Can each user be assigned an R version in RStudio Server open source?

From the documentation, it's not clear whether users can be assigned an R version in RStudio Server open source. Is that possible? For example, can a "profiles" file be created as follows?

r-version = /opt/R/3.1.0
rsession-which-r = /opt/R/4.2.0

If this is possible and done within a profiles file, should the global default R version also be configured in the profiles file? Or, will the default R version in the rserver.conf file be sufficient?

Thank you for your help!

Starting in RStudio Server 1.3 (our version is 1.2.1335, released April 8, 2019, and the newest version is 1.4.1106, released February 22, 2021), a user’s preferred version of R can be specified in the rstudio-prefs.json file in the global-level /etc/rstudio folder or in the user-level ~/.config/rstudio folder.

See and for user setting options in newer versions of RStudio Server.

See for RStudio release history and for Red Hat downloads of the newest version of RStudio Server.

Support for multiple versions of R is available only in RStudio Server Pro, not in RStudio Server Open Source.

@rstub . Thank you for the reply.

Could you please provide some more information as to how you've come to that conclusion?

I just had an email exchange with another RStudio Employee who said "That [first paragraph in my previous post] looks sound to me; the default_r_version can be specified in a user's rstudio-prefs.json file, and so it is not necessary to use the (Pro-only) profiles file for that specific, user-level task."

Unless the rstudio-prefs.json file doesn't exist in RStudio Server Open Source, couldn't a user switch from one version of R to another version of R by editing the rstudio-prefs.json file? It certainly appears to be possible from the blog post and the documentation I referred to.

Or, perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean by "support" or "multiple versions of R"?

Thank you for engaging, as I think this is an important topic for the community.

Interesting. According to 6 R Versions | RStudio Server Professional Edition 1.4.1106-5 support for multiple versions of R is a pro only feature. However, it might be the case that this refers to switching the version of R, not selecting different versions of R as only option for different users. Have you tried such a set-up?

The pro edition clearly has a dropdown menu for choosing R versions. The open source edition does not have this dropdown.

Unfortunately, my institution only has RStudio Server 1.2 installed. The rstudio-prefs.json file is not available until version 1.3. (Did you mention 1.4?! :rofl:)

I have no tried this using the rocker/rstudio Docker container. My experience is that default_r_version in rstudio-prefs.json does not produce an error, but also does not have any effect on the used R version. So I do not expect that you will be able to use different R versions with RStudio Server Open Source this way.