Diagnosing RStudio Startup Issues

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Yesterday I tried to start RStudio and something weird happened: the window launched but it was blank and unresponsive.

I tried dpkg --remove and then re-installed. Same problem.

I tried dpkg --remove followed by dpkg --purge and then re-installed. Same problem.

I renamed by .R folder. Still the same problem.

A sense of desperation was beginning to set in: most of my projects rely on RStudio.

After trying a selection of other options I consulted the Internet Oracle and learned that I could get additional diagnostics using

rstudio --run-diagnostics

That produced a lot of useful information. Most useful was the fact that RStudio was getting permission denied on ~/.rstudio-desktop. A little further investigation revealed that the ownership on that folder had been modified (I have been messing around with some RStudio Docker images!), replacing UID 1000 with UID 500. A quick chown and the problem was resolved.

If you have problems running RStudio, give --run-diagnostics a try.

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