9 License Management
9.1 Product Activation
9.1.1 Activation Basics
When RStudio Server is first installed on a system it operates in evaluation mode for a period of time and then subsequently requires activation for continued use.
To determine the current license status of your system you can use the following command:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager status
After purchasing a license to RStudio Server you’ll receive a license key that can be used to activate the license on a given system.
You can activate your license key with the command:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager activate <product-key> $ sudo rstudio-server restart
Note that you need to restart the server in order for licensing changes to take effect.
If you want to move your license of RStudio Server to another system you should first deactivate it on the old system with the command:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager deactivate
9.2 License Details
RStudio Server Pro licenses include some details that you’ll see when you run the
status command. These are part of the license and can’t be changed without purchasing a different license. They are as follows:
||Whether the Job Launcher is enabled.|
||The maximum number of concurrent R sessions that can be run; 0 if unlimited.|
||The maximum number of users that can connect to the server; 0 if unlimited.|
Typically, RStudio Server Pro licenses either disable the Launcher but allow for unlimited local users and sessions, or enable the Launcher and provide limits on users and/or sessions. If you have questions about the best kind of license for your use case, contact email@example.com for help.
Note that when named user licenses are in effect (
users is greater than 0), R Session Auditing is enabled by default to help you keep track of which users are using the product.
9.3 Connectivity Requirements
In order to activate or deactivate RStudio Server, internet connectivity is required for communication with the licensing server. If your server is behind an internet proxy or not connected to the Internet at all this section describes what’s required to successfully activate.
Additionally, your server should have a synchronized system clock, using
ntp or some other clock syncing service. If the server’s clock is sufficiently incorrect, licensing verification will fail.
9.3.1 Proxy Servers
If your server is behind an internet proxy, you may need to add an additional command line flag indicating the address and credentials required to communicate through the proxy. This may not be necessary if either the
all_proxy environment variable is defined (these are read and used by the license manager when available).
If you do need to specify a proxy server explicitly you can do so using the
--proxy command line parameter. For example:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager --proxy=http://127.0.0.1/ activate <product-key>
Proxy settings can include a host-name, port, and username/password if necessary. The following are all valid proxy configurations:
http://127.0.0.1/ http://127.0.0.1:8080/ http://user:firstname.lastname@example.org:8080/
If the port is not specified, the license manager will default to using port
9.3.2 Offline Activation
If your system has no connection to the Internet it’s also possible to perform an offline activation. To do this, we recommend using our offline activation application which will walk you through the process: RStudio Offline Activation
To activate your license offline, you first generate an offline activation request as follows:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager activate-offline-request <product-key>
Executing this command will print an offline activation request to the terminal which you should copy and paste and enter into our offline activation application or send to RStudio customer support (email@example.com). You will receive a reply with a file attachment that can be used to activate offline as follows:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager activate-offline <activation-file> $ sudo rstudio-server restart
Note that you need to restart the server in order for licensing changes to take effect.
If you are renewing your license or want to move your license of RStudio Server to another system you can also perform license deactivation offline. You can do this as follows:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager deactivate-offline
Executing this command will print an offline deactivation request to the terminal which you should copy and paste and enter into the offline activation application then send to RStudio customer support (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can also perform an offline check of your current license status using the following command:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager status-offline
9.4.1 Extending Evaluations
If you are unable to complete your evaluation of RStudio Server during the initial evaluation period, contact your Customer Success Representative or RStudio Sales (email@example.com) to obtain a key with an extended evaluation period.
Once you have the key, supply it to RStudio Server using the
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager extend-evaluation <key>
If you are performing the evaluation on a physical machine (not on virtualized hardware or containers) without a network connection, you may also request an offline evaluation extension key, which does not require an internet connection. This key may be supplied to RStudio Server as follows:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager extend-evaluation-offline <key>
Note that offline evaluation extension keys are valid only on machines which do not have Internet access and are not virtualized. For most offline evaluation extensions, you will need to generate an offline evaluation request (see below for details).
9.4.2 Connectivity Requirements
126.96.36.199 Beginning Evaluations
Generally speaking, there are no network requirements during the evaluation period. Inside virtual machines or sandboxes (such as Docker), however, Internet access is required to begin the evaluation period.
If you have a proxy, you can supply it using the
--proxy argument as described above. If however you have no means of connecting to the Internet from inside the virtual environment, you can begin the evaluation as follows:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager begin-evaluation-request
Executing this command will print an offline activation request to the terminal which you should copy and paste and then send to RStudio customer support (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will receive a reply with a file attachment that can be used to begin the evaluation offline as follows:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager begin-evaluation-offline <evaluation-file> $ sudo rstudio-server restart
188.8.131.52 Extending Evaluations
You may extend evaluations offline using the same pattern described above (just use
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager extend-evaluation-request
Then, when you’ve received the evaluation file:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager extend-evaluation-offline <evaluation-file> $ sudo rstudio-server restart
9.5 Floating Licensing
If you stop and start RStudio Server instances frequently, for instance because you’re running them inside virtual machines or containers, you may wish to use floating licensing instead of traditional licensing.
To use floating licensing, you run a small, lightweight server, which holds a license that grants you the right to run a certain number of concurrent RStudio Server instances.
When RStudio Server starts, it will connect to the license server and obtain a temporary lease, releasing it when RStudio Server is stopped. Using this method, you can have any number of RStudio Server instances, so long as you do not run more instances at once than specified in your license.
9.5.1 Floating License Keys
A license key which distributes floating license leases is not the same as a traditional license key, and the two cannot be used interchangeably. If you have purchased traditional license keys and wish to exchange them for a floating license key, or vice versa, please get in touch with RStudio customer support (email@example.com).
9.5.2 The RStudio Server Pro License Server
The RStudio Pro License server supplies licenses to RStudio Server Pro. It is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. A license server can supply licenses to any platform; for instance, you can run your license server on Windows and distribute licenses to RStudio Server Pro instances running Linux.
The RStudio License Server site contains Linux license server downloads for all RStudio products. Download and install the license server for RStudio Server Pro. You then activate your license key with the command:
$ sudo dpkg -i rsp-license-server-1.0.3-x86_64.deb $ sudo rsp-license-server activate <product-key> $ sudo rsp-license-server start
/etc/rsp-license-server.conf contains configuration settings for the RStudio Server Pro License server, including the network port to listen on and any proxy settings required for connecting to the Internet.
184.108.40.206 Mac and Windows
The RStudio License Server site contains downloads for the Mac and Windows license servers. These require a few additional configuration steps. They can be set up as follows (order is important):
- Download the license server (
TurboFloatServer) appropriate to your platform, and place it in the directory where you wish it to run.
- Copy the file
/usr/lib/rstudio-server/bin/license-manager.confto the same directory as
TurboFloatServer, and change its name to
- If activating online, run the command
- If activating offline, follow the offline activation steps. Note that it is necessary to supply the fully qualified path to file arguments to
TurboFloatServer, even if they are in the same directory as the executable.
- After successful activation,
TurboFloatServer.exe -iwith administrator permissions. This will install the license server as a service that will start automatically and run in the background.
For additional help with Mac and Windows license server installation and configuration, refer to the official TurboFloat Server documentation.
9.5.3 License Server Hardware Requirements
While the license server is designed to distribute licenses to ephemeral virtual machines or containers, which may move freely between hosts, the license server itself must stay on the same physical host on which it was activated.
It is acceptable to run the license server inside a container or a virtual machine, as long as the container or the VM always runs on the same hardware. Stopping the license server, moving it to a different physical host, and starting it again will cause it to become deactivated. Because it’s often impractical to try to ensure that the server only runs on a particular host, we recommend running the license server outside containers and virtualization software.
Note that the system requirements for the license server are very low, so it can be run on almost any server. If your environment will not allow for ensuring that the server stays on a single physical host, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss alternate licensing options.
9.5.4 License Server Offline Activation
rsp-license-server activate command requires an internet connection. If your license server has no connection to the Internet it’s also possible to perform an offline activation. The process for doing this on the license server is identical to the process used to activate RStudio Server offline. Generate an offline activation request as follows:
$ sudo rsp-license-server activate-offline-request <product-key>
Executing this command will print an offline activation request to the terminal which you should copy and paste and then send to RStudio customer support (email@example.com). You will receive a reply with a file attachment that can be used to activate offline as follows:
$ sudo rsp-license-server activate-offline <activation-file> $ sudo rsp-license-server restart
9.5.5 Using Floating Licensing
Once your license server is up and running, you need to tell RStudio Server to use floating licensing instead of traditional licensing.
remote indicates that RStudio Server should connect to a remote licensing server to obtain a license; the value
local can be used to explicitly specify traditional (local) activation.
Then, tell RStudio Server which licensing server to connect to:
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager license-server <server-hostname-or-ip> $ sudo rstudio-server restart
You only need to run the
license-server command once; RStudio Server saves the server name and will use it on each subsequent startup.
Depending on your system configuration, it is possible that the RStudio Server service will be started before the service which allows hostname resolution (this is known to be the case for example on some Amazon EC2 systems). If this is the case, you’ll want to specify the license server using a private IP address rather than a hostname, so that RStudio Server can acquire a license immediately when starting up.
9.5.6 Specifying a License Server
RStudio supports three methods for connecting to a license server. You can select the method by specifying the license server as follows:
220.127.116.11 Connecting Over TCP
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager license-server mylicensehost:9403
By default, the RStudio Server Pro License Server listens via raw TCP on port 8989. If you specify the only the hostname or IP address of the license server, this the kind of connection you’ll get.
If you wish to use a different port, you will need to specify the port in
/etc/rsp-license-server.conf, and specify
license-server to RStudio Server as
18.104.22.168 Connecting Over HTTPS
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager license-server https://mylicensehost/
You can also connect to the license server via HTTPS rather than raw TCP. This can be useful when using proxies or load balancers in front of the license server. Note that the license server does not use HTTPS by default, so you can only use this connectivity method if you have configured your license server to use HTTPS.
Configuring the license server for HTTPS support is outside the scope of this guide. You can read instructions here:
22.214.171.124 Connecting to a Hosted Server
$ sudo rstudio-server license-manager license-server 871A2BFA-87C5-11E9-BD16-4749DB7B7927
Finally, if you are connecting to a hosted license server, specify the UUID of the server rather than its hostname. Hosted license servers are run by our licensing vendor, WyDay, and do not require you to run anything in your own network. Read more about setting up a hosted license server and getting a UUID here:
9.5.7 Configuring License Leases
When using floating licenses, you can optionally determine how long the license leases last by setting the
lease length value on the licensing server. This value is in seconds, so for instance to make license leases last 30 minutes you would use the following syntax:
The lease length controls how frequently the RStudio Server instances need to contact the licensing server to renew their license leases in order for the lease to remain valid.
A shorter lease length will increase tolerance to failures on RStudio Server instances by making leases available for reuse more quickly. RStudio Server will release its lease immediately if shut down normally, but if abnormally terminated, the lease will not be released until it expires.
A longer lease length will increase tolerance to transient failures on the network and the RStudio Server Pro License Server. Any such issues that can be resolved before the lease is due for renewal won’t interrupt use of RStudio Server.
We generally recommend using a longer lease length. Use a short lease length only if your environment routinely encounters abnormal terminations of the server or the container/instance on which it runs.
9.5.8 License Server Downtime Tolerance
RStudio Server does not wait until its lease has fully expired before it renews it. It renews its lease when it is halfway to expiry. For instance, if you use 30 minute leases, RStudio Server will actually renew its lease every 15 minutes.
This means that it is possible to take down the license server for a short period of time without affecting any running RStudio Server instances. Because of the aforementioned behavior, no existing lease will be more than halfway to expiry if the server goes down.You have a grace period of N/2 (where N is the length of the lease) during which the server can be offline without consequences. For instance, if you use 30 minute leases, your license server can be offline for 15 minutes.
9.5.9 Lease Expiration and Renewal
Under normal conditions RStudio Server will automatically renew its license lease in a configurable interval as described above. However, there are situations in which it will be unable to do so, such as a network problem, or an issue on the host running the license server.
When RStudio Server cannot obtain a license lease, either because there are no leases currently available or because it can’t reach the licensing server, it will begin automatically attempting to acquire a lease every 10 seconds. This interval is configurable; for instance, to retry every 30 seconds instead you would set the following value:
If you don’t want RStudio Server to attempt to reestablish a license lease automatically, set the value to
0 to disable retries. In this case you will need to manually restart RStudio Server in order to reestablish the lease. This can be useful if you often run more instances than you have keys for, and wish to have more control over which RStudio Server instances receive license leases from the limited pool on the license server.
9.5.10 Troubleshooting Floating Licensing
To validate that the license server has been successfully activated, run the
activation-status command. This will report the version of the server as well as the license key and the number of available slots.
$ sudo rsp-license-server activation-status
If your server is activated but you’re still having trouble with floating licensing, you can tell the RStudio Server Pro License Server to emit more detailed logs. Change the log level to
<log file="/var/log/rstudio-licensing.log" level="notification"/>
Then, restart the license server, tail the licensing log, and start your RStudio Server instances.
$ sudo rsp-license-server restart $ tail -f /var/log/rstudio-licensing.log
notification level, the licensing log will tell you the total number of licenses associated with your key, and how many are currently in use. It will also notify you when RStudio Server instances acquire leases, and when those leases are released, renewed, or expired. No rotation is done for this log, so it’s recommended to use the
warning level in production.
9.6 Userspace Licensing
In a standard installation of RStudio Server Professional, licensing configuration operations require elevated access (e.g. via sudo). This is appropriate given the product will normally be installed and activated by an administrator on behalf of multiple user accounts.
Alternatively, the licensing system may be switched to a “userspace” model where the licensing commands are available to a non-elevated user account. This is a system-wide setting; it is not possible to mix both models on a single system.
9.6.1 Switching to Userspace Licensing
Before switching, stop the server, and deactivate any existing license-key or license-server.
$ sudo rstudio-server stop $ sudo rstudio-server license-manager deactivate $ sudo rstudio-server license-manager clear-license-server
Next, disable the standard system-level licensing mode by deleting the “verify” file.
$ sudo rm /var/lib/rstudio-server/verify
Initialize the license system in userspace mode. Note this command must not be run elevated, but as the RStudio Server account (normally
rstudio-server) as described in Server Account.
$ rstudio-server license-manager initialize --userspace
Confirm that the mode was successfully changed.
$ rstudio-server license-manager verify Trial-Type: Verified Status: Evaluation Days-Left: 5 License-Scope: User
License-Scope: User indicates successful switch to userspace licensing (versus the default setting of
At this point, the user may perform licensing commands without using “sudo”, such as activating a license-key or configuring a license-server.