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Using the rocker/rstudio container


docker run -d -p 8787:8787 rocker/rstudio

Visit localhost:8787 in your browser and log in with username:password as rstudio:rstudio.


  • The rocker/rstudio is now part of the versioned stack. To request the rstudio image with a particular version of R, use the tag corresponding to the R version (e.g. rocker/rstudio:3.4.0, or rocker/rsudio:devel), or omit the tag to always get the latest stable release.
  • Consequently, the Dockerfiles for these versions are on rocker-versioned github repo. Dockerfiles in rocker-org/rockr are just aliases, execpt for testing tag, which builds on r-base image from this repo (and thus on debian:testing) rather than rocker/r-ver.

Common configuration options:

Note: all commands documented here work in just the same way with any container derived from rocker/rstudio, such as rocker/tidyverse.

Use a custom password by specifying the PASSWORD environmental variable

docker run -d -p 8787:8787 -e PASSWORD=yourpasswordhere rocker/rstudio

Give the user root permissions (add to sudoers)

docker run -d -p 8787:8787 -e ROOT=TRUE rocker/rstudio

Link a local volume (in this example, the current working directory, $(pwd)) to the rstudio container:

docker run -d -p 8787:8787 -v $(pwd):/home/rstudio rocker/rstudio

Add shiny server on start up with e ADD=shiny

docker run -d -p 3838:3838 -p 8787:8787 -e ADD=shiny rocker/rstudio

shiny server is now running on localhost:3838 and RStudio on localhost:8787.

Note: this triggers shiny install at runtime, which may require a few minutes to execute before services come up. If you are building your own Dockerfiles on top of this stack, you should simply include the RUN command:

RUN export ADD=shiny && bash /etc/cont-init.d/add

Then omit the -e ADD=shiny when running your image and shiny should be installed and waiting on port 3838.

Use different versions of R

docker run -d -p 8787:8787 rocker/rstudio:devel

docker run -d -p 8787:8787 rocker/rstudio:3.2.0

See rocker/r-ver for details.

Access a root shell for a running rstudio container instance

First, determine the name or id of your container (unless you provided a --name to docker run) using docker ps. You need just enough of the hash id to be unique, e.g. the first 3 letters/numbers. Then exec into the container for an interactive session:

docker exec -ti <CONTAINER_ID> bash

You can now perform maintenance operations requiring root behavior such as apt-get, adding/removing users, etc.

Additional configuration options

  • Custom user name: -e USER=<CUSTOM_NAME>
  • Custom user id, group id, UMASK: -e USERID=<UID>, -e GROUPID=<GID>, e UMASK=022

Custom uid/gid etc is usually only needed when sharing a local volume for a user/group whose id does not match the default (1000:1000). Failing to do this could make files change permissions on the linked volume when accessed from RStudio.

Adding additional users: From a root bash shell (see above), the usual debian linux commands can be used to create new users and passwords, e.g.

Developers / Dockerfile authors

The RStudio images use the s6-init system to run multiple/persistant jobs. While init systems like supervisord are better known, s6 is powerful, lightweight, easy to use, and plays nicely with docker (e.g. avoiding the pid 1 / zombie problem). See s6-overlay for details if you need to add additional services (such as an sshd server) or custom start-up, shut down, or logging scripts.

More help

See the Wiki for additional documentation and use cases: https://github.com/rocker-org/rocker/wiki