Run RStudio IDE locally, but R session in Docker image

docker

#1

Hi

I know about the rocker RStudio docker containers and that I could connect to RStudio by using a browser, but I would like to have one local RStudio IDE installation but use R in a docker image instead of the local R. It just seems to be a waste of space to have RStudio installed in each docker image.

Or in other words: Can I specify the R executable to be used in RStudio?

Is this possible?

Thanks,

Rainer


#2

RStudio needs the path to an R installation living on the local filesystem, so as far as I know there’s no way to connect RStudio to R within a Docker image. It might be possible to accomplish this is the Docker container’s filesystem could be mounted on the host’s filesystem somewhere, but I’m not sure if this is possible.


#3

Hm. It would be a very useful feature to be able to use an R session in a docker container from RStudio.

Rainer


#4

Hi Rainer,

Any luck on this?


#5

You might be able to use the rmote package for this! You'd start RStudio as normal with a local R installation, but then you connect to the remote (or dockerised) R instance using the package's commands. The downsides are that:

(a) Rmote sends figures and such back via a web browser; I don't think you'd get them in the RStudio plot viewer.
(b) You lose a lot of the advantages of RStudio; you might as well just run R on its own locally unless you're doing stuff like authoring Markdown in RStudio (and I don't think you could run the chunks on the remote instance automatically).

If you're using a Docker instance to run R and want interactivity, a better route might be to get a Docker container that has RStudio Server instead of running RStudio locally.