RStudio Server


With this recipe you’ll learn how to create a Viash component that allows you to easily edit files in RStudio by running RStudio Server, the browser based interface of RStudio. This recipe consists of a config file and a bash script to create a component.


For this recipe, you’ll need:

Creating the component

Config file

Create a new folder named rstudio_server and create a new file named config.vsh.yaml inside of it. Add the following as its content:

  name: rstudio_server
  version: 1.0
  description: "Run RStudio Server and work in a given directory"
  - type: bash_script
  - name: "--io"
    alternatives: ["-i"]
    type: file
    description: Directory to mount
    direction: input
    default: ./
- type: docker
  image: rocker/tidyverse:4
  port: [ "8787:8787" ]

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • A single resource is used, a bash script named
  • This component takes a single file argument named –io. This is the directory where the files you want to edit are located and will be passed to RStudio Server to use as its working directory. By default, this will be the folder from which you run the component.
  • This component runs on the Docker platform. It’s using the rocker/tidyverse image as its base, which comes with RStudio and RStudio Server. Port 8787 gets exposed to make it available from outside the container.


Next up is the bash script. Create a file named in the rstudio_server directory and add this as its content:

set -e

echo "Starting rstudio from workdir $par_io"
echo "server-working-dir=$par_io" >> /etc/rstudio/rserver.conf
echo "auth-none=1" >> /etc/rstudio/rserver.conf
echo "USER=rstudio" >> /etc/environment

ln -s $par_io /home/rstudio/workdir

echo "Trying to run RStudio Server on http://localhost:8787"


In a nutshell:

  • set -e will stop the execution of the script if any errors are encountered.
  • The first echo call is simply a reminder of the directory you passed.
  • The three last echo calls are used to set up RStudio Server. The first one sets the working directory, the second one disables authentication and the last one adds an environment variable.
  • ln creates a symbolic link from /home/rstudio/workdir to the given directory.
  • /init starts RStudio Server.

Running the component

Run the component by calling viash run on the config file and passing a directory path:

viash run config.vsh.yaml -- --io ~

You should see output similar to this:

Starting rstudio from workdir [/viash_automount/PATH-YOU-PASSED]
Trying to run RStudio Server on http://localhost:8787
[s6-init] making user provided files available at /var/run/s6/etc...exited 0.
[s6-init] ensuring user provided files have correct perms...exited 0.
[fix-attrs.d] applying ownership & permissions fixes...
[fix-attrs.d] done.
[cont-init.d] executing container initialization scripts...
[cont-init.d] userconf: executing... 
[cont-init.d] userconf: exited 0.
[cont-init.d] done.
[services.d] starting services
[services.d] done.

Now navigate to http://localhost:8787 in a web browser and you’ll be greeted by the web interface of RStudio. This is a full version of RStudio as you’d expect it from the desktop application.