Node-Red is great out of the box but it can be a bit manual to start, stop and run on boot. The following section will describe a simple init script to do all of the hard work for us.

Firstly we create a new init.d file, which is essentially a script for starting, stopping and restarting services under Linux.
sudo nano /etc/init.d/node_red
Then copy and paste the following code in to the file. To do this within nano copy the text below and right click in the nano window you should see the text start to appear.

The only thing you may need to change before saving is the directory where node-red is installed on your Pi. If you have been following this guide all the way through you do not need to change anything.

For those that have installed Node-Red in a different location just change the following line “cd /home/pi/node-red” to reflect the folder location where Node-Red is installed.
#! /bin/sh
# Starts and stops Node-RED
# /etc/init.d/node_red
# Provides:     node_red
# Required-Start:       $syslog
# Required-Stop:        $syslog
# Default-Start:        2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:         0 1 6
# Short-Description:    Node-RED initialisation
# Note: this runs as the user called pi
#Load up node red when called
case "$1" in
        echo "Starting Node-Red.."
        su -l pi -c "cd node-red; screen -dmS red node --max-old-space-size=64 red.js
        echo `screen -ls red | sed -n '2p' | cut -f1 -d.` > $PIDFILE
# or
        #nohup node --max-old-space-size=128 red.js > /var/log/node-red.log &
        #echo $! > $PIDFILE
        echo "Stopping Node-Red.."
        su -l pi -c "screen -S red -X quit"
# or
        #kill `cat $PIDFILE`
        rm -f $PIDFILE
        echo "Restarting Node-Red.."
        $0 stop
        $0 start
        echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}"
        exit 1
Once you have pasted and updated the above script hit CTRL+X and then Y to save changes. Next we will make the file executable so that it can be run.
sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/node_red
Finally to ensure the script will start at boot and stop at shutdown we need to update the rc.d file.
sudo update-rc.d node_red defaults
Thats it! Nice and simple, as stated at the start the following commands will now work.
sudo service node_red start
sudo service node_red stop
sudo service node_red restart
The final part to managing Node-Red is keeping it up to date. Since we cloned the Node-Red repository originaly from Git Hub we can easily pull down the latest versions whenever we want.

To do this it is as simple as navigating to the home directory of your installation:
cd ~/node-red/
And to then run git pull
sudo git pull
If there are any changes you will see them being downloaded. You can then restart Node-Red using our service script and you are ready to go again.

This guide was first published on Jan 25, 2014. It was last updated on Jan 25, 2014.

This page (Managing Node-Red) was last updated on Jan 21, 2014.

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