Rstudio Server

25 November 2016

For the analysis work I am doing on dual allegiances I have been using a combination or R and R Studio under Windows. However, it would be useful not to need Windows. R runs quite happily under FreeBSD but there is no port of R Studio for FreeBSD. The packages are geared towards Linux, and especially towards Debian and Ubuntu. I do not really want another desktop environment, so I was pleased to find the good folk at R Studio make a version that runs on a server, and allows one to work through a browser.

Great. All I need is a Debian-like server.

Fortunately, a spare HP Mini 151 was lying around. Not the most modern or powerful of machines, but I thought it might do. The short answer is “yes”. I avoided a GUI, and installed the i386 (32-bit) version of Debian (Jessie). The I installed Emacs 25.1 — there is no package available, so I had to compile it from source (a painless process).

Then install the open-source version of R Studio Server, and away I go.

Of course there are a few R libraries to install, but they required the latest build of R (3.2.2) which was not available from the standard repositories. So, it took some hunting around on the web to figure out how Debian repositories work and where/how to get the latest version of R.

But now, I have a tiny server running internally on my network as a R Studio platform. And with that, I go back to analysing my data.

(Note to self, I wonder if R Studio would run on my Synology NAS — but then again, I do not want to rock that boat.)