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What is the difference between RStudio Desktop and RStudio Server?

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RStudio Desktop is an R IDE that works with the version of R you have installed on your local Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux workstation.  RStudio Desktop is a standalone desktop application that in no way requires or connects to RStudio Server.   (That said, starting in release version 1.3, RStudio Desktop Pro can be used as a remote desktop to launch sessions on RStudio Server Pro, as described in this blog post: https://blog.rstudio.com/2020/03/10/rstudio-1-3-preview-desktop-pro/ )

RStudio Server is a Linux server application that provides a web browser based interface to the version of R running on the server. You may want RStudio Server to:

  • access larger CPU and memory footprints
  • leverage compute resources more efficiently
  • control access to data in a centralized manner
  • ensure the R package versions used are standardized

For more on RStudio see http://www.rstudio.com/products/rstudio/

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