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Store RStudio user preferences in a user-accessible location #1607

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jmcphers opened this Issue Oct 13, 2017 · 10 comments

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jmcphers commented Oct 13, 2017

We've often had requests to store user preferences in a user-accessible location, using a user-editable file format. The motivation is typically to make it possible to develop a set of personal settings which can be moved from machine to machine, stored on version control, etc.

We currently store most user preferences in a private file inside ~/.rstudio/monitored/user-settings (or the platform equivalent), many of them in a JSON uiPrefs blob. Since RStudio's inception, several editing platforms (Sublime and Visual Studio Code) have exposed their preferences as user-editable JSON. We could do the same with a handful of changes:

  1. Create a location for RStudio user preferences, probably following the XDG configuration standard
  2. Separate the existing user-settings content into internal settings (including machine-specific settings such as contextIdentifier) and external settings.
  3. Load and save external settings to the .json file instead of the user-settings file.

@jmcphers jmcphers self-assigned this Oct 13, 2017

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jmcphers commented Oct 13, 2017

A natural extension of this work would be to allow for a "global defaults" settings file to be read from a shared location, for use by administrators who wish to set defaults for their users according to constraints/patterns in their environment.

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haozhu233 commented Dec 7, 2017

I second to this possible feature.

When I wrote rmarkdown documents, I found it has been very useful to change chunk evaluation location from document to project so if your rmd file is buried in some sub-directory, you can make sure you start from the same space when you run code chunks in console & click the render button. However, after I moved my files to rstudio server and shared the folder with someone else, since they haven't enabled this feature, they usually run into trouble that R cannot find the file. As a team working on RStudio, it will be very useful to be able to setup a unified customizable default profile for cases like this.

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russellpierce commented Mar 11, 2018

Bump, as a user interested in this feature. ;)

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BrainStormCenter commented Apr 5, 2018

I too that this would be a great feature for RStudio. As an rstatsnewbie working on a couple of different machines (work & home), being able to sync packages and settings between them would be greatly appreciated!!!

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verajosemanuel commented Apr 6, 2018

As the foundation of a third party tool for syncing different installations of Rstudio this would be a killer feature

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jmcphers commented Jul 9, 2018

@sellorm specifically suggested that we include pane and theme config in the files (see #3129)

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sellorm commented Jul 9, 2018

I guess anything/everything from 'Global Options' would be good

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coatless commented Aug 31, 2018

It would be great if it was possible to streamline retrieving and modifying the configuration ala the state information given at: https://support.rstudio.com/hc/en-us/articles/200534577-Resetting-RStudio-Desktop-s-State

As it stands now, this is largely done through posting pictures. Unfortunately, this creates headaches for newer users...

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jdblischak commented Feb 20, 2019

It would also be convenient if local settings (e.g. in a directory containing an .Rproj file) would override any global settings, e.g. how a local .gitconfig combines with the settings in the global ~/.gitconfig file.

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