The goal of cbuild is to provide tools for working with C both interactively and when constructing an R package. The two broad goals are:

  • Provide a way to interactively source C code into your R session. See source_function() and source_code() to get started.

  • Provide an automatic registration system for R package developers that use C, see process_attributes(). It can automatically generate the init.c file for you, using a comment system similar to Rcpp::export. For example, the following would generate an entry for the C function fn() in init.c, and generate the glue code to export it as an R routine named fn, which you could call from the R side with .Call(fn, 1):


You can install the development version from GitHub with:



The easiest way to get started is with source_function(), which allows you to source a C function from text. It automatically includes R.h and Rinternals.h for you to use.

From there, you can use source_code() to source larger chunks of code. Tag functions that you want to export with // [[ export() ]].

If you have a full file to source, you can use source_file().