RStudio IDE

RStudio Server: Getting Started

Overview

RStudio Server enables you to provide a browser based interface (the RStudio IDE) to a version of R running on a remote Linux server. Deploying R and RStudio on a server has a number of benefits, including:

  • The ability to access your R workspace from any computer in any location;
  • Easy sharing of code, data, and other files with colleagues;
  • Allowing multiple users to share access to the more powerful compute resources (memory, processors, etc.) available on a well equipped server; and
  • Centralized installation and configuration of R, R packages, TeX, and other supporting libraries.

RStudio Server works with recent versions of popular Linux distributions including Debian, Ubuntu, and RedHat/CentOS. RStudio Server can also be built and installed from source on other platforms (see notes on this below).

Download and Install

RStudio Server binary packages are available for recent versions of popular Linux distributions including Debian (version 6.0 or higher), Ubuntu (version 10.04 or higher) and RedHat/CentOS (version 5.4 or higher). For other platforms it is also possible to build and install from source.

Instructions for downloading and installing RStudio Server can be found on the server downloads page.

Accessing the Server

By default RStudio Server runs on port 8787 and accepts connections from all remote clients. After installation you should therefore be able to navigate a web browser to the following address to access the server:

http://<server-ip>:8787

RStudio will prompt for a username and password, and will authenticate the user by checking the server's username and password database. A couple of notes related to user authentication:

  • RStudio Server will not permit logins by system users (those with user ids lower than 100).
  • User credentials are encrypted using RSA as they travel over the network.
  • You can manage users with standard Linux user administration tools like useradd, userdel, etc.
  • Each user needs to be created with a home directory.

If you are unable to access the server after installation, you should run the verify-installation command to output additional diagnostics:

$ sudo rstudio-server verify-installation

Configuration and Management

RStudio Server has a variety of configuration options (including the ability to change what port the server listens on) as well as a utility for managing the lifetime of the server and remote user sessions. You can find out more about these capabilities in the following articles:

If you are running RStudio on a public network you may wish deploy RStudio behind another server (e.g. Nginx or Apache) which acts as a reverse proxy to it. You can find out more about doing this in the following article: