Quick to run, free and ephemeral RStudio instance on Gitpod image 2

Quick to run, free and ephemeral RStudio instance on Gitpod

Triggered by an assignment my son had to do for one of his university courses – and given the fairly light weight laptop we have him work with – I decided to make a cloud based RStudio environment to him. I have worked with Gitpod over the past six months, creating environments for Oracle Database, Backstage, Open Telemetry, Oracle Cloud client tools, Go development, Apache Kafka, Dapr, Redis & NodeJS workshop, MongoDB and several other technologies. They have in common that these environments are very easy to run – and very easy to reset/rerun as well as to share. They do not require any local resources – apart from the browser – and are free (at least the first 50 hours of use each month). What’s not to like?

imageTo run this workspace – and start working with R Studio – you need t0 open this link in your browser. This will run a Gitpod workspace that takes its definition from my GitHub Repository where the file .gitpod.yml defines the steps that Gitpod goes through when preparing the workspace.

Once the Gitpod workspace is launched, you will need to wait for a few minutes while the workspace is prepared. Packages are updated, new files are downloaded and the RStudio server is installed and started. You can check the first terminal window to see what is going on – and find out when the actions are complete.


When the actions are done, you will see a message in the terminal that invites you to complete the creation of a new user – randomly called *hank*  (feel free to create a different user account). You will connect in the browser to the RStudio client using this Linux user and password.


After creating the user, you can open the RStudio GUI in the browser. From the Ports tab open the URL listed for port 8787.


RStudio launches in a new browser tab. Login with username *hank* and their password. Once the login is successful, you will the RStudio client in your browser like this:, ready to start exploring:



the most important article I used :RStudio Server on Ubuntu through Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2) –  https://www.drdataking.com/post/rstudio-server-on-ubuntu-through-windows-subsystem-for-linux-wsl2/

other resources:

* How to install RStudio Server open source on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – https://www.how2shout.com/linux/install-rstudio-server-open-source-on-ubuntu-20-04-lts/

* Download RStudio Server – https://posit.co/download/rstudio-server/

* Getting Started with Posit Workbench / RStudio Server – https://support.posit.co/hc/en-us/articles/234653607-Getting-Started-with-Posit-Workbench-RStudio-Server

* RStudio Server Documentation – Administration – https://docs.posit.co/ide/server-pro/server_management/server_management.html

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