Best Way to Upgrade to R 4.1.3 with RStudio Desktop Mac/Windows/Linux in 2022

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You know that R 4.1.3 is out but don’t want to disrupt your current setup? Want to have multiple R versions with compartmentalized projects and libraries on your computer? Teaching people how to use R and need the entire class to all be on the same, easy-to-install system complete with R 4.1.3, RStudio Desktop, shiny dev environment, the tidyverse, geospatial tools, tex & publishing-related packages included?

πŸŽ‰ YakData SmartDesktop with RStudio Server Open Source

The intelligent, portable, reproducible way to develop R programs, Shiny web apps & RMarkdown docs on your desktop. Includes R 4.1.3, the RStudio Desktop IDE, the tidyverse, verse, and geospatial-related tools from the R rocker-org project as a web app. All wrapped neatly into Docker via docker-compose. And since Docker is so incredibly ubiquitous, you know Windows, Mac, and Linux users will all be happy!

Get started on GitHub at Stephen-McDaniel/SmartDesktop-RStudio.

πŸš€ Features

+ YakData SmartDesktop with RStudio Desktop Server Open Source is the smart way to develop R programs, Shiny web apps & RMarkdown docs on your desktop. It includes R 4.1.3 from the Rocker project and the RStudio IDE as a web app wrapped neatly into Docker.

+ Save hours of time to get up and running with a complete desktop Rstudio Desktop IDE for R.

+ Includes over 200 of the most commonly used R packages pre-installed. Preloaded with the tidyverse, verse and geospatial-related tools from the R rocker-org project. Includes tex & publishing-related packages from verse.

+ Designed to install packages from RStudio Package Manager on a fixed date. Easily change this in Rapid installation of most packages as this image is based on Ubuntu.

+ Easy access to all the RStudio configuration and startup values.

+ The end of complex uninstall/upgrade paths for R and RStudio on your laptop/desktop system.

+ Easily recreate an identical environment on another system.

+ Run multiple versions of R side-by-side with multiple SmartDesktop project directories.

+ Define various environments for a particular R version with multiple docker-compose files.

+ Control resources used by your R sessions with docker-compose. No more system lock because an R session unexpectedly stole all your desktop resources.

+ Pause and restart a long-running R session with Docker Desktop!

πŸŽ‰ Releases


Released March, 17th, 2022.

1. Upgrade R from 4.1.2 to 4.1.3.

2. Make permanent package installation the default path for new package installs via the RStudio UI.

3. Updated the R session start messages. This is customizable in the ./yakdata/config/R/ file.

4. Ran tests Using the main repository push to Github, I downloaded the main repository zip file and ran it per the documentation.
a. βœ… The R version is upgraded to 4.1.3.
b. βœ… Successfully ran the R sample program.
c. βœ… Successfully ran the shiny sample app, interacted with app.
d. βœ… Checked that the package install works as expected, using the permanent path by default.
e. βœ… Checked that session start messages work as expected.


Original release in February, 2022.

πŸ“·Β Screenshots

RStudio Desktop with R 4.1.3 - YakData SmartDesktop with RStudio Server Open Source
ggplot2 graph in RStudio Desktop
Shiny app graph brushing in RStudio Desktop
Install package to site-library

🧰 Install and setup

Head over to to get up and running with YakData SmartDesktop for RStudio.

If you benefit from this project, please click the ⭐ button on this GitHub repository and let your colleagues know about it.

⭐ Inspiration

+ RStudio Open Source Server IDE is a free, open-source IDE for R, Shiny apps and RMarkdown content.

+ The RStudio Open Source Server IDE is backed by years of development, feedback and releases.

+ Make it easy to create a reproducible, self-contained R development environment on any system.

πŸ“˜ Docs

RStudio IDE repository:

RStudio Package Manager:

Docker Desktop:

🎑 Alternatives

Alternatives include self-install of the R, the RStudio IDE, tidyverse, verse and more directly on your OS.

πŸ‘¨πŸΌβ€πŸ’» About RStudio

RStudio is the leading development environment for R programming, R Shiny apps and RMaarkdown documents. Features include:

+ Highly customizable with powerful tools for R including a console, source editor, plot viewer, workspace management, integrated help, command history and more.

+ Execute code incrementally by line, by selected text or as a complete program.

+ Syntax highlighting editor with drop-down code completion.

+ Smooth integration of R Shiny app development including a local Shiny server and the ability to debug your app in a local browser.

+ RStudio Desktop in this project runs as a desktop server, ensuring reproducibility and portability.

🐳 Docker Desktop

Once you work with Docker Desktop, you will wonder why you wasted all those hours struggling with R installation directly on your computer!

+ Containerize and share any application locally and on your favorite cloud platform, in multiple languages and frameworks.

+ It is easy to install, setup and use a complete Docker development environment.

+ If you use a Windows computer, gain the ability to toggle between Linux and Windows Server environments ON YOUR LOCAL COMPUTER!

+ Volume mounting for code and data, including file change notifications and easy access to running containers on the localhost network.

πŸ₯‡ The tidyverse

The tidyverse includes many leading R packages for data science, forecasting, analytics and data management. The developers state, “The tidyverse is an opinionated collection of R packages designed for data science. All packages share an underlying design philosophy, grammar, and data structures.”

A subset of the included packages: ggplot2, dplyr, tidyr, readr, purrr, tibble, stringr, forcats and many other packages with more specialized usage. They are not loaded automatically with library(tidyverse), so you’ll need to load each one with its own call to library().

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