Failure to install Windows build tools

Being a newbie, by following the Windows setup instruction

I'm trying to install windows-build-tools, but failed miserably.

I've done a lot of internet research on this topic and found that the only working way on my Windows-10 box was to install windows-build-tools@4.0.0 instead of the latest version.

However, even this causes unwanted side-effects

  • Python 2.7 required by windows-build-tools would override Python 3 that our tech depends upon
  • System PATH would be polluted with repetitive folders

So I'm wondering if this installment is simply optional. As I understand, it's not required for Node-RED to function, but only needed by some generic Node.js modules and community nodes that may require building native binaries, correct?

If so, can I simply ignore this toolchain and start using Node-RED?


The core of Node-RED doesn't require the build tools. You should be able to install and run Node-RED without them.

But you may well find some 3rd party nodes won't install without them. See how you get on.

There are quite a lot of things related to node.js that you need the build tools for. Thankfully, there are several ways to install them. Any node.js module with a C++ library that doesn't have a pre-build Windows executable will need them to compile the source-code on installation. Typically, anything that interfaces with hardware or that needs particularly high performance or utilises some kind of C++ library.

Firstly, there is a shortcut created when you install Node.js called "Install Additional Tools for Node.js" which is a batch file.

You can also install them via the Visual Studio Installer which you can freely download from Microsoft. When you have that, search for "Visual Studio Build Tools 2019". You can also use the same tool to keep the build tools updated.

Thank you guys for the clear answers!

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