Random Nerd Tutorials

Upgrade from Node-RED-Contrib-UI to Node-RED-Dashboard


[NEW GUIDE] Learn how to use Node-RED Dashboard with your Raspberry Pi

If you followed the Build a Home Automation System for $100 course prior to August 27 2016, you know that I’ve used Node-RED-Contrib-UI to build the user interface for the home automation system. But, sadly the guy that developed the Node-RED-Contrib-UI will no longer be able to update that package.

Luckily, the Node-RED team announced that Node-RED-Contribu-UI will continue to be developed under a new name: Node-RED-Dashboard.

You have two options

If you have the original course (before August 27 2016) and you have Node-RED-Contrib-UI on your Node-RED installation you have two options:

  1. Follow these next instructions to migrate from Node-RED-Contrib-UI to Node-RED-Dashboard
  2. Continue using Node-RED-Contrib-UI. It will continue to work, but will no longer be updated

Now, it’s up to you. Migrating all the nodes and update the Arduino code will take a couple of hours and you’ll have to follow the course since Module 5 Unit 2.

Exporting and backing up your Node-RED nodes

I encourage you to export/back up all your Node-RED nodes before you continue.

Migration from Node-RED-Contrib-UI

Node-RED-Contrib-UI MUST be uninstalled before installing node-red-dashboard.

pi@raspberry:~ $ sudo apt-get install npm
pi@raspberry:~ $ sudo npm install -g npm@2.x 
pi@raspberry:~ $ hash -r
pi@raspberry:~ $ cd ~/.node-red 
pi@raspberry:~/.node-red $ sudo npm uninstall node-red-contrib-ui

Installing Node-RED-Dashboard

Run these two commands to install Node-RED Dashboard and reboot your Pi:

pi@raspberry:~/.node-red $ sudo npm install node-red-dashboard
pi@raspberry:~/.node-red $ sudo reboot

terminal upgrade complete

Open Node-RED

After rebooting you RPi, go to the Node-RED software. Your previous nodes will have errors:

Node-RED Screenshot 3

I simply deleted every old Node-RED-Contrib-UI node and started from scratch. Here’s the new Dashboard nodes:

Node-RED Screenshot 5

Note: the ui_radio_button node is no longer supported.

What do do next


You need to download the updated Build a Home Automation System for $100 course version that I’ve sent to all customers via email.

Go to Module 5 Unit 2 to continue the course and update the code ESP8266 and Arduino with the new features.

To be honest, the upgrade is well worth it and it has a new set of features that I bet you’ll find interesting.

Thank you for reading,


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