FlowFuse Node-RED Tools plugin

The Node-RED Tools Plugin is a module you can install into any Node-RED instance running outside of FlowFuse, that gives you the ability to work on your flows locally.

The current version of the plugin allows you to create a new Instance Snapshot using the flows you have locally and push them into an instance on FlowFuse.

This can make it easier to develop hardware-specific flows locally, that can then be pushed out to your devices through FlowFuse.


This plugin can be installed through the Manage Palette option by searching for @flowfuse/nr-tools-plugin in the Node-RED editor, or on the command-line:

cd ~/.node-red
npm install @flowfuse/nr-tools-plugin

This assumes the default location of the Node-RED user directory. If you are not sure where that is, check the log output when Node-RED starts as it will log the full path to the User directory.

Note: this plugin was previously published under the package @flowforge/nr-tools-plugin. That package is now deprecated and will no longer receive updates.


This initial version of the plugin allows you to create a snapshot of your locally developed flows and push them into one of your instances running inside FlowFuse.

Connecting to FlowFuse

Before you can do anything, you need to connect the plugin to a FlowFuse platform.

  1. In the Node-RED editor, open the FlowFuse Tools sidebar and click on the cog icon to open the settings panel.

  2. Enter the url of your FlowFuse platform. For example, if you have signed-up to FlowFuse Cloud then use the URL https://app.flowfuse.com.

  3. Click connect. This will open another window where you can log in to FlowFuse and give permission for the plugin to connect to your account.

  4. Once connected, close the settings panel.

Working with Snapshots

The FlowFuse Tools sidebar allows you to browse the teams you are a member of and their instances.

When you select an instance, the sidebar lists its snapshots.

You can then create a new snapshot using the flows you have running locally.

Create a Snapshot

  1. Click the + snapshot button to open the Create Snapshot dialog.

  2. In the dialog, enter a name for the snapshot and an optional description.

  3. The dialog lists the modules your flows are using, along with the version number. This information is included in the snapshot when sent back to the FlowFuse instance. Check the notes below on how this is handled within FlowFuse.

  4. Click 'Create Snapshot'

At this point, a new snapshot will be created in FlowFuse. You can then switch to the FlowFuse platform and from the Snapshots menu either select the 'Deploy Snapshot' option to deploy that snapshot, or set it as the Device Target to deploy it to your devices.

We'll be working on improving this workflow in future releases of the plugin - to allow you to manage more from within the Node-RED plugin.

Adding modules to a snapshot

The snapshot created by the sidebar includes a list of the modules used by the flows. If there are any modules included that have not already been added to your instance you will need to manually add them via the Instance Settings -> Palette -> Installed Modules view in the platform.

Defining Environment Variables

We do not currently support defining environment variables for the flows from within the Node-RED Plugin. This means that when you create a snapshot from the plugin, the platform will automatically merge in the currently defined environment variables for that instance.

To manage your instance's environment variables, use the Instance Settings -> Environment view in the platform.