Pricing Question

Hi @Robby,

Thank you for your answer - Just to be clear, an account with basic usage 1GB/1CPU is still free right? If so, is there a monthly compute-time limit?

I of course understand, that you have a business model - I just have little-to-no money, as I expect is the case for many university level classes :+1:

Yes - we'll always have a free plan, and yes, it does have a compute-time limit of 15 hours / month. All the details for the free plan are covered here (

Thanks for your understanding re: pricing - and we're definitely aware that for many universities, budgets are very tight, particularly at this time. We'll continue to do what we can to make Cloud as affordable as possible for instructional use - and I hope that you're able to find a way to make it work for you and your students.

This is happening at an awkward time for me since I just started a summer course that ends in early September after the pricing begins. After my conversation with Pete Knast, I thought that I'd be OK for the summer and wrote up my syllabus that way. My students discovered yesterday that fees would begin halfway through the course.

Since this is an intro stat course, the 15 hours may be enough. What specifically happens when a student encounters the 15 hour limit? Is all access to the related files lost? Could a student recover and download the files they'd been working on? Could the student pay a fee and recover access to their work? I thought there would be a student only plan for something like $5/month. But there's no mention of that in what's been posted.

In the future, I will utilize RStudio cloud only for the limited number of students who don't have adequate computers. I'll create an instructor account and absorb the cost of these students personally. I can afford it, but many of my students can't. A lot of them don't even have credit cards.

I hope you implement an automatic shutdown after a short but reasonable time of no activity. I think most of the time usage you see is just machines left running with no work being done.


Hey Harold- I will send you an email shortly.

I would like to get an idea of how far 40 usage hours will go for my students. When does the clock start and stop? I have not paid much attention during the alpha and beta phases, but for paid accounts starting in the fall, it will be important. It seems that I can update packages for a couple of projects and then go back to the workspace page, but when I check my account later it appears that almost an hour was added to the usage total. Does logging out stop the last running project? Does switching to another project stop the first one? It would helpful to have some tips to give to the students to get the most from their 40 hours.

After experimenting a bit, is appears that the clock starts when you start/resume a project and it stops after 30 minutes of inactivity. If you switch to another project, its clock starts while the first one keeps running for 30 more minutes.

When I logged in to update packages for three projects, it used 90 minutes + the time to update. When tibble was updated later in the day, I did it again, thus total usage for the day of 3+ hours. My tip will be to wait until you are ready to actually do something substantive with a project to do any housekeeping!

I'm still a little confused by the pricing model. I had initially understood it as: anyone could create a project, which could be copied by anyone else to use within their own account limits, facilitating things like demos for packages (e.g. the {gt} test-drive project). Is this not the case?

I have two use-cases where the above has been useful where I would not know in advance how many users would be accessing the resources.

  1. In my organization, we strongly encourage and support learners to install the software before workshops, but if there are severe technical issues that cannot be resolved by the time of the workshop, we point them to projects pre-populated with data and packages so that they can still have hands-on experience. Having the free account combined with a pre-populated project significantly reduces the barrier to entry for the learners.

  2. I am a package author and sometimes would like to demo new features for my users that may require external data or I want to demonstrate reading and writing without relying on an app/temp directory, which is a pain point for a lot of folks.

What is the Student option and where can I find details about this? It isn't listed as an option in the pricing page.

I apologize in advance for tagging @peteknast and @Robby, but considering this change is a week away, it would be nice to get some clarification on the pricing plan.

So sorry for the delay. Project hours represent how much time a project is open or running with a particular configuration, computed as (RAM + CPUs allocated) / 2 x hours. For example, working with a project for 1 hour with 2 GB of RAM and 1 CPU allocated consumes 1.5 project hours. The clock starts ticking when the project is opened - and stops when the project container is shutdown - which happens when you navigate away/close the project. Note that a project can also be executing code even after you close the UI - if that’s the case, that time also counts - I believe we limit that to a max of 4 hours, but I may be off on that exact number. There is also a time out after 15 min of inactivity. If you want to look at your past usage stats see instructions below:

Account Usage Data

You can now see usage information for your account, at the account level and segmented by space. Usage data is available from November 1, 2019, and is shown using your browser's timezone.

Click on your name on the right side of the header to reveal the user panel, then select your account. Usage information is available in the account context.

Also in a space (if you're an admin or moderator), you can just click on the little chart icon in right side of the header

If the school covers the Instructor and Student Cost then the Student piece comes out to $5/month with no chance of additional overage fees or usage restrictions. Down the road we will add an option where students can purchase from us directly which will also be $5/month for up to 40 hours plus a 20 cent overage per additional hour. In addition to these options an instructor could acquire the $15/month subscription which would afford them 160 hours per month to share amongst students and any additional use would cause a 20 cent per hour overage. To clarify these are cost are for academic institutions. Since I am not clear if that fits your use case please let me know if you need corporate options. Lastly there is a pure metered plan which is $1.73/hr per user.

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Thanks @peteknast; that helps clarify things --- I was wondering why there was discussion of a student option here but no mention of it. (Yes, I'm at an academic institution, teaching an academic course.)

I've sent RStudio an email from the quote tool requesting one but as we've just started enrolling students in the course I won't know for a while what the final numbers are, but needed a rough cost to plan for.


One more note on usage charges - we currently suspend the R session after 15 minutes of inactivity - and then suspend the container 15 minutes after that. We currently charge the entire 30 minutes as usage against your account. However, we are in the process of updating the code so that you will not be charged for the 15 minutes while the R session is suspended.

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Apologies on the delay. If I understand your use case correctly then I think you should be all set. To confirm I am happy to hop on a call with you. Please email me directly to schedule

I could not find your quote request. Which email did you send it from? Feel free to email me directly:

I am also thinking about subscribing as an instructor because 1 GB of memory is not sufficient to install rstan or TensorFlow (Stan on Rstudio cloud not working, Installation of tensorflow terminated on RStudio Cloud).

All my projects live in "Your Workspace" and are public. When a student runs one (either in a temporary copy or saved copy) who pays for the hours? Is this different between the free and instructor plans?

I just tested this out using two free RStudio Cloud accounts (A and B). User A had an old project in "Your Workspace" and was not running it during the test. User B created a temporary copy of this project and ran it for 20 minutes. During the test, these 20 minutes counted toward user B and not user A. To me, this means teachers are only charged for the time it takes to set up and test their course materials, not for the time students are busy working through the exercises. This differs from a paid account, which charges me for other people's usage. So in other words, unlike, it seems like I have complete control over whether I incur overage charges in the paid versions of RStudio Cloud. This makes me feel much more at ease subscribing to Cloud, and I think it deserves more emphasis in the docs.

I have the opposite impression from my testing. All costs are borne by the owner of the shared space is my understanding.

I also created a dummy account, added it as a member to my shared space, and used it to open an "assignment." It ran 1 + 1 and left it idle the rest of the time. That added 42 minutes of usage to the shared space.

What kind of shared space did you use? If you had to manually create that shared space, then yes, the terms do say you get charged for other people’s usage just like But it seems to be opposite for “Your Workspace”, the default space everyone gets at the beginning. I was using that special “Your Workspace” space.

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