Node-RED is a flow-based environment that lets you create data flows. It works as a package for Node.js that installs on your computer. After running the program, you connect to the local HTTP server. There you will find a flow editor that allows you to create multiple flows that consist of nodes and links between them. You can upload the flow to the server where it will run and process the data you send to it.
You can find Node-RED on the Internet at https://nodered.org/. On the page you will find a description of how to install the development environment, but some details do not emphasize there. Important information is that you must have administrator privileges. You get them on Linux using the
sudo command and on Windows by running the console in administrator mode.
You install the program using
sudo npm install -g --unsafe-perm node-red
Run the console in administrator mode. For example, for Windows 10 in the English language version, you can do so by right-clicking on the Start icon and selecting Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
npm install -g --unsafe-perm node-red
During installation, several lines of information about how the installation took place are listed. For example, this was the installation of version 0.20.3.
C:\WINDOWS\system32>node -v v8.15.1 C:\WINDOWS\system32>npm -v 6.0.1 C:\WINDOWS\system32>npm install -g --unsafe-perm node-red C:\Users\Robo\AppData\Roaming\npm\node-red -> C:\Users\Robo\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\node-red\red.js C:\Users\Robo\AppData\Roaming\npm\node-red-pi -> C:\Users\Robo\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\node-red\bin\node-red-pi + firstname.lastname@example.org added 15 packages from 11 contributors, removed 23 packages and updated 19 packages in 22.567s C:\WINDOWS\system32>npm list -g --depth=0 C:\Users\Robo\AppData\Roaming\npm +-- email@example.com +-- firstname.lastname@example.org +-- email@example.com +-- firstname.lastname@example.org +-- email@example.com +-- firstname.lastname@example.org `-- email@example.com
To run the program, run the command
C:\WINDOWS\system32>node-red 26 Mar 14:56:32 - [info] Welcome to Node-RED =================== 26 Mar 14:56:32 - [info] Node-RED version: v0.20.3 26 Mar 14:56:32 - [info] Node.js version: v8.15.1 26 Mar 14:56:32 - [info] Windows_NT 10.0.17763 x64 LE 26 Mar 14:56:32 - [info] Loading palette nodes 26 Mar 14:56:33 - [warn] rpi-gpio : Raspberry Pi specific node set inactive 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [info] Dashboard version 2.14.0 started at /ui 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [info] Settings file : \Users\Robo\.node-red\settings.js 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [info] Context store : 'default' [module=memory] 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [info] User directory : \Users\Robo\.node-red 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [warn] Projects disabled : set editorTheme.projects.enabled=true to enable 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [info] Flows file : \Users\Robo\.node-red\flows_RoboHome.json 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [info] Server now running at http://127.0.0.1:1880/ 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [warn] --------------------------------------------------------------------- Your flow credentials file is encrypted using a system-generated key. If the system-generated key is lost for any reason, your credentials file will not be recoverable, you will have to delete it and re-enter your credentials. You should set your own key using the 'credentialSecret' option in your settings file. Node-RED will then re-encrypt your credentials file using your chosen key the next time you deploy a change. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [info] Starting flows 26 Mar 14:56:34 - [info] Started flows
Several lines of text are printed that contain startup information, but the only relevant information is the address where the editor is running. In my case it is
http://127.0.0.1:1880/. When you open it, you will see an editor that lets you create flows.
The editor looks like this. It contains four places to work with the editor.
Deploybutton to upload it to the server where it starts.
On the Node-RED website you will find a detailed manual that also contains some basic examples of how flows are created.
After installing Node-RED, you will only have a basic set of nodes available. Since I am dedicated to Arduino on this site, you will need a few more nodes to connect to the Arduino. Nodes can be installed directly from the editor, but it's a bit hidden. You must click the menu icon at the top right of the screen and select
Manage palette from the menu. Choose the
Palette/Install tab. Type the following terms into the search and install them.