It’s broken. Missing packages etc. How do I fix it?

Update the hook revisions with $ pre-commit autoupdate or > precommit::autoupdate(). If this does not help, please follow the update instructions in the package documentation. If that does not work, run $ pre-commit clean to clean the pre-commit cache. Then, try again. Although you could also clear the {renv} cache, this should only be a strategy of last resort, as it may break other {renv} projects on your machine and you’d have to do some re-storing there.

How does it work? What’s the magic?

No magic. Git provides a mechanism for pre-commit hooks. Since it’s cumbersome to copy bash scripts and keep them updated in some hidden .git/ directory, people wrote frameworks to basically maintain these files. One of them is pre-commit.com. So you call git to commit, git calls its internal hooks, these hooks (bash scripts in the simplest case) are provided by the pre-commit framework. And where does pre-commit get all it’s nice hooks from? From us.

How are hooks accessed? What happens if there’s no internet connection?

Internet connection is required during installation (precommit::install_precommit()) and project initialization (precommit::use_precommit()) as well as when hooks are updated (precommit::autoupdate()). Otherwise, no internet connection is required. During initialization, hooks from this repo will be placed in a virtual environment within the user cache and upon committing, they are called from a generic hook helper in .git/hooks/.

Why do some hooks not give me the same results as running the command interactively?

Note that starting with precommit > 0.1.3, hooks run in an isolated {renv}, leveraging R as a supported language in the pre-commit framework. The version of a package you use interactively (e.g. {roxygen2} to document) might for that reason be different from the one pre-commit uses. The point of using pre-commit is to take mental burden off your shoulders (and sometimes even caches results for speed), so there is no need to run functionality covered by the hooks manually anyways. If you need to know which package versions are used, look for the renv.lock file in https://github.com/lorenzwalthert/precommit at the git tag specified under rev: in your .pre-commit-config.yaml.

Can you use it outside RStudio?

Yes, all but the open_config() and open_wordlist() to open files in RStudio.

Can I use the hooks provided in this package without installing the R package?

Yes, you don’t need to manually install this package. Although technically speaking, this package will get installed into a virtual environment isolated from your global and project library.

How can I make sure that my contributors are using the hooks?

They must follow the installation instructions in the README, i.e. run


The last call can be omitted by users who have automatically enabled pre-commit hooks.

To enforce all hooks pass, you can follow the advice on how to use pre-commit in a CI/CD setup.

Should I list {precommit} as a dependency of my package in DESCRIPTION?

No, precommit is a dev dependency like {devtools}, so it should not be listed in DESCRIPTION.

What if not all people who are committing to this repo want to use the hooks?

This is not a problem, git will only run the hooks in a local repo after precommit::use_precommit() has been run successfully from within this local repo on your machine. You can also uninstall anytime with precommit::uninstall_precommit(). Anyone who does not want to use the hooks simply should not run precommit::use_precommit(). You can also temporarily disable hooks using the environment variable SKIP or the argument --no-verify, as described here.

How does one create a new pre-commit hook?

How to contribute new hooks is explained in CONTRIBUTING.md.

There is more. Check out the documentation of the pre-commit framework.