4.4 Initial Set-up

4.4.1 Change Global Options

To change the settings for RStudio Server, click Tools > Global Options… in the top menu bar. A pop-up menu will appear with many different options for you to change. You are free to explore all the different options on your own. For now, there are two things you should change:

  • Uncheck the box next to Restore .RData into workspace at startup

  • Click the drop-down menu next to Save workspace to .RData on exit and change the setting to Never

Click the Apply button on the lower-right of the pop-up window, followed by the OK button.

4.4.2 Create a Personal Access Token on GitHub

A personal access token is essentially a temporary password that you can create to use with your GitHub account instead of your main account. It is much more secure than using your main GitHub password when working on GitHub projects.

Login to your account at GitHub account and follow steps 1-9 here under the section Creating a Token.

A few notes:

  • In step 7, give your token a long enough expiration so that it will last past the end of the semester.
  • In step 8, you only need to check the box that says repo.
  • In step 9, make sure you store a copy of the token that is generated for you (e.g. copy-and-paste it into a text file). You will never be able to view this token again on GitHub, so if you lose it, you will need to create a new token by repeating steps 1-9 all over again…

Once you have created the token, return to RStudio, and move onto the next section:

4.4.3 Configure RStudio for use with Git

Take a look in the bottom-left pane of RStudio. You should see a tab called Console which is open by default, and another one called Terminal. Switch to the Terminal tab. (If you do not see a Terminal, create one from the top menu in RStudio by going to Tools > Terminal > New Terminal.)

It may take a few seconds for the Terminal to load, but once it has done so you will see a line that ends with a dollar symbol $ and a flashing black cursor.

Copy-and-paste the following command into the Terminal and then press Enter to run it:

Note that:

  • You will not see any response in the Terminal if the line runs successfully. However you can check if it was successful by running this line git config credential.helper - you should get the response store.

  • To paste copied text into the Terminal with a keyboard shortcut, use Ctrl+Shift+v on your keyboard instead of just Ctrl+v (and if you are using a Mac, use the Cmd key instead of Ctrl).

Next we need to run two more lines in the Terminal:

You should obviously replace the values inside the quotation marks with your name on the first line, and your GMU email address on the second line (which should match the email address you used to sign up for your GitHub account).

Next, switch back to the Console tab of the bottom left pane (next to the Terminal tab).

Copy-and-paste the following lines three lines of R code into the Console and hit <Enter>.


Note that in the Console you can use Ctrl+v to paste instead of Ctrl+Shift+v (or just Cmd+v on a Mac).

You will be prompted to enter the token that you just created above on GitHub.com. You should copy-and-paste the token from where you saved it to prevent any spelling errors, and then press <Enter> again.

Now you should be all set up!