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Raspberry Pi and Node-RED: A perfect match for IoT projects


How to Download Node-RED for Raspberry Pi




Node-RED is a powerful open-source tool for visual programming to build Internet of Things (IoT) applications. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using the wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click.




download node red for raspberry pi


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If you have a Raspberry Pi, you can use Node-RED to create and run IoT applications on the edge of the network, taking advantage of its low-cost hardware, event-driven model, and large ecosystem of modules. In this article, we'll show you how to download and install Node-RED on your Raspberry Pi, and how to create your first flow.


Prerequisites




Before you start, make sure you have the following:


  • A Raspberry Pi with Raspberry Pi OS installed. You can use any model of Raspberry Pi, but we recommend using Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye as the currently supported version.



  • A power supply, a micro SD card, a keyboard, a mouse, and a monitor for your Raspberry Pi. Alternatively, you can use SSH or VNC to access your Raspberry Pi remotely.



  • An internet connection for your Raspberry Pi. You can use Ethernet or Wi-Fi.



Installation Steps




The easiest way to install Node-RED on your Raspberry Pi is to use the install script provided by Node-RED. This script will install Node.js, npm, and Node-RED as global modules, along with some useful Pi-specific nodes. It will also set up Node-RED to run as a service that can be started and stopped easily.


To run the install script, open a terminal window on your Raspberry Pi and enter the following command:


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bash <(curl -sL


This command will download and run the script. You may need to enter your password when prompted. The script will take some time to complete, depending on your internet speed and Raspberry Pi model. You should see something like this when it's done:


+ node-red@3.0.2 added 332 packages from 341 contributors in 18.494s found 0 vulnerabilities


You can now close the terminal window.


Running Node-RED




Once you have installed Node-RED, you can start it using the following command in a terminal window:


node-red-start


This will start the Node-RED service and display its log output. You should see something like this:


Welcome to Node-RED =================== 30 Jun 23:43:39 - [info] Node-RED version: v3.0.2 30 Jun 23:43:39 - [info] Node.js version: v16.7.2 30 Jun 23:43:39 - [info] Linux 5.10.63-v7l+ arm LE 30 Jun 23:43:39 - [info] Loading palette nodes 30 Jun 23:43:44 - [warn] rpi-gpio : Raspberry Pi specific node set inactive 30 Jun 23:43:44 - [info] Settings file : /home/pi/. node-red/settings.js 30 Jun 23:43:44 - [info] Context store : 'default' [module=memory] 30 Jun 23:43:44 - [info] User directory : /home/pi/.node-red 30 Jun 23:43:44 - [warn] Projects disabled : editorTheme.projects.enabled=false 30 Jun 23:43:44 - [info] Flows file : /home/pi/.node-red/flows_raspberrypi.json 30 Jun 23:43:44 - [info] Server now running at 30 Jun 23:43:44 - [info] Starting flows


To stop Node-RED, you can use the following command in a terminal window:


node-red-stop


This will stop the Node-RED service and display its status. You should see something like this:


Stopped Node-RED graphical event wiring tool.


To access Node-RED, you can use a web browser on your Raspberry Pi or any other device on the same network. The default URL is if you are using the Raspberry Pi's browser, or if you are using another device's browser. You can also use the IP address of your Raspberry Pi instead of raspberrypi.local.


When you open the URL, you should see the Node-RED editor, which looks like this:


The editor consists of three main parts:


  • The palette on the left, which contains the nodes that you can drag and drop to the workspace.



  • The workspace in the middle, which is where you create your flows by connecting nodes.



  • The sidebar on the right, which has several tabs for different purposes, such as debugging, managing flows, and configuring nodes.



Creating Your First Flow




To create your first flow, you need to use some nodes from the palette and connect them in the workspace. A flow is a collection of nodes that perform a certain task or function. For example, you can create a flow that reads data from a sensor, processes it, and sends it to a dashboard.


For this tutorial, we'll create a simple flow that injects a timestamp every second and displays it on a debug node. Here are the steps:


  • Drag an inject node from the input section of the palette and drop it on the workspace.



  • Double-click on the inject node to open its properties. Change the payload type to timestamp and click Done.



  • Drag a debug node from the output section of the palette and drop it on the workspace.



  • Connect the output of the inject node to the input of the debug node by clicking and dragging a wire between them.



  • Click on the Deploy button at the top right corner of the editor to deploy your flow to the runtime.



  • Click on the button next to the inject node to trigger it manually, or wait for it to trigger automatically every second.



Switch to the debug tab on the sidebar and observe the messages that are displayed. You should see something like this:


Conclusion




Congratulations! You have successfully downloaded and installed Node-RED on your Raspberry Pi, and created your first flow. You can now explore more nodes and flows to create your own IoT applications using Node-RED.


If you want to learn more about Node-RED, you can check out these resources:


The official Node-RED website:


The Node-RED documentation:


The Node-RED forum:


The Node-RED blog:


The Node-RED YouTube channel:


FAQs




What is Node-RED?




Node-RED is an open-source tool for visual programming to build Internet of Things (IoT) applications. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using the wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click.


What is Raspberry Pi?




Raspberry Pi is a low-cost, credit-card-sized computer that can run various operating systems, such as Raspberry Pi OS, Ubuntu, and Windows 10 IoT Core. It can be used for many purposes, such as education, gaming, robotics, and IoT. It has a range of models with different specifications and features, such as GPIO pins, USB ports, HDMI output, and Wi-Fi connectivity.


What is IoT?




IoT stands for Internet of Things, which is a term that describes the network of physical devices, sensors, actuators, and applications that can communicate and exchange data over the internet. IoT enables new possibilities for automation, monitoring, control, and optimization of various domains, such as smart home, smart city, smart agriculture, and smart health.


How do I update Node-RED on my Raspberry Pi?




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