Using R-Studio on ARC

You can use the R-Studio IDE on ARC via an interactive X11 session. This means you will need to connect to ARC via a client running an X11 server such as MobaXterm for Windows, or XQuartz for Mac.

It is necessary to make your SSH connection to the ARC login node with the -X option in order to forward X11 graphics back to your desktop machine - for example:

ssh -X


Mac users may need to use -Y instead of -X if they get security warnings with -X.

See the Connecting to ARC Clusters section of the ARC User Guide for more information.

Once connected to a login node, you will need to connect to an interactive session on a compute node:

srun -p interactive --x11 --pty /bin/bash

The above line will create an interactive session and ensure that the X11 forwarding is preserved.

To run R-Studio you will need to load the appropriate module:

module spider RStudio

The above command returns the available versions of R-Studio, for example:

RStudio: RStudio/2022.02-R-4.2.1-ARC

In the above case, loading the module RStudio/2022.02-R.4.2.1-ARC will load version 2022.2 of RStudio along with R version 4.2.1 with added ARC libraries.

So to begin using the application you will need to type:

module load RStudio/2022.02-R.4.2.1-ARC

After a short delay, the R-Studio window should appear on your desktop display.


Mac users may experience problems using the XQuartz X11 server with R-Studio, where the application starts then fails with OpenGL errors. In this case follow the guidance below…

Forcing R-Studio to use software rendering

Log in to arc-login and run the following commands:

mkdir -p $HOME/.config/RStudio
touch $HOME/.config/RStudio/desktop.ini

Edit the file $HOME/.config/RStudio/desktop.ini to contain the following text:


The above settings ensure that RStudio only uses software graphics rendering rather than OpenGL which seems to give problems with XQuartz and some other X11 servers.