NR runs, but not

No idea what I've done however when I use node-red-start I get the response below. Neither the editor nor dashboard are available. Also, node-red --safe seems to do nothing, I just get my CLI prompt back.

Start Node-RED
Once Node-RED has started, point a browser at
On Pi Node-RED works better with the Firefox or Chrome browser
Use   node-red-stop                          to stop Node-RED
Use   node-red-start                         to start Node-RED again
Use   node-red-log                           to view the recent log output
Use   sudo systemctl enable nodered.service  to autostart Node-RED at every boot
Use   sudo systemctl disable nodered.service to disable autostart on boot
To find more nodes and example flows - go to
Starting as a systemd service.
nodered.service: Succeeded.

It will stay this way with nothing working.

I did run the current NR install / update script, results were the same.

bash <(curl -sL

You mean that the terminal does not return to the dollar prompt?
What do you get when you point your browser to ?

There may be some useful information in the log, which you can see with node-red-log

I may be wrong but I think that with both node-red-start and node-red-log you have to use ctrl c to exit.

Personally I use sudo systemctl start nodered if I just want it to start up in the background, node-red if I want to see the output

node-red-start should start node-red as a service and leave the terminal showing the node-red log.

I seem to remember seeing this problem before but can't remember the cause.

@StrongTown try setting the log level to trace in .node-red/settings.js and try again.

The response I show above is the full NR log and no, it does not return to the CLI prompt, it stays exactly as shown above.

Thanks Colin, good idea, however it has started to work properly again and I'm not sure why. As I think back on what I was doing, I did change the location of contextStorage prior to this problem. Can you advise please, should my file location (directory) be:


~/HC_Config (no forward slash at the end).

I suspect I know why. If you run node-red-start while it is running then that is what happens. I always run node-red-stop first. You can do this with
and since that is usually the only command that I use ; in I can just do Ctrl+R, hit ; and it pops up the command, ready for me to hit Enter.

Show us the whole of the contextStorage section. Is it working ok?

Or node-red-reload

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      default: {
          module: "localfilesystem",
          config: {
			dir: "~/HC_Config/",
     			flushInterval: 30,         

Thanks Dave, I didn't know about that one. It isn't in the log output on startup.

When you install node-red on Linux - at least Debian based Linux, the installation process includes setting up and enabling a systemd service. Which means that when you reboot, NR starts automatically.

So it puzzles me that the guidance suggests node-red-start rather than sudo systemctl restart nodered for first and subsequent startups.

Does it work?

Everything is running fine BUT no, the context variables were not loaded from filesystem. I can tell because of the issues that are appearing. Easy enough to fix up but I want to make sure NR is using the right context directory. That's the one that gets backed up nightly.

Look in the folder and make sure the files are there and getting updated. If you look in the files it is obvious what they are.

node-red-start does some checks that node-red is installed ok, runs systemctl start, displays some helpful stuff, and shows the startup log, which is useful to make sure there aren't any startup issues.

Yes it is sometimes helpful to see the log output, especially when it's freshly installed.

A matter of choice I guess but it seems less than helpful for the recommended startup method not to return to the dollar prompt, where one could otherwise choose to run systemctl status nodered or tail -f /var/log/node-red.log or node-red-log

I suppose I'm just uncomfortable if the dollar prompt isn't there. One reason I don't generally use the GUI

Hmm. Not seeing a file time change every 30 secs like I should and I've tried setting the DIR to both options (with and without the ending forward slash). Even looked with file manager to see where else it might be writing context variables to with no luck so far.

You cannot use ~ in the path - it doesn't mean anything to node.js. Use the full path. It doesn't matter if it has a trailing / or not.

Thanks Nick You''ll need to update the on-line docs I think as I believe they indicate the default DIR path is "~/.node-red".

EDIT: What I mean is to maybe expand on how to enter a proper location. I understand now what that is meant to portray however it did confuse me as I went to change it.

Good point.

We don't (I believe) ever use ~ in the context of an example setting you'd put in settings.js, and I think we do say to use the full path.

But we do use it as a shortcut for explaining where the default user dir is located - so I can see how that could mislead readers.