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Server Management#

This section describes common administrative tasks for RStudio Connect.

Stopping and Starting#

Occasionally it is necessary to start and stop the RStudio Connect service. Stopping and starting is handled by systemd.


systemd is a management and configuration platform for Linux.

On stop/start or restart the following occurs:


  • The RStudio Connect process is stopped.

  • Processes serving applications and APIs are stopped.

  • Processes rendering documents run through completion.

  • In-progress deployments will fail. Processes running as part of the deployment may run to completion.


  • RStudio Connect process is resumed.

  • Applications and APIs with a minimum number of processes are started.

  • Scheduled document render updates missed during system downtime are run at most once.

The RStudio Connect installer installs a systemd service called rstudio-connect, which causes the connect program to be started and stopped automatically when the machine boots up and shuts down. The rstudio-connect service is also automatically launched during installation.

Use the following commands to manually start and stop the server:

sudo systemctl start rstudio-connect
sudo systemctl stop rstudio-connect

You can restart the server with:

sudo systemctl restart rstudio-connect

You can trigger a configuration reload with the systemctl reload command, which reads the changed configuration from disk:

sudo systemctl reload rstudio-connect

This causes the server to re-initialize but does not interrupt the current processes or any of the open connections to the server.


Use systemctl reload to send a HUP signal when your configuration changes are limited to properties marked as "reloadable". See the Configuration appendix to learn which settings may be reloaded. Perform a full restart of RStudio Connect when changing other properties.

You can check the status of the rstudio-connect service using:

sudo systemctl status rstudio-connect

And finally, you can use the enable/disable commands to control whether Connect should be run automatically at boot time:

sudo systemctl enable rstudio-connect
sudo systemctl disable rstudio-connect

System Messages#

Administrators can add a message to the RStudio Connect welcome page and content page.

The Server.PublicWarning setting defines the message for the welcome page. Server.LoggedInWarning defines the message for the content page. The messages are supplied as HTML snippets. For example:

; /etc/rstudio-connect/rstudio-connect.gcfg
PublicWarning = "<strong>Warning:</strong> Scheduled downtime this weekend."
LoggedInWarning = "Data Science Team Meeting Tomorrow"

Messages can be added or modified without restarting the connect service. After adding the message property to the config file, use the reload command:

sudo systemctl reload rstudio-connect


RStudio Connect provides a simple health-check endpoint that can be used to test if Connect is up/listening. Point your browser to myserveraddress:myserverport/__ping__, which returns an empty JSON response and an HTTP 200 status.

curl -I -X GET http://myserveraddress:myserverport/__ping__


Upgrading RStudio Connect requires limited downtime. Scheduled document renders are not interrupted. Connections to running applications and APIs are closed. We recommend upgrading during a period of downtime. Users can be warned ahead of an upgrade with system messages.

The RStudio Connect version number is visible on the left-hand navigation pane of the RStudio Connect dashboard.

The latest version of RStudio Connect is available on the download page along with release notes.

You can upgrade RStudio Connect by using one of the following methods:

  • The installation/upgrade script or
  • The latest .rpm or .deb file:

    • Download the latest .rpm or .deb file for your distribution.
    • Run the install command:

      sudo gdebi <rstudio-connect-version.deb>
      sudo yum install <rstudio-connect-version.rpm>
      sudo zypper install <rstudio-connect-version.rpm>

The new version of RStudio Connect will install on top of an earlier installation. Existing configuration settings are respected. During installation the RStudio Connect service is restarted. Total downtime is less than 10 minutes.


The /etc/rstudio-connect/rstudio-connect-migration.gcfg configuration file is modified during product updates. The Configuration Migration section describes this file and how it is managed. The migration file acts as a staging area for new or updated options. Review the contents of this file after upgrading and move its contents to the main /etc/rstudio-connect/rstudio-connect.gcfg configuration file.

Purging RStudio Connect#

You can fully remove RStudio Connect and all its data from your server using the following steps:

  1. Stop the RStudio Connect service. (See Starting and Stopping for details)

  2. Uninstall the RStudio Connect package from your system.


    sudo apt-get purge rstudio-connect

    Red Hat/CentOS:

    sudo yum remove rstudio-connect


    sudo zypper remove rstudio-connect
  3. Remove logs from /var/log/rstudio-connect*

  4. Purge the database

    • When using SQLite, remove the SQLite.Dir directory. This has a default location of /var/lib/rstudio-connect/db.

    • When using PostgreSQL, drop the database used by Connect. You may also wish to remove the PostgreSQL user associated with Connect.

  5. Remove the Server.DataDir directory. By default, this is /var/lib/rstudio-connect.

  6. Remove configuration files from /etc/rstudio-connect if they still exist.


Some organizations are starting to deploy RStudio Connect within a Docker container. Connect will manage and run your processes within that container. This section describes the requirements for a container-based deployment.

If you are using multiple Docker containers to run RStudio Connect, the High Availability and Load Balancing section contains requirements for a load-balanced, multi-host configuration.

Please contact your Customer Success representative for guidance deploying RStudio Connect into your particular environment.


RStudio Connect is supported on the Linux distributions given in the System Requirements section. Docker-based deployments need to use one of these operating systems.


R version 3.1.0 or higher must be installed within your Docker container. We recommend installing a curated set of R versions rather than using R installed by a package manager. Use the R installation instructions from the [R Installation](( section when building your Docker image.

Privileged containers#

RStudio Connect runs processes within an "unshare" environment using bind mounts as described in the Sandboxing section. These bind mounts help Connect hide and isolate parts of the filesystem from executed user processes. Bind mounts are not permitted when running within an unprivileged container.

Docker containers are allowed mount permissions with the SYS_ADMIN capability. You can give these permissions to your container using either the --cap-add=SYS_ADMIN or --privileged=true option.

Learn more about Linux capabilities and CAP_SYS_ADMIN in the capabilities man page.

The Docker container running RStudio Connect must be started with either --cap-add=SYS_ADMIN or --privileged=true.


We recommend using a floating license server and having RStudio Connect use that license server. The Floating Licenses section explains how to obtain and configure the license server as associating RStudio Connect with the floating license server.


We recommend using docker stop rather than docker kill to terminate your RStudio Connect Docker containers. Using docker stop allows floating license leases to be gracefully released. License leases not returned to the license server need to wait for lease expiration before they can be reused.

Please contact your Customer Success representative if your organization is unable to run a persistent floating license server.


Mount a persistent storage location into the Docker container and configure that location as your Server.DataDir. Do not mount this to the default /var/lib/rstudio-connect location. See the Variable Data section for more information about the data managed by RStudio Connect.


The default SQLite database provider may be used when RStudio Connect runs inside a single Docker container and your Server.DataDir is a mounted volume that is NOT part of a networked (NFS) share.

You must use PostgreSQL in all multiple-container deployments or if your persistent storage location is a networked location.


This section contains an rstudio-connect.gcfg configuration file and Dockerfile that will help get you started building your own environment.

With the Dockerfile and rstudio-connect.gcfg files in a directory, you can build a Docker image tagged with rstudio/connect-docker:latest with the command:

docker build -t rstudio/connect-docker .

Once the image is built, it can be run with the command:

docker run -d --privileged=true --rm \
    -p :9999:3939 \
    -v $(pwd)/data:/data \

This launches RStudio Connect within a Docker container. The Connect instance is available on port :9999 (published from :3939 within the container). This sample mounts the ./data directory as our persistent storage and will need updating for your environment.


This rstudio-connect.gcfg file is copied into the Docker image by a COPY command in the Dockerfile that follows. This file is only an initial configuration and will need customization for your organization.

; /etc/rstudio-connect/rstudio-connect.gcfg

; RStudio Connect sample configuration
; SenderEmail is an email address used by RStudio Connect to send outbound
; email. The system will not be able to send administrative email until this
; setting is configured.
SenderEmail =

; The public URL to this RStudio Connect container. This might the address for
; a proxy or the host running the Docker container.
Address =

; The persistent data directory mounted into our container.
DataDir = /data

LicenseType = remote

; Use and configure our PostgreSQL database.
Provider = postgres

URL = "postgres://"

; RStudio Connect will listen on this network address for HTTP connections.
Listen = :3939

; Specifies the type of user authentication.
Provider = password


Here is a simple Dockerfile that can be used to run RStudio Connect within an Ubuntu 18.04 (bionic) Docker container.

This environment installs a single R version using a DEB installer produced by the r-builds project. The R binaries produced by r-builds live in a version-specific directory beneath /opt/R/.

# RStudio Connect sample Dockerfile
FROM ubuntu:bionic

# Install tools needed to obtain and install R and RStudio Connect.
RUN export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive && \
    apt-get update && \
    apt-get install -y curl gdebi-core && \
    rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

# Download and install R 3.6.1.
ARG R_OS=ubuntu-1804
ARG R_PACKAGE=r-${R_VERSION}_1_amd64.deb
RUN curl -fsSL -O ${R_PACKAGE_URL} && \
    export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive && \
    apt-get update && \
    apt-get install -f -y ./${R_PACKAGE} && \
    rm ${R_PACKAGE} && \
    rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

# Download and install RStudio Connect.
ARG CONNECT_PACKAGE=rstudio-connect_${CONNECT_VERSION}_amd64.deb
RUN curl -sL -o rstudio-connect.deb ${CONNECT_URL} && \
    apt-get update && \
    gdebi -n rstudio-connect.deb && \
    rm rstudio-connect.deb && \
    rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

# Copy our configuration over the default install configuration
COPY rstudio-connect.gcfg /etc/rstudio-connect/rstudio-connect.gcfg

# Use a remote license server issuing floating licenses
RUN /opt/rstudio-connect/bin/license-manager license-server

# Expose the configured listen port.

# Launch Connect.
CMD ["--config", "/etc/rstudio-connect/rstudio-connect.gcfg"]
ENTRYPOINT ["/opt/rstudio-connect/bin/connect"]

This Dockerfile installs a single R version but may be extended to install a number of different R versions.

Learn more about how RStudio Connect can use multiple R installations in the R chapter.

Your organization may have a shared volume containing all of the available R installations. You could mount those installations into the container as it is started. This sample command mounts a shared /shared/software/R location into the well-known /opt/R location within the container:

docker run -d --privileged=true --rm \
    -p :9999:3939 \
    -v $(pwd)/data:/data \
    -v /shared/software/R:/opt/R \