Use Fluid On MacOS To Build Per-RStudio Server “Dedicated” Clients

August 25, 2013

(This article was first published on » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I’m jumping around analytics environments these days and have to leave the comfort of my Mac’s RStudio Desktop application to use various RStudio Server instances via browser. While I prefer to use Chrome, the need to have a “dedicated” RStudio Server client outweighs the utility of my favorite browser. This is where Fluid (@FluidApp by @iTod) comes in.

Fluid lets you build separate, dedicated, Safari/WebKit engine application wrappers for any web resource. As the web site puts it: “Fluid lets you create a Real Mac App (or “Fluid App”) out of any website or web application, effectively turning your favorite web apps into OS X desktop apps.” This means you can build something that will behave almost like the Desktop client and make one for any RStudio Server instance you use.


It’s far too easy to perform this useful feat. Just download Fluid, point the “URL:” field in the “Create a Fluid App” dialog to an RStudio Server instance, name it what you like (something that lets you know which RStudio Server instance you’re using would be #spiffy), pick an icon (select the RStudio Desktop application to use that one) and go! You can now start a separate app for each RStudio instance you use, complete with its own cookie storage, fullscreen capability and more (provided you pay the quite reasonable $4.99USD).

Here’s a screen shot of what it ends up looking like (sans MacOS menu bar):


If you currently use Fluid this way for RStudio Server instances or give this suggestion a try and come up with any helpful configuration options, Userscripts or Userstyles drop a note in the comments!

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