First Project Template


RStudio allows you to specify a first project to automatically open for first time users of the system. To do this, set the session-first-project-template-path parameter in rsession.conf to an RStudio project directory. This directory will be copied into the user’s home directory upon first running the IDE, and will automatically open the project contained within. For example:

# /etc/rstudio/rsession.conf

In the example above, the project located within /etc/rstudio/welcome-project would be copied to users’ home directories when first starting RStudio, and the project file welcome-project.Rproj would be run.

The project file must be named the same as the directory it is contained in. For the above example, the project file must be named welcome-project.Rproj. In addition, you must ensure that the project directory is fully readable and executable by your users, as they will be copying the contents of the directory into their home directory.

If you copy an existing project to be used as a project template, ensure that you delete the RStudio metadata folders and files contained within the project directory. You will want to ensure you delete the following:

  • .Rproj.user
  • .Rhistory
  • .RData

If you are creating the project template for the first time, the project (.Rproj) file must contain the version specifier at a minimum. For example:

# welcome-project.Rproj
Version: 1.0

Project DefaultOpenDocs

Project files allow you to specify default documents that should be opened when a project is opened for the very first time. For example, you could have your welcome project bring up explanatory documents to help guide your users. To do this, add the DefaultOpenDocs line to the .Rproj file. For example:

# welcome-project.Rproj
Version: 1.0
DefaultOpenDocs: welcome.txt:firstMarkdown.Rmd

The DefaultOpenDocs parameters specifies a list of files to automatically be opened when the project is opened for the first time, separated by a : character. These files are relative paths to the project directory. Only files contained within the project directory can be opened.