Git-Backed Content

Content may be deployed to Posit Connect directly from a remote Git repository. Content will automatically fetch from the associated remote Git repository and re-deploy. This allows for integration with Git-centric workflows and continuous deployment automation.


Support for Git-backed content is dependent on an acceptable version of Git being present in the Connect deployment environment, as described in the Git-Backed section of the Admin Guide.

Git-backed content can be distinguished from other content by the presence of the text “from Git” in the content description as well as a Git metadata section in the content Settings > Info panel.

Publishing for the first time

In order to deploy Git-backed content to Connect, follow this two step process:

  1. Create and commit a manifest file
  2. Link Connect to the Git repository

The first step is completed in the development environment, and the second step is accomplished from within Connect.

Creating a manifest file from R

The first step is to create a manifest.json file associated with the content you want Connect to track and deploy. The manifest file tells Connect how to deploy and host your content. This manifest includes information like the content’s environment dependencies. The manifest can be created by calling the R function rsconnect::writeManifest() from within your project directory.

For example, if your project has a single app.R file, the sequence would look like:

# In a directory with app.R
# [1] "app.R"

# Create the manifest

# Confirm manifest.json output
# [1] "app.R" "manifest.json"

Calling rsconnect::writeManifest repeatedly updates the manifest.json file.

If your Git repository includes multiple directories, call the function from within the directory containing the content you wish to deploy. For example, if the project looks like:

Project Git Repository :
- analysis (directory)
  - prep.R
  - experiments.Rmd
- results (directory)
  - app.R
  - supporting (directory)

If you want to deploy the Shiny app in the results directory, first make the results directory your working directory. Then call writeManifest.

Project Git Repository:
- analysis (directory)
  - prep.R
  - experiments.Rmd
- results (directory)
  - app.R
  - manifest.json
  - supporting (directory)

In this case, do not call writeManifest from the project’s root directory. Connect includes everything in the results directory and supporting directory in the deployment.

The writeManifest function does its best to infer the correct information about your content. In some cases you might want to be more explicit and can include the following arguments:

  • appPrimaryDoc: The primary file in cases where there are more then one

  • contentCategory: The type of content in cases where it is unclear

  • image: The image you want to target when building or running content with off-host execution enabled in a Kubernetes environment

Below are some examples to show when you would need to use these explicit options:

  1. A directory containing multiple R Markdown documents

    Your project directory may contain multiple R Markdown documents:


    Use appPrimaryDoc to specify which R Markdown is the entry point for Connect:

    rsconnect::writeManifest(appPrimaryDoc = "report.Rmd")
  2. A directory containing HTML

    Use contentCategory to distinguish between a website and a plot. For instance, if the directory contains multiple HTML files for a website, use:

      appPrimaryDoc = "index.html",
      contentCategory = "site"
  3. An R Markdown site (e.g., Bookdown)

    R Markdown sites (including Bookdown) must use the “site” content category.

    rsconnect::writeManifest(contentCategory = "site")
  4. Target a specific image for off-host execution in Kubernetes

    Use image to specify an image rather than having Connect automatically select one (this image must be pre-configured by your Connect administrator):

      image = "")

    Additional information can be found in the Publishing section of this guide.

Creating the manifest file from Python

Support for creating manifests for Python content is provided by the rsconnect-python and rsconnect-jupyter packages.

Using the Python CLI

Install the latest version of the rsconnect-python package from pip:

pip install rsconnect-python

Use the rsconnect write-manifest command to create a manifest for your specific Python content type. Your current environment is frozen to a file that can be used to reproduce your package set on the Connect server. For example:

rsconnect write-manifest notebook MyJupyterNotebook.ipynb
# Checking arguments...                            [OK]
# Inspecting python environment...                 [OK]
# Creating manifest.json...                        [OK]
# Creating requirements.txt...                     [OK]

The tool looks for a requirements.txt file in the source directory. Providing one makes deployments faster by installing only the packages you specify and allowing environments to be reused across deployments that have the same requirements.

If a requirements.txt file is not found, rsconnect-python inspects the current Python environment and creates the file for you. Be sure to activate your virtual environment before deploying so the correct packages are listed.

Use the --image option with rsconnect write-manifest to specify a target image for building or running content with off-host execution enabled in a Kubernetes environment.

Using the Jupyter plugin

Install and activate the Jupyter plugin per the installation instructions in the Jupyter plugin documentation. When you open the notebook you wish to publish to Connect, the plugin icon appears in the toolbar. Select the plugin icon, then Create Manifest for git Publishing. A dialog opens explaining what will be done and asking you to confirm. Once you confirm, a manifest.json is created and your current environment is frozen to a file that is used to restore the environment on the Connect server.

Tracking the manifest file

After the manifest.json is generated, add and commit it to your local Git working copy. Be sure to push to the remote Git repository so that Connect can see the manifest.json after fetching. This is roughly the equivalent done in a terminal:

git add manifest.json
git commit -m 'Adding manifest.json for Posit Connect deployment'
git push

Linking Git to Posit Connect

Connect users must have at least a publisher role in order to create new content from a Git repository.

From the Content page, click Publish then click Import from Git to launch a new content wizard.

**Import from Git** menu on the Connect **Content** page.

The new content wizard prompts for a Git repo URL, which can use https:// (recommended) or http:// remotes.


Repository URLs must not contain authorization. Private repository access requires configuration of GitCredential.Host, GitCredential.Username, and GitCredential.Password, as described in the Admin Guide.

Once the repository URL has been entered, specify a branch name. A selection of candidate branch names collected from the remote repository are listed.

Once the branch name has been entered, specify a target directory. The directory names listed are determined by searching for directories containing a manifest.json file.

Entering the target directory triggers an initial deployment.

Logs modal from Git Repo deployment.

Updating content

To update Git-backed content, make any necessary code changes and then call rsconnect::writeManifest(). Commit both the updated code and the updated manifest.json file. Once the commit is made, you can either wait for Connect to automatically deploy the changes or, from within the Connect dashboard, manually tell Connect to Update Now from the Settings > Info panel.

Option 1: Connect automatic update

Connect periodically checks all Git-backed content for updates. By default, this check occurs every 15 minutes. Administrators can configure a different interval. If the updated repository is found to contain changes to the relevant branch and path specified, a new deployment is automatically triggered. Such an update might be from new commit(s) pushed to the remote Git repository, or from another branch being merged into the target branch such as when merging a pull request.

Automatic updates can be disabled or enabled in the Git metadata section in the Settings > Info panel.

Option 2: Connect manual update

To immediately check Git-backed content for updates and potentially redeploy (if needed), click the Update Now button in the content Settings > Info panel.

**Update Now** button in **Info** panel.


  • Git-backed content cannot be re-deployed or updated via other means, such as by publishing from RStudio or rsconnect::deployApp().

  • Currently, Connect Git-backed publishing does not support Git Large File Storage (LFS).

  • Connect supports one set of credentials per host. Configuring multiple hosts with different sets of credentials is supported. Credentials must be configured on the Connect server. See the Admin guide for details.