How to Load External Modules

Home > Guides

This guide provides instructions on how to make Node.js modules available to Node-RED.


1. Install the necessary Node.js package(s) on the target machine:

Note: Some Debian distributions require Node.js packages to be directly installed into Node Red’s node_modules directory. Navigate to it’s typical location by entering:

cd /var/lib/node-red/.node-red/node_modules

Then install packages by running:

sudo npm install {package name}

Please note that the device must have internet access to download npm packages.

2. Change to root user on the machine:

sudo -s
[sudo] password for debian:

3. Open the settings.js file with nano (or your favorite editor):

BeagleBone, Debian 10

cd /var/lib/node-red/.node-red
nano settings.js

4. Edit the settings.js file:

Modify the functionGlobalContext function in the settings file to reference modules of interest.
Below demonstrates the syntax for making the os, bonescript and moment node.js modules available to Node-RED.
(Tip: Make sure to use commas correctly).

functionGlobalContext: {
// jfive:require("johnny-five"),
// j5board:require("johnny-five").Board({repl:false})

5. Save and exit the settings.js file.

6. Stop and start Node-RED for the changes to take effect.

BeagleBone, Debian 10

Stop Node-RED:
sudo systemctl stop nodered

Start Node-RED:
sudo systemctl start nodered