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4.1 Installing RStudio Connect

In this session#

In this session, you:

  • Prepare to install RStudio Connect
    • Pre-requisites
    • Design decisions
  • Download and install Connect

The mental model of Connect#

Climbing a Mountain vs Cimbing a Tree#

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Getting from A to B isn't going to be like climbing a mountain, it's like climbing a tree (picking which fork to follow amongst numerous branches).

Finding Information#

Refer to the product documentation at:

This course is about teaching you to fish, not giving you fish.

  • Open up the guide, this will be a useful resource throughout the course and will help you decide which branch to pick.

Installation requirements#

Installing Connect - Where?#

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Support article: Configuration and sizing recommendations

Installing Connect - Where?#

Typical questions

  • How big a server?

    • It all depends on what your content will be doing in R.
    • It is best to learn over time and crawl-walk-run where possible.
    • The support article Configuration and sizing recommendations provides some suggestions.
  • Docker?

    • Connect is designed to run on a persistent server (think Sharepoint).
    • As you will see, it internally runs and isolates user submitted code, manages processes, sandboxes permissions, etc.
    • You will get into this more, but all these aspects make it a bit of an odd fit for Docker. That said, it's possible, but must be run in a privileged container.
    • Running in a privileged container may reduce the amount of process isolation that Docker offers. Whether it is still worth dockerizing is a choice you must make.
  • What operating system?

Installing Connect - How?#


Installation of RStudio Connect requires root permissions.

  • (We will explain why later.)
  • TL;DR: Requirement comes from a strict security viewpoint.

System requirement: R#

Where can R be installed?

which R

Rscript -e 'R.home()'

RStudio Connect is all about "deploy and forget". This means you don't want existing content to break when R is upgraded.

To achieve this, RStudio Connect supports multiple versions of R.


Our recommended best practice is to always install R from pre-compiled binaries

  • Install R from pre-compiled binaries
  • Store in version specific locations, for example:

  • /opt/R/3.5.0

  • /opt/R/3.6.0
  • /opt/R/3.6.1

Because Connect supports multiple versions of R, the upgrading decision is easy:

Upgrading R is as simple as installing another version of R side-by-side.

Important: avoid upgrading by using your repository:

  • Avoid apt-get upgrade !!!
  • Avoid yum upgrade !!!

Installing Connect#

Installing Connect: server sizing?#

Q: What type of server should Connect run on? (Memory, CPU, etc).

A: It depends. You should be able to answer this question by the end of the course.

  • General guidelines here
  • It all depends on what your content will be doing in R.
    • Best to learn over time and crawl-walk-run where possible.

Downloading Connect#

Download page links to current version:

Screencast: download and install Connect#

Your turn#

Next complete the lab exercise.

Signs of success:

  • The connect log indicates that Connect is listening on port 3939
  • You successfully get the Connect landing page