Initial configuration for RStudio Connect


This article is drawn from this section of the server administrator's guide.

Initial Configuration

Once RStudio Connect is installed and running, you should customize the configuration to fit your organization's needs. This article will help you specify the public URL of your server, configure authentication, and validate that RStudio Connect is able to send email.

Editing the Configuration File

RStudio Connect is controlled by the /etc/rstudio-connect/rstudio-connect.gcfg configuration file. You will edit this file to make server-wide configuration changes to the system. See the configuration index of the admin guide for details about this file, its syntax, and the available settings.


Important Settings


We strongly recommend setting the SenderEmail and Address server properties. Both must be specified in the [Server] section of your configuration file.

The Server.SenderEmail property is the email address from which Connect sends emails. It is important that the sendmail or SMTP configuration RStudio Connect uses be willing and able to send email from this SenderEmail address. Otherwise, Connect will not be able to successfully send email. See the Email Setup section for more details.

The Server.Address property is the public URL used to access the server. When accessible over a non-standard port, this URL must specify both hostname and port. If this isn’t configured, Connect will not be able to include links in emails that send users to the appropriate location on the server.

Note: The standard HTTP port is 80; the standard HTTPS port is 443.

Whenever RStudio Connect is deployed behind a proxy, you must configure the Server.Address setting with the proxied location. RStudio Connect normally returns URLs that are in terms of its local address. The Server.Address property causes Connect to use an alternate base location when building URLs. Setting Server.Address to the location of your proxy will produce URLs in terms of your proxy address instead of the Connect local address.

Note: Using RStudio Connect with a proxy is experimental. There are known issues with URL construction, especially in situations where the proxy is performing path rewriting. This limitation will be removed in upcoming releases.

Here is a sample configuration specifying both SenderEmail and Address.

SenderEmail =
Address =

Use the instructions in this section of the admin guide to restart RStudio Connect after altering the rstudio-connect.gcfg configuration file.


It is important that you specify the correct style of authentication for your organization. If you are using RStudio Connect on a trial basis, feel free to use the default password authentication. RStudio Connect also supports a number of external authentication integrations, which are detailed in this section of the administrator's guide.

You must establish the correct form of authentication before using RStudio Connect. Changing the style of authentication later is not supported.

Use the instructions in this section of the administrator's guide to restart RStudio Connect after altering the rstudio-connect.gcfg configuration file.

Sign in

Use a web browser to visit the RStudio Connect dashboard. This has a default location of http://your-connect-server:3939/. Click the “Sign In” link. If you are using an external authentication provider, specify your login credentials. If you are using password authentication, follow the “Create a new account” link and configure your account.

The first account will be marked as an RStudio Connect administrator.

Email Sending

RStudio Connect uses email to distribute content, manage user accounts, notify publishers of errors, and more. In order to send emails, administrators must configure Connect to use sendmail or an SMTP client.  

Note: Management of email settings in version 1.7.4 and above, is handled through the RStudio Connect configuration file. In prior versions of RStudio Connect, this configuration was done in the RStudio Connect dashboard.

RStudio Connect supports two options for sending mail:

  • Sendmail - The sendmail command is used to send messages locally on your server. This relies on a working sendmail configuration or some equivalent replacement.
  • SMTP - Mail is sent using an SMTP endpoint and supports SSL and authentication.

These options can be configured via the setting Server.EmailProvider.

You can see your current email settings from the RStudio Connect dashboard in the Admin>Settings panel. Be sure to verify your settings by sending a test message.

RStudio Connect without Email

RStudio Connect versions 1.7.4 and above no longer require email setup. Disabling email can be useful for groups starting a proof-of-concept, or teams running Connect in certain locked-down environments. In these cases, Connect will gracefully disable settings that require email. For full functionality we strongly recommend an email integration.