What is the difference between RStudio Desktop, RStudio/Posit Workbench, RStudio Server, and Posit Cloud??


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 RStudio Workbench or RStudio Server. (That said, RStudio Desktop Pro can be used as a remote desktop to launch sessions on RStudio/Posit Workbench (previously RStudio Server Pro), as described in this blog post: https://blog.rstudio.com/2020/03/10/rstudio-1-3-preview-desktop-pro/ )

RStudio/Posit Workbench and RStudio Server are Linux server applications that provide a web-browser-based interface to the version of R running on the server. You may want RStudio Workbench or 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

RStudio Workbench provides Enterprise-ready tools like authentication, high-availability and load balancing, multiple versions of R, multiple R sessions per user, security features, and more.

Posit Cloud is a lightweight, cloud-based solution that allows anyone to use the RStudio IDE within their browser, enabling them to do, share, teach and learn data science online.

For more on the different IDE options, see the following sites: