Project Activity #4530

Project WP #629: WP4 - VREs Deployment and Operation [Months: 1-30]

Additional functionnalities for RStudio within VREs

Added by Julien Barde over 3 years ago. Updated almost 3 years ago.

Status:ClosedStart date:Jun 28, 2016
Priority:NormalDue date:
Assignee:Lucio Lelii% Done:




We are facing an issue when using Rstudio in a VRE. Indeed one of the goals to train people consists in having a "ready to go" R environment to minimize configuration efforts (for trainers). Once a newcomer get a login and can run Rstudio , most of packages are supposed to be already there. However if Rstudio comes with a set of packages which are pre-installed, some scripts require specific R packages which have to be installed in specific cases only. Unfortunately these specific packages are kept from a session to another with other configuration parameters. Therefore, if the trainers only use their RStudio login, it becomes complicated to recreate a brand new RStudio session (to test the training as a student will have to test it) as trainers usually have a lot of specific packages in their workspace.

So, to run some tests, we would like to access Rstudio as if it was the first time a newcomer access it. A "sandbox" with minimal system configurations in order to try some scripts which are supposed to run in a training session (in real conditions).

Could we get a "guest" login ( temporary user ) to use RStudio in such a way we can face RStudio like a new user will have it at the beginning? Of course, we don't want the system to keep any tracks of what has been done (remove the temporary users).

Let me know if this is not clear enough or if you know a way to do it simply with current tools. I removed all packages by hand for now but it takes a long time and then I am loosing my configuration and have to reinstall it all the time. I would prefer not to use my login to run such tests.


#1 Updated by Pasquale Pagano over 3 years ago

  • Assignee set to Gianpaolo Coro
  • Category set to Default

#2 Updated by Pasquale Pagano over 3 years ago

A simple way to go is to create a guest user for the VRE and then use it to perform the actions you were describing.This is just a quick action you may perform. and will tell you more.

#3 Updated by Gianpaolo Coro over 3 years ago

This requirement seems to involve a completely new service to be put in place. Logins are currently managed using portal accounts and are biunivocally associated to R users. What you call a "temporary login" seems like a separate R Environment configuration per VRE and user. Thus, a user on RStudio should be created for each VRE and user connecting.

What is not clear to me is how the VRE manager would configure the R Environment for the VRE. One way would be to have datasets on the infrastructure Workspace that are copied in the private R workspace of the user.

What I cannot figure out is how to manage automatic installation of the R packages indicated by the VRE manager. Indeed, this process can be automatized only for very trivial packages, whereas system administrator action is required when also OS packages need to be installed or a specific package version is required. According to the experience we have made so far, this is a common situation.

#4 Updated by Julien Barde over 3 years ago

Thanks for your reply. No need to spend too much time working on this at this stage. I think the solution proposed by Lino is probably the best one. We only need to get the rights to create or remove users.
I my understanding is right, RStudio is the same regardless of the VRE used to log in. So it should be good if I create a user from the StockAssessment VRE or any other VRE. I made a try with the StockAssessment VRE and it works well like this.
Regarding the customization of RStudio with specific packages depending on where the users come from (which VRE), we can wait as this is not a blocking point for now.

#5 Updated by Pasquale Pagano over 3 years ago

  • % Done changed from 0 to 50
  • Status changed from New to In Progress
  • Tracker changed from Support to Project Activity

#6 Updated by Julien Barde over 3 years ago

Is it possible to store the user R worskpace directly within the infrastructure user workspace ?

#7 Updated by Gianpaolo Coro over 3 years ago

  • Assignee changed from Gianpaolo Coro to Lucio Lelii

#8 Updated by Pasquale Pagano almost 3 years ago

  • % Done changed from 50 to 100
  • Status changed from In Progress to Closed

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