RStudio on a Chromebook

Hi There!

Would anyone mind sharing any pointers for using RStudio on a Chromebook? I'm currently using Data Scientist Workbench and it works fine, however, I'd like to apply the best methods for using Github and Google Drive, for instance. Any suggestions?

Hi @mjespero,

I haven't given it a whirl personally, however, I know Jeff Leek's (@jtleek on twitter) been a fan, and has written up a couple of posts about it:

I believe @jennybryan has some chromebook experience as well :wink:!

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Here are my setup notes and, most importantly, links to other people's notes!


@jennybryan, is there any performance penalty to installing RStudio Server locally and accessing it through localhost compared to running a native copy of RStudio (or running a Linux version of RStudio on a Chromebook via Crouton)?

I don't know. Let's hope someone else does.

Honestly, I had to set these Chromebooks up for parenting / Minecraft reasons. So I thought I might as well make it easy to play with RStudio in Ubuntu while I was at it.


That's okay :smile: I'm mostly lusting after the Pixelbook :cry:

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These posts were part of what lead me to give it a try. Thank you, @mara!

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Thanks, @jennybryan!

I'm a little late to the game on this, but wanted to respond. I have wanted to get Rstudio Server running within crouton and then hit the server directly from the browser while in Chrome OS without having to open up an X window. Benefit is being able to pull out source tabs to their own window and I just think RStudio Server looks nice in the browser!

So, since I have other things I should be working on today I of course found the time to figure it out. It works really well! Now viewing html or pdf or docx from within RStudio just open in another chrome tab and I can get full screen for source tabs.

I want to play around with a different set-up on my chroot but once I do that will pull together a blog post about it. In the meantime, I followed that standard RStudio Server install directions ( and then followed directions on running servers in a chroot ( With that done and the chroot and rstudio-server started, localhost::8787 gets me access directly from chrome os!

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I'd love to hear how you go with that, @jhollist: it seems like a really smart and (in theory) resource-conservative way to do things. Looking forward to that blog post!

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So, re-ran the process and took some decent notes. Not a blog post yet, but notes are at

As far as being resource-conservative, I am not sure. No real difference that I can see in performance between server and rstudio desktop in the chroot. The look and feel of the server though is a whole lot nicer, and being able to pull out the source tabs is huge! Anyway, I will try to get a real post put together soon.

Also I can't help but put in a plug for the Asus Flip ( that I have. A pixel would be nice, but what drew me to the chromebook was the price. The flip was less than 500.00, it is fast enough for most of what I do and I really enjoy working on it

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Yeah, I've a friend shopping for a sub-AU$500 Chromebook at the moment, so I'm keen to see how he goes with it :slight_smile: Thanks!

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So got around to writing up a decent post on setting up RStudio Server via crouton. Been working on this set-up for a week or so and, IMO, this is the way to go for R on a Chromebook.

For the details, take a look:!


Nice blog post, @jhollist :slight_smile: Out of interest, what was RStudio Server's resource use like when you weren't actively logged into it? I'm curious about whether starting the server on boot and leaving it going when you aren't using it is a good idea.