One option for running R and RStudio is to use a “Virtual Machine” VM, hosted by UO IT and CASIT. A virtual machine runs a server, and is accessed (in this case) through a web browser. The VMs that have been “provisioned” for us run R and RStudio only a little more slowly than a “local” machine, and could provide a workaround if your access to a newish computer is limited. The instructions here cover the initial setup that needs to be done in order to insure that your workspace and data are saved between sessions.
Setting up the virtual machine
Logon/start the VM
UO Virtual Computer Labicon;
Yesto the cut-and-paste option.
A standard Windows 10 boot-up screen should appear. It takes a little while for the virtual machine to start up. Give everything a little more time after clicking on something than you would expect on a laptop or lab machine.
To start RStudio,
RStudio Desktop appbar
RStudio will start in a few seconds (wait). Then (this is important), in the
Console window of RStudio, type the following, replacing “userid” with your login/user id:
Note the forward slashes in the paths (the backward slash in R is an escape character), and make sure the cases (upper or lower) of the characters are strictly followed. The first command sets the “working directroy” (where R saves data and plots) to the
Class_Data folder, while the second indicates where downloaded packages should be installed. (The default locations for these are volitile, and disappear when logging off.)
Files pane (usually in the lower right of RStudio) can be pointed at the working directory by clicking on the
More dropdown, and clicking on
Go To Working Directory
Test the VM
Create some data and a plot
Create a simple data set and a plot. First, create an R script,
A new file named
Untitled will be created. Save that file by clicking on the disk icon, or by
File name:area of the
Save Filedialog box.
As the file is saved, it will automatically be given the extension
Next, copy or type the following into the
test01.R script window.
x <- rnorm(1000) plot(x)
Save the file again.
Now run the script by selecting the code, and clicking on the
Run button (to run both lines at once) or by placing the cursor in the first line and clicking
Run, and then clicking
Run again as the cursor moves to the second line.
Save the plot as a .pdf
Save as PDF...;
Save Plot as PDFdialog box, the
R:/geog495_1/Student_Data/userid, where “userid” is again your userid. if the path is not correct, the
Directorybutton can be used to browse to it;
To quit RStudio,
Quit R Session.
Quit R Session dialog box will pop up, asking if you wish to save the
Worspace image (.RData), and the script file
Log off the virtual machine
To log off the virtual machine, use the gray tab at the left of the browser window, and click on the menu button of the
Running virtual machine, and click on
Logoff. Close the brower to completely disconnect.
Log in, run RStudio, and check that the data have been saved
Start the virtual machine again, and RStudio as above. Copy and paste or type the following where as usual, userid is replace by your userid.
More to set the view of the
Files pane to the working directory, and you should see the plot file,
.Rdata workspace, and the script file, and the variable
x should appear in the
An alternative way to start RStudio
Once you have files in your “R” folder (
R:/geog495_1/Student_Data/userid/) you can start RStudio simply by clicking on a script file (
*.R) or the R workspace file (
.RData). A useful thing to do would be to create a script called, e.g.
startup.R, and copy into it the setup code:
userid with your user id). Once that file is created and saved, simply clicking on it will start RStudio, and open that script file. Then the first thing to do is to select the two lines, and run the script. (Note that simply opening the script in RStudio doesn’t execute the lines.)