Troubleshooting Launcher in RStudio Server Pro

Launcher is a new feature of RStudio Server Pro v1.2 that is only available under named user licensing. RStudio Server Pro version 1.2 without Launcher is available under existing server based licensing. For questions about using Launcher with RStudio Server Pro, please contact

General debugging

The logs for RStudio Server Pro and Launcher can be found at:

  • /var/lib/rstudio-server/monitor/log/rstudio-server.log
  • /var/lib/rstudio-launcher/rstudio-launcher.log
  • /var/lib/rstudio-launcher/Kubernetes/rstudio-kubernetes-launcher.log

Symptom: The user receives no prompt to choose a Cluster before starting an interactive session. Or, the button in the Jobs pane says Start Local Job, instead of Start Launcher Job

Confirm that the RStudio License currently being used is authorized for use with the Launcher service. Run the following command:

sudo rstudio-server license-manager status

The output should include a line that says Enable-Launcher, and it should be set to 1. If it is not, please contact the Sales team at:

Here is a sample of what the output of license-manager status looks like, and where approximately the configuration line to look for is located:

RStudio License Manager 1.2.1287-1
-- Local license status --
Status: Activated
Product-Key: [LICENSE KEY]
Has-Key: Yes
Has-Trial: No
Enable-Launcher: 1
Users: 0
Sessions: 0
Expiration: 2025-12-31 00:00:00
Days-Left: 2508
License-Scope: System
-- Floating license status --
License server not in use.


Symptom: New R sessions will not start. They either go to Killed status, or get stuck on Pending status.

Try manually running the Docker image in the machine where the image was built. There are at least two things to check for:

- A running R installation

- The necessary parts of RStudio Server Pro

There are several ways to check for this.  As a Docker user, the R admin may have preferences on how to verify these two things.  Here is a suggestion for a very simple way to check:

1. Start an interactive Docker session with the image

sudo docker run -it [NAME OF YOUR IMAGE] bash


2. Confirm that the RStudio Server files are installed by listing the files under /usr/lib/rstudio-server

ls /usr/lib/rstudio-server

Here is an example of what the contents should look like:

root@4a59013e6c7d:~# ls /usr/lib/rstudio-server

bin extras NOTICE R UPSTREAM_VERSION www www-launcher www-workspaces
conf LICENSE NOTICE-SUPPLEMENT resources VERSION www-admin www-symbolmaps

3. Confirm that there is at least one working version of R installed by running the R command and starting an interactive session.

Here is an example of the output, use q() to exit the R session.

root@4a59013e6c7d:~# R

R version 3.4.4 (2018-03-15) -- "Someone to Lean On"
Copyright (C) 2018 The R Foundation for Statistical Computing
'help.start()' for an HTML browser interface to help.
Type 'q()' to quit R.
> q()
Save workspace image? [y/n/c]: n

4. Leave the interactive session with the following keyboard shortcuts: CTRL+p and then CTRL+q

Symptom: New R sessions start, but all jobs started via the Start Launcher Job button Fail. And the output message says: /bin/R not found

The most likely cause is that even though there are one or more versions of R installed in the image, there is no one version setup as default.  The way to do this is by creating a link to /bin/R. Here is an example of how to accomplish that inside the Docker file:

 RUN ln -s /opt/R/R-3.5.1/bin/R /bin/R