I use RStudio for R programming. I remember about solid IDE-s from other technology stacks, like Visual Studio or Eclipse.

I have two questions:

  1. What other IDE-s than RStudio are used (please consider providing some brief description on them).
  2. Does any of them have noticeable advantages over RStudio?

I mostly mean debug/build/deploy features, besides coding itself (so text editors are probably not a solution).

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    $\begingroup$ How about Sense - A Next-Generation Platform for Data Science(blog.sense.io/introducing-sense-a-platform-for-data-science). quote "Sense brings together the most powerful tools — R, Python, Julia, Spark, Impala, Redshift, and more — into a unified platform to accelerate data science from exploration to production." $\endgroup$ – fansia Mar 19 '15 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ @scyen: Sense and similar products (or, rather, the approach) are indeed interesting, however, they are not "IDE alternatives for R programming", but large, complex and often expensive platforms for data science work. Note that this question is specifically about development environments / IDEs. $\endgroup$ – Aleksandr Blekh Mar 21 '15 at 23:53

10 Answers 10


RIDE - R-Brain IDE (RIDE) for R & Python, Other Data Science R IDEs, Other Data Science Python IDEs. Flexible layout. Multiple language support.
Jupyter notebook - The Jupyter Notebook App is a server-client application that allows editing and running notebook documents via a web browser. The Jupyter Notebook App can be executed on a local desktop
Jupyter lab -
An extensible environment for interactive and reproducible computing, based on the Jupyter Notebook and Architecture.
open-source platform-independent browser-based interface for business analytics in R, based on the Shiny package and can be run locally or on a server.
R Tools for Visual Studio (RTVS) - a free, open-source extension for Visual Studio 2017, RTVS is presently supported only in Visual Studio on Windows and not Visual Studio for Mac.
Architect - Architect is an integrated development environment (IDE) that focuses specifically on the needs of the data scientist. All data science tasks from analyzing data to writing reports can be performed in a single environment with a common logic.
displayr - Simple and powerful. Automation by menu or code. Elegant visualizations. Instant publishing. Collaboration. Reproducibility. Auto-updating. Secure cloud platform. https://www.displayr.com/features/
Rbox - This package is a collection of several packages to run R via Atom editor.

Use below for more IDEs:
RKWard - an easy to use and easily extensible IDE/GUI for R
Tinn-R - Tinn-R Editor - GUI for R Language and Environment

R AnalyticFlow - data analysis software that utilizes the R environment for statistical computing.
Rgedit - a text-editor plugin.

Nvim-R - Vim plugin for editing R code.
Rattle - A Graphical User Interface for Data Mining using R.

How to Turn Vim Into an IDE for R

  • $\begingroup$ No love for Collab? Last time I used it runs OK and faster. No IDE per se and I could not find a way to link to my C Drive, but I will use again definitively. $\endgroup$ – Newbie Aug 19 '20 at 13:22

IntelliJ supports R via this plugin:

It's a recent project, so RStudio is still more powerful, including its focus on data-friendly environment (plots and data are always in sight).

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    $\begingroup$ t depends on what features you rely most on. IDEAs (even without the R plugin) has superior editor, database support, vcs integration, markdown authoring, and excellent support for other data-sience-related languages like bash, python or scala, If you're focus is more R-only workflows, r-notebooks, the embedded table viewer, and R plugin-development, Rstudio excels. And yes, (disclaimer) I'm an author of the IDEA R plugin. $\endgroup$ – Holger Brandl May 5 '17 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ Ssearching for a decent equivalent to Python or R in Java/Kotlin and stumbled on krangl. Gave it a try, but abandoned since it did not easily do what I needed. Tried Tablesaw and got so desperate to try ND4j, since I do like Numpy, but these are all need time to mature. I also came across Oracle's FastR and your plugin. FastR definitely looks mature, but like it is a bear to work with, so in the mean time, since I have work to get done, I will use your plugin. I could always go back to using Jupyter NB (especially now that there is Kotlin support through BeakerX, but I like IDEA!). $\endgroup$ – horcle_buzz Mar 29 '18 at 2:13

You may try using R with Jupyter notebook. It requires installation of jupyter R kernel, IRkernel which will allow you to open a new jupyter notebook with option to choose R instead of default python kernel.

See https://www.continuum.io/blog/developer/jupyter-and-conda-r and https://irkernel.github.io/installation/ for installation steps.


VisualStudio added syntax highlighting for R a few days ago: https://www.visualstudio.com/news/2015-mar-10-vso

The current RStudio preview is pretty cool as well - you can switch to a dark theme, code completion is working well, you can filter in the viewer, etc.

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    $\begingroup$ Taking into accounjt this fact blog.revolutionanalytics.com/2015/01/revolution-acquired.html we can expect further support to R from Microsoft $\endgroup$ – IharS Mar 19 '15 at 9:29
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    $\begingroup$ I did not see anything like this there. Am I blind or did it get taken down? $\endgroup$ – Mike Wise Jun 18 '15 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ Second to last paragraph mentioned it. Or do you mean in Visual Studio itself? $\endgroup$ – LauriK Jun 18 '15 at 14:04

What about ESS, the R (and other stats languages) package for the Emacs editor? It's not formally an IDE, though it has many, if not more of the features of RStudio, just in a different UI (code completion, inline help, object-aware autocomplete, debugging etc.).

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    $\begingroup$ IMO ESS is just about the best environment for authoring apperciable amounts of R. The integration with R is nearly as tight as Rstudio (as most of the niceties of Rstudio are just calls out to devtools and friend) and you have thr benefit of Emacs (flyspell, flycheck, auctex, org-mode, ...) as well as a proper editor $\endgroup$ – Andrew Christianson Feb 12 '19 at 2:19

Here's R Language Support for IntelliJ IDEA. However, keep in mind that this support is not in the form of built-in functionality or official plug-in, but rather a third-party plug-in. I haven't tried it, so my opinion on it is limited to the point above.

In my opinion, a better option would be Eclipse, which offers R support via StatET IDE: http://www.walware.de/goto/statet. However, I find Eclipse IDE too heavyweight. Therefore, my preferred option is RStudio IDE - I don't know why one would prefer other options. I especially like RStudio's ability of online access to the full development environment via RStudio Server.

  • $\begingroup$ Just a clarification: when I said "I don't know why one would prefer other options" that statement implied exclusion of Emacs fans - they have special preferences and obviously gravitate toward Emacs-based R solutions :-). $\endgroup$ – Aleksandr Blekh Mar 19 '15 at 6:15
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    $\begingroup$ I found this plugin for R in IntelliJ: plugins.jetbrains.com/plugin/6632?pr= . $\endgroup$ – Anton Tarasenko Jun 11 '15 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Anton: Thanks for the information. Either that plug-in info wasn't published as of time of my post, or (more likely) I have simply missed it. However, in general, I would definitely prefer a manufacturer's embedded support, especially, considering the prominence of R in academia, science and industry. $\endgroup$ – Aleksandr Blekh Jun 12 '15 at 0:48
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    $\begingroup$ Similar to "R language support for Intellij IDEA", StatET is also a plugin and is not distributed as a standalone product. And imho plugin installation is more streamlined in IDEA compared to eclipse. $\endgroup$ – Holger Brandl May 5 '17 at 10:45

The vim-r-plugin is surprisingly good. You can send lines and paragraphs of code from vim into a tmux session running R in a similar manner to R-Studio. It has these commands if you want to check out what functionality it adds to vim. Of course I use all my other normal vim plugins - auto-complete, folding, etc.


You can try R-Brain platform (r-brain.io). R-Brain provides an integrated cloud/on-premises data science platform for developing models with popular open source languages. Powered by Jupyter, our IDE, console, notebook and markdown are all integrated into one environment with full language support for R and Python. R-Brain editor is built with Monaco, the heart of VS code. With Docker technology and prebuilt images, R-Brain empowers data scientists with quick setup, instant collaboration and version control at workspace level.

I am founder of R-Brain.



I made a list of all GUIs that produce R code through point-click dialogues. Most of these are not full IDEs and only complement. Rkward is a FOSS multiplatform competitor to Rstudio. R AnalyticFlow specializes in 2d graphical layout of icons of code. At end of link is code to install and run 6 IDE helpers.


You May use PyCharm with Kite CoPilot instead of R Studio as PyCharm comes with inbuilt R IntelliJ Plugin Support with Debug functionalities. When it's combined with Kite CoPilot, the programming is much easier than R Studio.

Another Feature liked with PyCharm for R Programing is whenever there is an error in the code, the running stops at that point for us to check realtime instead of making those faulty datasets.


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