Python is a great programming language. However, it can definitely be a challenge to set up. Fortunately, RStudio is a great integrated development environment (IDE) that makes it easier to work with Python. RStudio is simple, stable, and user-friendly, and additionally offers the ability to easily switch between Python and R.

And RStudio is FREE!

Here are some helpful tips for getting started (with iOS).

Two important R packages to have installed for Python to work in RStudio are reticulate and devtools.


With reticulate you will have access to many useful functions, starting with py_ (e.g. py_version(), py_func(), …)

You can check the Python version(s) you have installed in your computer within RStudio by running

system("python3.8 --version")
system("python3.9 --version")

You can switch between Python versions easily in RStudio by typing (inside RStudio)


Linking the installed libraries to the correct Python version can be very painful in Python.

With the R command py_install you can easily install and track the libraries you have installed with RStudio

For example


You can check which Python libraries are installed in RStudio with

  envname = NULL,
  type = c("auto"),
  python = NULL


If you’re like me and frequently find yourself stuck with multiple Python versions, it’s likely that the libraries you’re using don’t match up with your local Python environment. Trying to determine the version of each Python library can be time consuming and frustrating. (At some point, we have to learn to use virtual environments!)

In your terminal, you can install python libraries with pip3. One useful thing to know is that you can install libraries corresponding to the Pythons versions with

pip3.8 install panda
pip3.9 install panda

Check which libraries are install with Pip3.9 list

Check out the Python path with which pip3.9.


Let’s make a test by installing the library called rottentomatoes-python (link).

I am working with Python versions 3.9

First, with pip in my terminal, I would install the library with

pip3.9 install rottentomatoes-python

Then in RStudio, I would make sure that I am using this Python version


In RStudio, open a python script. File -> New File -> Python Script

Then you should be able to use the newly installed library.

import rottentomatoes as rt
print(rt.tomatometer("happy gilmore"))  
print(rt.actors('top gun maverick', max_actors=5))

Hope this works!