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A portable, lightweight, zero-dependency JavaScript engine for R, using QuickJS.

Values and objects are directly passed between R and QuickJS, with no need for serialization or deserialization. This both reduces overhead and allows for more complex data structures to be passed between R and JavaScript - including functions.


You can install the development version of QuickJSR from GitHub with:

# install.packages("remotes")

Or you can install pre-built binaries from R-Universe:

install.packages("QuickJSR", repos = c("https://andrjohns.r-universe.dev",


For standalone or simple JavaScript code, you can use the qjs_eval() function:


qjs_eval("1 + 1")
#> [1] 2
#> [1] 0.5193045

For more complex interactions, you can create a QuickJS context and evaluate code within that context:

ctx <- JSContext$new()

Use the $source() method to load JavaScript code into the context:

# Code can be provided as a string
ctx$source(code = "function add(a, b) { return a + b; }")

# Or read from a file
subtract_js <- tempfile(fileext = ".js")
writeLines("function subtract(a, b) { return a - b; }", subtract_js)
ctx$source(file = subtract_js)

Then use the $call() method to call a specified function with arguments:

ctx$call("add", 1, 2)
#> [1] 3
ctx$call("subtract", 5, 3)
#> [1] 2

Interacting with R objects, environments, and functions

As QuickJSR uses the respective C APIs of R and QuickJS to pass values between the two, this allows for more complex data structures to be passed between R and JavaScript.

For example, you can also pass R functions to be evaluated using JavaScript arguments:

ctx$source(code = "function callRFunction(f, x, y) { return f(x, y); }")
ctx$call("callRFunction", function(x, y) x + y, 1, 2)
#> [1] 3
ctx$call("callRFunction", function(x, y) paste0(x, ",", y), "a", "b")
#> [1] "a,b"

You can pass R environments to JavaScript, and both access and update their contents:

env <- new.env()
env$x <- 1
env$y <- 2

ctx$source(code = "function accessEnv(env) { return env.x + env.y; }")
ctx$call("accessEnv", env)
#> [1] 3

ctx$source(code = "function updateEnv(env) { env.z = env.x * env.y; return env.z;}")
ctx$call("updateEnv", env)
#> [1] 2

#> [1] 2

QuickJSR also provides a global R object, which you can use to access objects and functions from various R packages:

#> [1] "2024-06-07 03:00:00 EEST"