when writing code
How do I ask for help solving an Rstudio crash
Error when trying to launch R 3.2.5: The Application Virtualization Could not launch client
How do I solve below Error?Trying to open an an Rworkspace
Package "car" does not install on Mac

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!

1 Like


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.