license Function in R (Example)


In this article, I’ll explain how to get the license terms under which R is distributed using the license function in R.

Table of contents:

Let’s just jump right in…


Example: Return the License Terms Under which R is Distributed

This example demonstrates how to get the license terms for reference of the R programming language.

For this, we simply have to execute the license function (or licence) within R or RStudio:

license()                     # Apply license function
# This software is distributed under the terms of the GNU General
# Public License, either Version 2, June 1991 or Version 3, June 2007.
# The terms of version 2 of the license are in a file called COPYING
# which you should have received with
# this software and which can be displayed by RShowDoc("COPYING").
# Version 3 of the license can be displayed by RShowDoc("GPL-3").
# Copies of both versions 2 and 3 of the license can be found
# at
# A small number of files (the API header files listed in
# R_DOC_DIR/COPYRIGHTS) are distributed under the
# LESSER GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE, version 2.1 or later.
# This can be displayed by RShowDoc("LGPL-2.1"),
# or obtained at the URI given.
# Version 3 of the license can be displayed by RShowDoc("LGPL-3").
# 'Share and Enjoy.'

As you can see, the license function has returned some text describing the license terms of R. Plain and simple! 🙂


Video, Further Resources & Summary

I have recently released a video on my YouTube channel, which explains the R programming codes of this tutorial. You can find the video below.



In addition, you could have a look at the related tutorials on this homepage.


Summary: In this R tutorial you have learned how to apply the license function. In case you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to tell me about it in the comments section below.


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