Installing rstudio-server on OS X


I prefer to have browser based rstudio in mac over desktop client. Is there an easy way to do rstudio-server installation on macbook running OS X El Capitan or higher? There is a thread on stack exchange which discusses installing server using homebrew but updating it is challenging. rstudio on docker is a possible option but it will likely underperform than native installation.


Hi @sbamin, how about using using something like Virtual Box? That’s what I used for sparklyr demos when an Internet connection is not guaranteed, and it performed fine for me.


The issue is with overhead cpu and memory resources with use of virtual box. Docker in that respect is a better alternative to me but again better to have rstudio server running using built in apache or homebrew based nginx server.


That makes sense. I’m curious, what is the advantage that you have seen of using server on laptop rather than just using the Mac version?

BTW - Another alternative, if being online while you work is not a challenge, how about running an RStudio instance in a cloud service like AWS or GoogleCloud?


@sbamin If you are comfortable with running docker on your local machine, you can set up a Dockerfile to run RStudio in a container, and treat it as a sandbox. I’ve found that is a much more pleasant experience, especially as I love to try new packages, simply adding them to the dockerfile makes it manageable. Take a look at my dockerfile, and try it out, let me know if you have questions.


I guess there is not much added advantage. I used to have linuxbox for years but now use mac on more regular basis. So, having a server edition allows me to access it from different machines on my LAN. Anyways, I had success compiling server from source and host it using built-in apache on mac.

AWS and GC are nice as long as there are free credits :slight_smile:


That’s very useful for testing package installation without messing up my local R env. However, I prefer not mounting my home directory as volume mount, especially when docker container is running as root user. User mapping is kind of possible using entrypoint and cmd options but just an overkill for me.


There’s an unofficial Homebrew formula which will get you set up with rstudio-server on MacOS.