charlatan makes fake data, inspired from and borrowing some code from Python’s faker

Make fake data for:

  • person names
  • jobs
  • phone numbers
  • colors: names, hex, rgb
  • credit cards
  • DOIs
  • numbers in range and from distributions
  • gene sequences
  • geographic coordinates
  • emails
  • URIs, URLs, and their parts
  • IP addresses
  • more coming …

Possible use cases for charlatan:

  • Students in a classroom setting learning any task that needs a dataset.
  • People doing simulations/modeling that need some fake data
  • Generate fake dataset of users for a database before actual users exist
  • Complete missing spots in a dataset
  • Generate fake data to replace sensitive real data with before public release
  • Create a random set of colors for visualization
  • Generate random coordinates for a map
  • Get a set of randomly generated DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) to assign to fake scholarly artifacts
  • Generate fake taxonomic names for a biological dataset
  • Get a set of fake sequences to use to test code/software that uses sequence data

Reasons to use charlatan:

  • Lite weight, few dependencies
  • Relatively comprehensive types of data, and more being added
  • Comprehensive set of languages supported, more being added
  • Useful R features such as creating entire fake data.frame’s


cran version


dev version


Usage in the wild