Shiny Server for macOS

After a day of trial, I have finally come up with a way to install shiny server on macOS. Previously, I have to use docker to spawn a shiny container to run a shiny server which is less ideal because package dependency management is very difficult.

The installation requires homebrew. If you are not using homebrew to manage your system software, I strongly recommend you to switch to it.

Here is a PR of a homebrew formula to brewsci. Until that is merged, the formula could be installed by

brew install https://raw.githubusercontent.com/randy3k/homebrew-base/shiny/Formula/shiny-server.rb

If you are reading this post in the future and if the formula is merged, one could use the following to install shiny-server

brew tap brewsci/base
brew install shiny-server

Once the shiny-server formula has been installed, you will need to configure a few things in the file /usr/local/etc/shiny-server/shiny-server.conf.

  • The run_as user: it is most likely your current username, or you could also create the admin user shiny and run the server on behalf of themself. You also want to make sure that the run_as user has reading and writing rights to the shiny app directory.

  • The shiny app directory: just point it to your shiny app directory. I don't recommend changing it because macOS 10.14+ is very picky about user permissions and security.

That's pretty much it is. shiny-server will run the server.

Finally, you might install Nginx and route your public IP to the shiny-server. There are a lot of examples on the internet on how to do it.

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