Introduction to RStudio server - customizing, setting up a user directory, etc...


I'm new to using RStudio server, and I had a few questions I didn't find answers to elsewhere. I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask these questions; I'm sorry if it's not, and please point me to the right forums.

I work in a team who use RStudio server for most of their data analytical jobs. I am also used to working with a customized RStudio Desktop, with my own appearance, layout, fonts, working directories etc. in place. I wanted to make these changes on the RStudio Server as well, but I wasn't sure if these changes would affect other users as well.

Another thing I wasn't sure of was the location of the default directory, and also creating my own directory on the server. If I wanted to install a package, would it install in a way that other users also would have access to it? What is the default directory it would download to, and how can I specify my own directory to save the downloaded packages in, on the server?

Also apologize for the naivete of the questions! I'm worried about breaking the server while I learn how to work on it!

Thanks a lot.

They won't! Every user gets their own set of preferences.

The default directory will be your user home directory, just like on RStudio Desktop. We do recommend creating a separate directory for each project to help keep things organized.

No, it won't. On RStudio Server, there is a system library (which contains packages installed with R itself, and to which all users have read access), and a user library (which contains any packages you have installed yourself).

Ordinary users don't have access to write to the system library; they can only write to their own private user libraries.

R will set up a user library for you, so you don't have to do this yourself. Run .libPaths() in R to see what it is. You can also change it if you prefer a different location.

Lots more here:

@jonathan, thanks a lot for your response! That helped clarify things up a bit.

I ran the .libPaths() command as you suggested, and got the following output:

[1] "/home/kvemuri/R/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-library/3.5"
[2] "/usr/local/lib/R/site-library"                   
[3] "/usr/lib/R/site-library"                         
[4] "/usr/lib/R/library" 

Can you give me a bit of info on what each of these folders are? Their contents do not give me much of a clue...

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