Is Shiny Server must to host Applications



Just wondering, if one can create a shiny app using R and shiny package and host this on remote computer/ own server, Is this legal?.. i am looking for the answer from last 1 month but lots of folks confused me that for hosting shiny app one should use shiny server and their services only (which are paid) and hosting the app on remote computer / local server would be risky and might involve any legal issues later for commercial purpose.

Unfortunately, i am the only user in my organization and wanted to showcase the power of R and shiny to the audience. May be in future, we might plan to purchase shiny server but presently this cannot be possible.

Your views would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


If I’m understanding your question correctly, may be what you’re looking for. If your project has a small audience, the free service level they offer may be sufficient for your needs.


As @kmprioli mentioned, will allow you to host it on RStudio’s cloud platform. However, they also provide a free version of their shiny server software that can be downloaded and run either on a local linux server or on a cloud server. They also have a paid version of shiny server called Shiny Server Pro, but it is not illegal for you to use their open source version. You just don’t get all of the added benefits of the Pro version.

You can look here for how to download the open source version and here for an admin guide to their open source version.

You can also check out this blog post by @daattali about hosting your shiny apps with shiny server on DigitalOcean (a cloud computing platform)


Thanks a lot @kmprioli @tbradley for your help and suggestions.

This helped me a lot. Since this is very confidential data, I won’t be able to use free version due to internal organization’s policy for present case. However for other type of app, we can definitely consider your option.

Hence we can proceed with out infra wherein deploying shiny app on our own server using R and shiny would not be a problem and not illegal too.

Thanks, you guys made my day…


If your company has a network firewall in place and the server that the open source shiny server is installed on is behind that firewall than no one outside the network will be able to access the shiny apps. However, if you are looking for actual authentication, then the Pro version is the way to go.

I have seen some ways to create your own authorization systems in the open source one but whether you feel comfortable implementing them would be up to you.


Though I never used it myself, this seems to be a promising alternative to shiny server: