Basically speaking, the “http user” will be used to authenticate through the HDInsight gateway, which is used to protect the HDInsight clusters you created. This user is used to access the Ambari UI, YARN UI, as well as many other UI components.
The “ssh user” will be used to access the cluster through secure shell. This user is actually a user in the Linux system in all the head nodes, worker nodes, edge nodes, etc., so you can use secure shell to access the remote clusters.
For Microsoft R Server on HDInsight type cluster, it’s a bit more complex, because we put R Studio Server Community version in HDInsight, which only accepts Linux user name and password as login mechanisms (it does not support passing tokens), so if you have created a new cluster and want to use R Studio, you need to first login using the http user’s credential and login through the HDInsight Gateway, and then use the ssh user’s credential to login to RStudio.
It’s a good read and also includes a sample Spark-R job.