At the end of my wits.....Ghost flows!


Hello all,

I am a relative novice when it comes to node-red (and MQTT and messaging in general for that matter). After playing around a bit, like creating and then deleting flows, I am experiencing what I've learned to describe as 'Ghost Flows'. Despite having tried all suggestions, I still keep receiving messages from old and removed flows. I tried:

  • Rebooting
  • Stopping node-red and deleting the 'flows_raspberrypi.json' file and restarting
  • Upgrading using npm, including purging the cache
  • Upgrading using the script, deleting the flows_raspberrypi.json file before starting
  • Exporting all flows to clipboard through the UI and verifying the code to see if it popped up there, but this is all I get ([{"id":"1df0fe65.6b9752","type":"tab","label":"Flow 1","disabled":false,"info":""}])

My versions:
Node-RED version: v0.19.5
Node.js version: v10.15.0

These messages appear one time only, and that's when subscribing using mosquitto_sub. So they look like birth-messages, but there's no configuration node. They have an obious similarity: I mistakenly set the topic to contain a leading forward-slash (e.g. '/bedroom/lights').

What am I missing? I would greatly appreciate any suggestion!


It sounds like you have a retained message stored on the broker that is published whenever you subscribe.

If you search for how to clear a retained message, you should be able to get rid of it with the right use of mosquitto_pub


Thank you so much for your quick expert advice. I googled and found Steve Cope's excellent Python tool which did the trick! Awesome!