Secure Cookies

By default, when RStudio Workbench is configured with SSL, all authorization cookies are marked with the secure cookie attribute. If you wish to use your own SSL termination but force RStudio to mark cookies as secure, you can add the following configuration option:

# /etc/rstudio/rserver.conf

Same Site Cookies

Most browsers have adopted recently a new attribute for cookies called SameSite which enforces additional security requirements around the cookie. RStudio does not define this attribute by default but you can use the option www-same-site for that purpose.

For example, the value SameSite=None is required by certain browsers (i.e., Chrome 84+) for embedding sites into an iframe or frameset. To ensure the delivery of RStudio cookies in this scenario, use the value www-same-site=none.

# /etc/rstudio/rserver.conf

SameSite=None is insufficient without SSL enabled and may still prevent RStudio from working over non-SSL connections.

Some browsers will not behave as expected in the presence of the SameSite=None; Safari 12 on MacOS 10.14 and iOS 12.x or older notably will not work. To workaround these limitations, RStudio will emit a pair of cookies, one with SameSite=None for standard-conforming browsers and a “legacy” cookie without SameSite for non-conforming browsers.

You also can use the value www-same-site=lax to mark cookies as SameSite=Lax what effectively prohibits the use of RStudio embedded into an iframe or frameset on compliant browsers by blocking all RStudio cookies.

# /etc/rstudio/rserver.conf

Third-Party Cookies (Safari 13+ Compatibility)

Starting in Safari 13, if you are loading RStudio inside a browser frame on a completely different domain all cookies will be blocked because those will be considered third-party cookies.

Embedding RStudio in a subdomain of the main site causes its cookies to be considered first-party, allowing RStudio to work.

Alternatively, you can place RStudio in the same domain as the main wrapping site but under a different URL path. This requires using a proxy in front of both the main site and RStudio. See Running with a Proxy for more information.


In the near future, most browsers vendors plan to apply the same restrictions to cookies in some degree.