R for macOS Developers

This is the new home for experimental binaries and documentation related to R for macOS. To learn more about the R software or download released versions, please visit www.r-project.org.

All software on this page is strictly experimental and subject to acceptance of the supplied R license agreement and the disclaimer at the end of the page.

Important note about R 4.0.0

Starting with R 4.0.0 alpha we are building R using standard Apple tools (Xcode 12.4) and GNU Fortran 8.2 from fxcoudert and the target is macOS 10.13 (High Sierra). All dependent static libraries are available in the libs-4 directory. Please make sure you remove any modifications to build flags from your home since no custom compilers are used anymore. For more information about alternative OpenMP options (as in older version) see the openmp page of this site.

Apple silicon update: it is now possible to build R for the Apple silicon arm architecture (new Macs with the M1 processor) - see our R developer blog post and the instructions in the R manual. The plan is to have an official native arm release of R 4.1.0, but in the meantime we intend to provide native builds of R-devel here - see "big-sur" builds for arm64 below and more details in the Apple silicon section. Note that the tools are still highly experimental so the arm build is also experimental and things may change as we go. That said, our current Intel releases work just fine on the new Macs as well using Rosetta 2.


Nightly builds for macOS

R framework

3.6.3 Patched
(2020/04/28, r80209)
el-capitanApr 22 21:19x86_64: OK (log)
Package: OK

R-3.6-branch-el-capitan-sa-x86_64.tar.gz (67Mb)

R-3.6-branch-el-capitan.pkg (78Mb, installer incl. GUI)
4.0.5 Patched
(2021/03/31, r80136)
high-sierraApr 20 17:40x86_64: OK (log)
Package: OK

R-4.0-branch.tar.gz (74Mb)

R-4.0-branch.pkg (86Mb, installer incl. GUI)
4.1.0 Under development (unstable)
(2021/03/31, r80136)
high-sierraMar 31 17:16x86_64: OK (log)
Package: OK

R-devel.tar.gz (75Mb)

R-devel.pkg (86Mb, installer incl. GUI)
4.2.0 Under development (unstable)
(2021/04/22, r80211)
big-surApr 22 22:37arm64: OK (log)
Package: OK

R-devel.pkg (77Mb, installer incl. GUI)

Important: The big-sur builds are compatible with the M1 arm-based Macs only. Intel Macs are supported by the high-sierra build which works on any macOS >=10.13 including Big Sur.

The installer image (*.pkg) is packaged exactly the same way as the CRAN release of R (including the GUI) and it will update your R version (unless you use pkgutil - see instructions during installation and/or the "Multiple versions" section of the R Installation and Administration manual).

Alternatively, you can use the tar-ball (*.tar.gz) in the table above. The tar-ball must be unpacked in the root directory using:

$ tar fvxz R*.tar.gz -C /

NOTE: The tar-ball does not contain the GUI (see below for a separate download).

NOTE: The installer includes Tcl/Tk package which will install in /usr/local. It is optional (only needed for the tcltk R package) and can be unchecked at installation time.

If you see any issues with the builds, please contact Simon Urbanek (the macOS maintainer of R) or report on the R-SIG-Mac mailing list.


Mac OS X GUI rev. 7962 for R 3.6.xel-capitan-Debug.dmgR-GUI-7962-3.6-el-capitan-Debug.dmg
Mac OS X GUI rev. 7962 for R 3.6.xel-capitan-Release.dmgR-GUI-7962-3.6-el-capitan-Release.dmg
Mac OS X GUI rev. 7961 for R 4.0.xhigh-sierra-Debug.dmgR-GUI-7961-4.0-high-sierra-Debug.dmg
Mac OS X GUI rev. 7961 for R 4.0.xhigh-sierra-Release.dmgR-GUI-7961-4.0-high-sierra-Release.dmg
Mac OS X GUI rev. 7949 for R 4.1.xhigh-sierra-Debug.dmgR-GUI-7949-4.1-high-sierra-Debug.dmg
Mac OS X GUI rev. 7949 for R 4.1.xhigh-sierra-Release.dmgR-GUI-7949-4.1-high-sierra-Release.dmg
Mac OS X GUI rev. 7949 for R 4.1.xbig-sur-Debug.dmgR-GUI-7949-4.1-big-sur-Debug.dmg
Mac OS X GUI rev. 7949 for R 4.1.xbig-sur-Release.dmgR-GUI-7949-4.1-big-sur-Release.dmg

To install, open the image and drag the R icon to your Applications folder. Alternatively the GUI can be run directly off that image without copying if you just want to test it. Build configurations with "64" suffix are 64-bit builds, all others are 32-bit (except for Debug). If you want to use both, rename one of them or place them in different directories.


In order to compile R and R packages you will need Xcode Developer Tools and a Fortran compiler. For details and download, please read the Tools page. The R 4.0.0 and higer binaries are built using Xcode 11.4.

CRAN macOS master

This is now the master repository for released R package binaries. If you have issues with other mirrors, try using https://mac.r-project.org/ as your mirror as it is updated first.

Apple silicon (aka arm64, aarch64, M1)

To avoid clashes with the Intel builds, we use separate tools and libraries for the arm64 builds of R on macOS. This is only relevant if you want to compile R packages yourself. All tools and libraries live in /opt/R/arm64 including the GNU Fortram compiler and you can download them from libs-arm64. It is assumed that /usr/local is unsafe as it may contain Intel binaries which don't mix, therefore R will not try to use /usr/local unless a manual flags override is issued. However, it also means that it is safe to use our arm binaries without affecting your legacy Intel ecosystem.

The big-sur arm64 build of R requires XQuartz 2.8.0_rc1 or higher to use the X11 components.

Legacy R

The current build supports only macOS X 10.13 (High Sierra) or higher. Older versions of macOS are not supported in binary form, but R can be compiled from sources for such legacy OS versions. Last released version for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) was R 2.10.1, last release for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) was R 2.15.3, last release for Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) was R 3.6.3.

Other binaries

The following binaries are not maintained or supported by R-core and are provided without any guarantee and for convenience only (Mac OS X 10.4.4 or higher required). They match the binaries used on the CRAN binary build machine and thus are recommended for use with CRAN R package binaries.

More external libraries for R 4.0.0 and higher can be found in the /libs-4/ directory. For older versions see the /libs/ directory.


All software is provided "as is" and any express or implied warranties, including, but but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall the publisher, copyright owner or contributors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental,special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this software, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.