How do I install a community node in the Desktop version?

From time to time I receive suggestions, like in this Q&A How do I reduce the keys of an item? to install a community node.

How do I do that in the Desktop version?

Hey @xmontero,

At the moment the Desktop version doesn’t have the built in support for community nodes but they should be available in the next Desktop release unless anything major pops up.

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I see…

Any roadmap/calendar?

It’s to forecast if I wait for a few days or it’s months beyond better I go for the docker version…

Hey @xmontero,

Sadly no roadmap for that, I know we wanted to release it a couple of weeks ago but we had a few bugs in the 193 release so wanted to hold off on it so we have something more stable. It could be in a few days or it could be in a few weeks.

I would say if you wanted new features sooner taking the docker or npm route would be the best approach. If you just wanted to use n8n from your desktop npm might be the quickest route for you but if you are using webhooks you will need to make sure you have a domain available that is forwarded to your machine .

Docker is fine.

I know this amazing tool just from week-and-a-half ago and I’ve fallen in love with it. And I downloaded the desktop as a “download + try” it. But docker was the final goal.

About the release timings, the developing speed, etc… I have a feeling:

The pitty is that I know how to code. So I don’t mind installing a docker, using any of the 2 “function” nodes to write JS in it, or even creating a new node when I have the docker running. Not only I’m not affraid, but I enjoy it.

But… from the Biz point of view…

I have a few friends that are pure marketing girls and boys and know absolutely nothing about what is a “script”, a “bash”, a “docker”, an “npm” or even javascript itself. They earn via SEO, either via AdSense, or selling products via affiliation.

They use to use WordPress to publish, plus Mautic to automate. This way they avoid any vendor-lock-in as both are Open Source.

But mautic has a limited way to see the “automation”. And they end up using Zapier or similar to automate more complex flows.

They were looking for a tool to substitute zapier, if-this-then-that, etc.

And when they knew I found this week and a half ago, they got crazy. But the more they get in, the more they see it’s still “in birth state” and still a long way to go until they can just “change” their tools by n8n. And they want!

But many PHP hostings do not host npm apps. In fact we have already asked our regular hostings to add n8n as an installable tool and they refused.

So, regardless of that I’ll go with docker, my friends will stick to the Desktop version and leave it in a PC in a corner, all day open, running infinitely.

And it’s a pitty as I strongly feel that n8n may be “the tool” if the business considers the other 90% of things that is not product development.

I’d like to have a conversation with you guys in the team if suitable to see if I can contribute to make this tool “the best free (in terms of “freedom” = no vendor lock-in)” tool in the world.

I’ve been a coder for 40 years (30 years professionally), I’ve been CTO and also General Manater of multiple companies. During the last 15 years I’ve been mentoring startups in multiple programs, maybe the most popular program one run by the guys at the Mobile World Capital, which organizes the most important tech meeting in the world

I don’t want this project to fall into the “one more open source” but to really lead the world in the automation area as MySQL does in the free databases, or Apache and NGINx do in the free web servers.

There are other magic tools like Strapi (not automation, but zero-code modelling and API-building) that I feel do not get the traction they should because they ignore some essential rules (like modeling towards DDD + hexagonal + CQRS+ES) and it’s a pitty. Look: I asked this 1 year ago and nobody responded Can Strapi handle CQRS+ES out of the box? - Questions and Answers - Strapi Community Forum

I would like that n8n is “the one automation tool” for anyone. I might help in the “business area” if needed but this is not a conversation to hold in public forums.

Any way to PM the founding team?

Hey @xmontero,

Our release process is interesting, We do weekly releases that gets automatically pushed to NPM and Docker then we have our cloud option which is normally a release behind (also doesn’t have access to community nodes at the moment). Desktop is something we originally created to help people get started with n8n but we never really intended on it being used for anything other than testing.

The desktop release cycle tends to be monthly and has a few manual steps around application signing which can be time consuming and we of course want to make sure that the desktop release is on a version that we consider to be stable as for some users it will be their first interaction with n8n so we could have done a release sooner but the experience would have been bad.

We are always open to feature suggestions and community pull requests if you were after ways to contribute, If you wanted to message the founding team I think there is an option on Discord somewhere to send a message to the admin team, failing that you can always drop us an email using our hello address.

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I recall when coding got mature:

  • The initial C compilers written by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie were written in assembler.
  • Then Kernighan and Ritchie could write programs in C.
  • One day, they wrote a program in C: “a C compiler”.
  • That day coding turned out mature for all the humanity.

You state that Desktop is slow in deploying because “and has a few manual steps around application signing”

Nevertheless the “marketing claim” of n8n is " Automate without limits", isn’t it? n8n is “an automation system to replace human intervention and make those long repetitive tasks a split second”, no?

Here is a challenge I launch to the n8n team:

The day you can make a video showing the community that the “Desktop version of n8n” is able to process the deployment of the “Desktop version of n8n” from source to published installer, then you can claim n8n got to the majority of age.

Please, team acknowledge if you accept the challenge!

Hey @xmontero,

The application signing is just one of a few things that can cause the delay in release, There are other areas to consider as well. We could have put a new release out a few weeks ago but the decision was made to fix some bugs that would have led to a bad experience.

Internally we do use workflows to help with the release process and a lot of other tasks, I would say we are our biggest users of our own product and I would be very surprised if that isn’t the case.

One day maybe we will produce the video you want to see but going from source to published installer is something we could technically do now if we didn’t bother with the testing, signing and submission to Microsofts malware analysis service. But as mentioned that is not the only reason why the Desktop release doesn’t have the community nodes feature.

:+1: :+1: :yum: Got it.

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