What is RStudio Server Pro?

RStudio Server Pro is a web service that delivers a browser-based experience similar to RStudio, the standard IDE for R users and developers.

Who can use RStudio Server Pro?

The current service is intended for use in courses by faculty and their students. It is not intended for research purposes or for individual use; in such cases, the stand-alone RStudio running on a local system is the better choice. The academic license prohibits using RServer Studio Pro for research purposes, although ITS is considering purchasing a research version for use on our computational cluster.

How can I request access for use in a class I am teaching?

Please send an email to help@lafayette.edu requesting to use RStudio Server Pro in a class, along with the name and semester of the course. ITS will add you to the appropriate group, permitting you to access the service.

How do I access the RStudio Server Pro service?

Once you have been granted access, navigate to https://rstudio.lafayette.edu, and if needed log in with your regular credentials.

How can I distribute files to students, or otherwise upload materials into RStudio Server Pro?

There are two primary methods to upload or distribute files for use within RStudio Server Pro:

  • The simplest method is to have individual users select the Files tab in the lower-right window and then click [Upload]. Users have the option to upload a single file, or also to upload a .zip archive, which will be automatically expanded. Note that users may first want to create a new folder in which to store the files by clicking [New Folder].
    • Using this approach, teachers can, e.g., provide a .zip archive or data file on their course Moodle site, which students can then download locally and upload into RStudio Server Pro.
  • The second method is to use a Git repository, which is potentially advantageous since users do not have to download files from another service and upload them. While the exact steps are beyond the scope of this document, you can create a project in Git, into which you add all necessary files. You can use a repo on github.com or Lafayette’s GitLab instance (if you do not have access to Lafayette’s GitLab, please send an email to help@lafayette.edu requesting access). One you have created a project, users can import it into RStudio Server Pro by selecting File->New Project.. from the top menu, then selecting Version Control->Git and entering the full URL into the Repository URL box, making sure to include the .git extension (e.g., https://git.lafayette.edu/netid/intro_lab.git). The user should also enter a directory name into which the project will be imported. Note that when creating a project within a Git repository, read permissions should be set to Public in order for users to import it.

How can I request a new or updated R package?

Please send an email to help@lafayette.edu with the specific name and any other relevant information about the package, and we will be in touch.

Is it possible to edit files collaboratively?

Yes, you can share a project with other users, which then enables real-time collaborative editing (much like Google Docs). Once you have created a project (by clicking File, then selecting New Project…, and then choosing whether to create a new project directory, use an existing directory, or cloning from version control), you can click File and then Share Project… In the resulting window, you can then enter NetIDs of people you would like to share it with (make sure to click [Add] after each one).

To open a shared project that has been shared with you, click File, then Open Project…, then click the [Shared with Me] button to see the list and select the one you want.

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