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As of September 2020, the "default" system version of R on compute servers is R 3.6.1 – this is the version that is invoked if you type R from the command line, and the version used by all R Studio Server instances.

We also have three two other versions of R versions installed "side by side" – R-3.54.34 and R-3.65.1 – which can be accessed by typing R-3.5.3 and R 4.4,  R-3.65.13 from the command line. However these R versions are not available in R Studio Server because its R version setting can only be set to one value system-wide and cannot be specified per-user.


If you need a GUI environment to access versions of R other than 3.6.1, an option that provides maximum per-user flexibility is as follows. Use the R Studio Server web application for R 3.6.1-compatible workflows. For workflows requiring other R versions, users can install the R Studio desktop application on their own desktop/laptop computers, using an underlying version(s) of R 3.54/3.65. Then, users can access files on shared storage by mounting their Work area file system via Samba (see Samba remote file system access for more information). The main drawback to this workflow is that typical personal computers do not have as much RAM as POD compute servers, and some R tasks can be memory intensive. What users can do in such cases is test the code in R Studio on their desktop computer, using smaller data sets if necessary. Then run the "full" workflow from the POD compute server command line using the appropriate R version.