Running Node-Red as a Windows or OSx Service

For a recent project I needed to run Node-RED on windows and it became apparent that being able to run it as a service would be very useful.

After a little poking around I found a npm module called node-windows.

You install node-windows with as follows:

npm install -g node-windows

followed by:

npm link node-windows

in the root directory of your project. This is a 2 stage process as node-windows works better when installed globally.

Now the npm module in installed you configure the Windows service by writing a short nodejs app. This windows-service.js should work for Node-Red

var Service = require('node-windows').Service;

var svc = new Service({
  name:'Node-Red',
  description: 'A visual tool for wiring the Internet of Things',
  script: require('path').join(__dirname,'red.js')
});

svc.on('install',function(){
  svc.start();
});

svc.on('uninstall',function(){
  console.log('Uninstall complete.');
  console.log('The service exists: ',svc.exists);
});

if (process.argv.length == 3) {
  if ( process.argv[2] == 'install') {
    svc.install();
  } else if ( process.argv[2] == 'uninstall' ) {
    svc.uninstall();
  }
}

Run the following to install the service:

node windows-service.js install

and to remove the service:

node windows-service.js uninstall

There is also a OSx version of node-windows called node-mac, the same script with a small change should work on both:

if (process.platform === 'win32') {
  var Service = require('node-windows').Service;
} else if (process.platform === 'darwin') {
  var Service = require('node-mac').Service;
} else {
  console.log('Not Windows or OSx');
  process.exit(1);
}

var svc = new Service({
  name:'Node-Red',
  description: 'A visual tool for wiring the Internet of Things',
  script: require('path').join(__dirname,'red.js')
});


svc.on('install',function(){
  svc.start();
});

svc.on('uninstall',function(){
  console.log('Uninstall complete.');
  console.log('The service exists: ',svc.exists);
});

if (process.argv.length == 3) {
  if ( process.argv[2] == 'install') {
    svc.install();
  } else if ( process.argv[2] == 'uninstall' ) {
    svc.uninstall();
  }
}

I have submitted a pull request to include this in the base Node-RED install.

EDIT:

I’ve added node-linux to the pull request as well to generate /etc/init.d SystemV start scripts.

6 thoughts on “Running Node-Red as a Windows or OSx Service”

  1. I would like to know the complete steps to run Node RED as a service for mac os x

    Thank you

  2. It worked well, but I had to run the “link” command and create the script under “C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\node-red\”.

    All my installed packages and flows wasn’t available after the “service installation”,.
    So I:
    stopped the service
    ran again the node-red by command line,
    exported all my flows and copied the installed package list
    closed the command line node-red
    started the service again
    installed all the packages
    imported all my flows again

    work done.

    1. Yeah, all this was written for before the .node-red directory existed so it’s probably a little out of date. Must admit I’ve not had to run Node-RED on Windows in a very long time (thankfully)

  3. Unfortunately, I am stuck using Windows at work. How would this need to be modified to point to the correct working directory? Also, is it possible to specify the username and password for the service login?

    1. No, as I said I’ve not had to do anything on Windows since I wrote this. You’ll do better asking on the Node-RED slack channel or the Google Group mailing list, both linked to from the Node-RED home page

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