Changing the system account for RStudio Workbench / RStudio Server


The user account that RStudio Workbench (previously RStudio Server Pro) runs under in the normal course of operations is rstudio-server. This account is automatically added to the system during installation and is created as a system account rather than end user account (i.e. the --system flag is passed to useradd).

You can configure RStudio Workbench so that it will run from a different system account with the following steps:

  1. Create a system user if one doesn't already exist
  2. Assign this user to the server-user option in the /etc/rstudio/rserver.conf configuration file
  3. Delete the log and temporary files associated with RStudio Workbench.
  4. Restart RStudio Workbench

Once completed, you will see that rstudio-server now runs as the new user. For example, if your new user was called myuser you would run the following commands:

sudo useradd --system myuser
sudo echo 'server-user=myuser' >> /etc/rstudio/rserver.conf
sudo rm -rf /var/log/rstudio-server
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/rstudio-server
sudo rm -rf /tmp/rstudio-rsession
sudo rm -rf /tmp/rstudio-rserver
sudo rstudio-server restart
ps aux | grep myuser

Keep in mind that management tasks performed using the rstudio-server utility will stay the same even when you change the RStudio Workbench system account. The rstudio-server utility enables the stopping, starting, and restarting of the server as well as many other management functions.

You can find more on this in the RStudio Workbench admin guide here.