Support education of low-income students by providing RStudio binaries for Raspberry Pi

I have recently been contacted by a Mexican undergrad teacher asking for help installing RStudio on a Raspberry Pi, he teaches on the equivalent of a community college for people of low income and they don't have enough "normal" computers at their disposal to teach R, so he thought on using Raspberry Pi SBCs as a low budget alternative but installing RStudio on this architecture is a nightmare (the latest RStudio server version takes more than 24 hours to install from source and is not trivial) so I was thinking if in the spirit of helping education for low-income students and thus inclusiveness, RStudio (the company) might consider providing .deb packages for the "armv7l" architecture. Or maybe someone else with the technical knowledge and resources to set up a cross-compiling environment could provide nonofficial binaries? I have seen some isolated efforts for this but they are not currently maintained so you can only get obsolete versions of RStudio.



I think that's a great project and I really hope someone can help you out with it! I unfortunately don't know how to do this :slight_smile:

Meanwhile, if they have access to internet, they might consider using the free version of RStudio cloud to get started? I know it's not ideal, but all you need is a browser and nothing else... Maybe you could even ask RStudio if they have free plans for organisations with limited resources, as this would fit their philosophy of inclusiveness.

Keep up the great work!

They have been using RStudio Cloud but the free plan now has more limitations so it would be ideal for them to been able to have local installations.


I get it, local is much easier once set up. Do you think it would be possible using Docker? There is this great repo Rocker that seems promising, and I think docker can run on different architectures right?


Yes, using containers is an option but imagin using it with a class of first timers, I'm not a teacher but I can imagine that been very inconvenient.
I honestly don't know the exact constraints they face but I suppose they have their reasons to prefer a native installation.

This problem is exactly the kind of issue that was developed to help solve. I'll get you and your contact in touch with the Cloud team to see if that is a good fit.

This does bring up a good point, there is some discussion here about being more systematic and loud about our desire to support of folks like with this. For example, with a single point for folks to apply for support from us for free to deeply discounted accounts.


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In case anyone comes across this old topic, Posit has now experimental arm64 builds available (For Raspberry Pi OS download the Ubuntu 18 builds) that make the installation of the RStudio IDE effortless.

In case you need guided instructions to test this you can check this blog post:

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