Getting Started with the GVSU RStudio Server

RStudio Server is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R—a programming language for statistical computing and graphics. It is used by GVSU’s Statistics Department, and is accessible completely through a web browser.

RStudio Server is currently only licensed for classroom use, and not research.

Changes for Fall 2021

RStudio Server will now use the same standard GVSU account students, faculty and staff use for Blackboard, Banner, Email, etc.

Since you’re not using an HPC account, you no longer need to log into STRATUS to update your password.

The “SharedProjects” folder has been cleared between semesters.

RStudio Server has moved to a new URL:

Logging In

RStudio Server URL

To access: open or type in the url,, in your web browser.

Use your GVSU account

Starting in the fall semester of 2021, RStudio Server now uses the same standard GVSU account students, faculty and staff use for Blackboard, Banner, Email, etc. If you’ve logged into other GVSU systems, and are enrolled in a course using RStudio Server, you should be able to log in directly at the RStudio page.

If you are a GVSU employee enrolled in an associated course, access is automatically granted to your student account and not your employee account.

Per-semester Access

Access to RStudio is automatically granted based on your course enrollment for the current semester. You will not have access to RStudio when you are not enrolled in an associated course.


By default within your RStudio account you’ll have a home directory containing “R” and “Shared “SharedProjects.”

Home Directory

Your Home Directory (/home/yourusername/) will be the default location for any terminal sessions.

Your Home Directory is only accessible by you—no one else will be able to read or write documents within this directory, with one exception: the SharedProjects directory.

R (Directory)

Within your home directory, the R directory (/home/yourusername/R) is used by the R software for components related to your personal R environment.

You should not store or modify files in this location.


This directory is unique to our RStudio server. It was put in place to allow for sub-folders containing individual classes, sections, assignments, or projects.

While SharedProjects lives in your home folder (/home/yourusername/SharedProjects), it is actually linked to a single shared directory—somewhat like a Windows shortcut, or macOS alias.

Anyone has access to read or write anything within the Shared Projects folder, but is only allowed to edit things they have created. This is to protect against accidental deletions or changes.

Uploading and Downloading Files

You can transfer files to and from your local computer within your RStudio Server session.

Using Different Versions of R

All versions of R that are available for RStudio Cloud have been installed on this server, with 4.0.1 being the latest and default when you start a session.

If there are version specific dependencies for a certain package, you may need to use a different version of R. You can use the drop-down menu in the upper right hand corner of the screen and select the desired (or otherwise instructed) version.

RStudio Server window showing selecting different R versions

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Article ID: 2176
Tue 12/21/21 3:13 PM
Mon 8/22/22 3:53 PM