Raising money to package RStudio for the Nix package manager for macOS platforms

Dear community

I am doing a Gofundme to raise the money required to package Rstudio for macOS platforms for the Nix package manager.

Nix is a package manager that can be installed on Windows (through WSL2), Linux and macOS. If you’ve been using package managers on macOS, you might be familiar with hombebrew. Nix is similar to homebrew but has fundamental differences. The biggest difference is that Nix puts a lot of emphasis on reproducibility. Using Nix, it is possible to create isolated environments containing R, R packages and any other tool needed to run an analysis. It is possible to even install older versions of R and R packages to reproduce older studies.

Software installed with Nix lives alongside the software you install through other means on your computer, meaning that using Nix it is possible to have several development environments, each containing its own version of R and R packages, and use one complete environment per project.

The Nix package manager has existed for 20 years and currently contains more than 80'000 software packages, including the entirety of CRAN and Bioconductor.

For example, here is a Nix expression that, when built, creates a reproducible development environment containing R version 4.3.1 with the required packages for building a machine learning pipeline:

 pkgs = import (fetchTarball "https://github.com/NixOS/nixpkgs/archive/976fa3369d722e76f37c77493d99829540d43845.tar.gz") {};
 rpkgs = builtins.attrValues {
  inherit (pkgs.rPackages) tidymodels vetiver targets glmnet plumber;
 system_packages = builtins.attrValues {
  inherit (pkgs) R;
 pkgs.mkShell {
  buildInputs = [  rpkgs system_packages  ];

It doesn’t matter when or where I built this expression, I will always get the exact same environment, from R, R packages to system libraries. It is also possible to install an IDE like RStudio, but unfortunately, RStudio for Nix has not been packaged (yet) for macOS platforms. And an RStudio installed by other means (such as using the macOS installer) will not work with an environment built with Nix. I’m thus raising money to pay an expert to package RStudio for Nix.

If you want to know more about Nix, I have written 7 blog posts on it: https://www.brodrigues.co/

I truly believe that Nix is an amazing tool for reproducibility and highly recommend you check it out!

If you want to contribute to the fundraiser, here is the link:


Many thanks!


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