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Content Settings Panel#

This chapter contains an overview of the Content Settings Panel available to publishers and administrators. Content settings are available for each content item and can be accessed by opening a piece of content through the RStudio Connect user interface. The settings panel opens to the Access tab by default.

Overview of the content settings panel

To toggle the Settings panel open and closed, click on the Settings icon (shaped like a gear) in the upper right menu options list. To hide access to the content controls altogether, share content in Open Solo mode (located in the upper-right menu options list, or under the More icon on narrow screens.)

Info & Content Metadata#

After your RStudio Connect content has been published, you can change its title, add a description, and upload a content image to make it easier for others to find your content.

First, open the content and click on the "info" tab.

Info tab showing title, description, owner, and image

The top text field is the application title. This defaults to the application name if it was given. Other users will not be able to edit this field unless they are collaborators or administrators.

The large text area is the application description. You can describe the content in this field, or add other information that you feel is important. Other users will not be able to edit this field unless they are collaborators or administrators.

The area that displays a prompt to select an image for this content is the content image field. You can upload a jpeg, png, gif, or svg image that represents the content. Unlike title or description, users who cannot view the content (including administrators) will also be unable to view the image you have uploaded. This way, if you wish to upload a screenshot of the content, any information contained in that screenshot will not leak to users who would not otherwise be able to access it.

Shiny applications and document-based content types will also have basic usage data displayed in the Info panel (visible to the content owner and RStudio Connect admins only).

Example usage data

Usage data for the content item is summarized to show the last 30 days of activity across all associated versions and variants. Shiny applications will display the total number of visits and the total user interaction time in the past 30-day period, plus a plot of the daily visit count. Document content items have the same statistics displayed, except for user interaction time.

These data can also be accessed via the instrumentation endpoints in the RStudio Connect Server API. If you're interested in performing custom usage metrics analysis, check out the API Cookbook which contains example R code snippets for retrieving Shiny application usage and content visits.


After publishing a piece of content to RStudio Connect, the Connect user interface will open to show the access panel.

There are three types of user interaction settings available to publishers in this panel:

  • Sharing Settings (who can see this content)
  • Access List (who can view or change this content)
  • Execution User (which server user will run the content)

The final setting for creating a custom URL is reserved for administrators by default.

Access settings panel

To enable this feature for publishers, have your administrator refer to the Authorization configuration section of the RStudio Connect Admin Guide: PublishersCanManageVanities.


The PublishersCanManageVanities setting is available in RStudio Connect version 1.7.6 and later. Instructions for upgrading RStudio Connect can be found in the Admin Guide.

Sharing Settings#

The default access settings are setup such that only the publisher will be able to view this new piece of content. This means that the content will not be visible to other users on your RStudio Connect server until you change the access settings here.

There are several visibility options, arranged from most open to least:

  • Anyone - no login required
  • All users - login required
  • Specific users or groups

Choosing Specific users or groups will allow you to specify individual named user accounts or groups registered on the RStudio Connect server with help from auto-complete text lookup.


It is not possible to change the content owner through the dashboard settings available here. To transfer content ownership between users, an administrator can use the RStudio Connect Server API for single content items, or the usermanager utility for all of a user's content.

Access List Settings#

To enable multiple users to maintain and update a single piece of content on RStudio Connect, all users should be listed as collaborators on the content. You can control which users are collaborators and which are viewers with the dropdown at the end of the searchbox. After adding a user, you can also change the user's permission from viewer to collaborator using the icon dropdown on the user's row.

For more information about the best practices for collaborative development and data project management on RStudio connect, see the Publishing with Collaborators section.

Execution User Settings#

Content is initially configured to run on the server as a Unix user configured by your RStudio Connect administrator, defaulting to the rstudio-connect user. Your content may need to run as a different Unix user due to resource permissions and constraints. If you specify an alternate user, the target user must be a member of a shared Unix group which is configured by your administrator. The default shared group is also called rstudio-connect.

Your Connect administrator can adjust the default Unix user and shared group by modifying the Applications.RunAs and Applications.SharedRunAsUnixGroup settings.

Custom Content URL#

Administrators and publishers (if allowed) can create a custom vanity URL for a piece of content. The vanity URL is appended to the server address to form the complete path to the content.

Vanity URLs can be useful for all published content types. The example below demonstrates how creating a custom content URL for a plumber API will update the base URL to a cleaner, more user-friendly address:

Example Custom URL

Vanity URLs may include only alphanumeric characters, hyphens, underscores, and slashes.

Vanity URLs can not be nested inside of one another. So if a vanity URL /finance/ already exists, you would not be able to create a new vanity URL at /finance/budget/. Sibling paths, such as: /finance/budget/ and /finance/quarterly/ may both exist concurrently.


Only administrators can manage vanity paths by default. To allow publishers to create vanity paths for content items they own and collaborate on, a server administrator must enable the Authorization.PublishersCanManageVanities configuration setting.


RStudio Connect is built to scale content. Publishers and administrators have access to runtime settings to help tune and scale their applications and APIs. The primary concern for scaling content in RStudio Connect is understanding when and how R code will be executed on the server.

A powerful component of RStudio Connect is the ability to host data products that require backend processes during a user’s visit. Examples include shiny applications and R Markdown documents with runtime::shiny, plumber APIs, and TensorFlow APIs. In the case of Shiny, an end user’s browser (the client) is connected with an R process running on the server. When a user changes an input, the client sends a message to the server and a portion of R code is re-run. The server sends back the result as output. In the case of APIs, a client makes a request which is sent to a running process, and the results are sent back to the client.

If runtime is not applicable to the content type (e.g. static/batch content including: documents, plots and HTML files), you will see a message stating that there are no runtime settings to configure. RStudio Connect is able to update static content on a schedule.

Runtime settings panel

Changes to runtime settings are applied immediately to running instances of this content. New connections use updated values. Existing connections are not modified or disconnected.

Process Configurations#


References to per node configurations refer to RStudio Connect instantiations which are configured for High Availability. Check with your server administator if you're not sure whether this applies to you.

  • Max processes: The maximum number of processes that will be simultaneously running for this content per RStudio Connect node, regardless of load.

  • Min processes: The minimum number of processes that will be kept running for this content per RStudio Connect node, regardless of load.

  • Max connections per process: The maximum number of client connections allowed to an individual process. Incoming connections which will exceed this limit are routed to a new process or rejected.

  • Load factor: A value between 0 and 1 which determines how lazily additional processes will be spawned to handle incoming load for this process. At the highest setting, Connect will only spawn additional processes when existing processes are not allowed to accept an additional connection. At the lowest setting, Connect will create many new processes as new users arrive to handle the load.

Errors such as connection timeouts or HTTP 503 status codes indicate insufficient process resources to serve the incoming requests. This can be caused by sudden bursts of requests to this piece of content. If this occurs, some possible solutions are:

  • Increase Min processes so that one or more worker processes will be kept running. Those processes will begin handling requests while additional processes are starting up. Keep in mind that processes that are kept running when not needed will still consume system memory.
  • Increase Max processes and/or Max connections per process to provide enough total connections to hold all incoming requests while processes are starting up.

For more information, see Scaling and Performance Tuning in RStudio Connect.

Timeout Configurations#

  • Idle timeout per process: The minimum time a worker process remains alive after it goes idle (in seconds) - i.e. no active connections.

  • Initial timeout: The maximum time to wait for an app to start (in seconds).

  • Connection timeout: The maximum time allowed without data sent or received across a client connection (in seconds). A value of 0 means connections will never time-out (not recommended).

  • Read timeout: Maximum time allowed without data received from a client connection (in seconds). A value of 0 means a lack of browser interaction will never cause the connection to close. This is useful when deploying dashboard applications which send regular updates but have no need for interactivity.

Schedule & Emailing#

This panel is available for content types that can be rendered on a schedule. If scheduling is not applicable to the content, you will see a message stating that there are no settings to configure.

The scheduling customization options available depend on which "schedule type" you choose. For example, selecting the daily schedule type allows a choice between running the report every x number of days or every weekday.

Documents can also be set up to contain an email template which triggers delivery to a list of desired recipients on the output schedule.

Schedule settings panel

A full description of all scheduling features is available in the Scheduling section.


RStudio Connect administrators can create tags and a tag schema using the Tag Editor. If no tags have been created, you will see a message in this panel stating that no tags can be assigned (shown below).

Once an administrator has created tags, use the checkboxes to apply them to your content. Tags make content organization, discovery and filtering easier across the RStudio Connect dashboard.

Tags panel options

Vars (Environment Variables)#

When developing content for RStudio Connect, you should never place secrets (keys, tokens, passwords, etc.) in the code itself. Best practices dictate that this kind of sensitive information should be protected through the use of environment variables or another method of configuration such as the config package.

RStudio Connect automatically provides CONNECT_SERVER and CONNECT_API_KEY environment variables to all content runtimes (except for TensorFlow).

  • CONNECT_SERVER contains the configuration value set in Server.Address. The Server.Address property is the public URL used to access the server. Content owners may overwrite this value by resetting it in the Vars pane or with the RStudio Connect Server API.

  • CONNECT_API_KEY is owned by the content owner and is ephemeral (only exists for the duration of the underlying R/Python process). Content owners may overwrite this value by resetting it in the Vars pane or with the RStudio Connect Server API.

The automatic generation of these environment variables may be disabled for security reasons. Reach out to your RStudio Connect server administrator or review the Admin Guide for additional details.

RStudio Connect also sets the environment variable R_CONFIG_ACTIVE for use with the config package. The default value is "rsconnect", but administrators can change this value globally in the Connect configuration.

Environment variables can be set prior to deploying a content bundle with the RStudio Connect API. Follow the Deploying Content workflow in the Server API Cookbook. This workflow requires RStudio Connect version 1.8.6 or later.

To set environment variables after initial deployment in the RStudio Connect dashboard, navigate to the Vars pane. Enter a name and value for your environment variable, then click on the Add Variable button.

Once a variable is added, the value will be obscured. Environment variables are encrypted on-disk and in-memory. They are decrypted only when a process is about to be started.

Environment Variables panel


Documents must be published with source code to be executable. Static document content will not be able accept environment variables.


The logs panel contains execution details for each launched process associated with the piece of content. Standard output and standard error are captured and available.

Logs panel options

As of RStudio Connect version 1.6.4, log downloads include the full process output and are not size-limited. The RStudio Connect dashboard continues to show only the most recent log output from a process.