Debugging your Binder


Are you having problems getting your Binder repository to work? Feel free to ask questions here!


I think of “a Binder” as a repository on GitHub or GitLab that works on a site like Is this also what you have in mind?


Yep - I think of “a Binder” as “a repository that’s meant to run on a BinderHub”. (edited the top comment to be a bit more clear)


I’m trying to launch app.R on my repo’s shiny branch with Binder:

And for some reason:
is failing to build.

I’m basing the URL on the binder example, though I’m not sure it’s correct.

At this point would you recommend trying a Dockerfile instead?

  • I ran a dependency check on the 10 packages I’m loading using miniCRAN’s pkgDep and apparently there are 178 depends and suggests.
  • Is there a way to force it only to install the 72 depends? Or is it doing that by default?
  • It’s hard for me to tell because the buffer on the log (that I can see) isn’t very long. Is there a way to see the full log somewhere?

Thanks very much!


Ahh so the package / dependency management thing is still really tricky IMO. I’m not sure how the R packaging world works to fix that problem :-/ could you past the full error message though?

One idea: some folks in the R community have been playing around with ways to make it easier to create Binder-ready repositories using the Rocker stack of Docker images. I believe that @karthik even threw together a little helper R library to do this:

Wanna follow those instructions and see if that can solve your problem?


Karthik helped me get up and running with a Dockerfile, thanks for the suggestion.

I was wondering if there’s a way to go directly to a Shiny app if I’m going the Docker route, or if my only option is and then “Run app.” Extrapolating from the example repo, I think that link would be but now instead of “failed to build” I get a 404 page.



When you use the standard R setup from repo2docker you can have a link like that takes you directly to the Shiny app.