We recommend using the latest Debian 9 Stretch based SD card images - from beagleboard.org.
The 4GB images for BeagleBone boards already have Node-RED pre-installed and set to auto-start, so you can just boot and point your browser at your BeagleBone, port 1880.
The 2GB console version suitable for flashing to older eMMC versions of the BBB is not recommended but can be installed as per the manual installation instructions below.
To view the Node-RED log
sudo journalctl -f -u node-red -o cat
To stop Node-RED
sudo service node-red stop
To start Node-RED
sudo service node-red start
To set Node-RED to auto-start on every boot
sudo systemctl enable node-red.service
and likewise to stop it auto-running on boot
sudo systemctl disable node-red.service
The latest Debian images already have Node-RED and Node.js installed - the easiest way to upgrade is to use the built in upgrade tool:
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade nodejs bb-node-red-installer
This should also restart the Node-RED service - but you will need to refresh any open browser sessions.
If you are on the 2017 Debian 9.2 version you may need to run
sudo apt full-upgrade first.
Note: Do NOT use the Raspberry Pi / Debian upgrade script (
it will re-install both Node.js and Node-RED in different locations and will conflict with and
break the existing systemd configuration files.
The Beaglebone is configured by default to run Node-RED as root. Therefore the configuration files are located in the
/root/.node-red directory and you will need root privileges (sudo) to edit them. This is where you need to edit your
settings.js file for example.
Beaglebone also has a systemd service,
/lib/systemd/system/node-red.socket, that automatically starts Node-RED
when is sees an attempt to connect. By default this is port 1880 - but if you want change that you need to change it
here as well as in the
There are some Beaglebone specific nodes that give you direct access to the I/O pins in the simplest possible manner. The easiest way to install them is direct from npm.
To install manually run the following command:
sudo npm install -g --unsafe-perm beaglebone-io johnny-five node-red-contrib-gpio
Note: There is also a set of BBB specific nodes that can be used. However they are built on a no longer supported library (octalbonescript), and so are not recommended for future use, but are noted for having some extra capabilities beyond the generic gpio nodes.
sudo npm install -g --unsafe-perm node-red-node-beaglebone