2.0.3 • Public • Published

Node OTA


  • see Example section of this document


I'd like to run/maintain an Arduino board that is connected to a Raspberry Pi Zero without having the need to hassle with manual updating the Arduino firmware via the Rasperry. Therefore I implemented this node-based ArduinoOTA server. The idea is that you can implement changes in your IDE of choice (Arduino IDE, vscode, or Visual Studio with vMicro etc) and just hit the "upload" button. This library will receive all update requests from the IDE and provide you some callbacks (like ArduinoOTA) that can be used e.g. to transfer the binary via UART using avrdude or similar tools.

That's none of my best works, but will do the trick for my project and most likely also yours. Nonetheless, I'll reply to all issues you create and review/merge your PRs (if they're not total garbage).

Version history (semantic versioning)

  • v1.0.1 -> first working implementation
  • v1.0.2 -> fix package.json
  • v2.0.0 -> fix onProgress event and extend example
  • v2.0.1 -> updated example and documentation
  • v2.0.2 -> added another example


I followed the implementation of the original ArduinoOTA library and extended the relevant functionality (port propagation) from Arduino's MDNS library. Additionally I adjusted the error escalation a bit:

  • the only error escalated to your application via the onError callback, are errors that occur during transmission (e.g. socket time out)
  • other errors (auth, begin etc) are handled inside the NodeOTA class or escalated as exceptions if reasonable

External dependencies

I'm using Node 14.15.4 on a Windows machine and the following external libraries


The NodeOTA class holds all necessary functions and provides the following methods for interaction:

begin(name, port, password, isPasswordMD5): NodeOTA

Call this method to initialize the bonjour instance for service propagation and the UDP socket for incoming connections. This method will return the NodeOTA instance and has the following parameters:

  • name: string will be displayed in your IDE in the port section
  • port: number is the port on which your device will be listening for update requests from your IDE
  • password: string if you want to secure your connection provide a password here or a MD5 hash
  • isPasswordMD5: boolean = false set to true if the password provided through password is already and MD5 hash

end(): void

Call this method to shutdown the NodeOTA instance and thus terminating the MDNS instance and UDP socket

error(): void

Call this method to notify your IDE that something went wrong during data transmission on your end. The TCP socket connection for transmitting the binary image will be terminated afterwards

onStart(cb: onStartCallback): NodeOTA

Call this method and provide a callback if you like to be notified about upcoming data transmissions. The onStartCallback type returns void and accepts the following parameters:

  • size: number the number of bytes that are about to be transmitted

onProgress(cb: onProgressCallback): NodeOTA

Call this method and provide a callback if you like to be notified about a data transmission's progress. The callback will be called per packet that is sent by the IDE (so most likely pretty often). The onProgressCallback type returns void and accepts the following parameters:

  • currentPacket: number is the number of bytes that were transferred in the current packet
  • transferred: number holds the number of bytes that were transferred so far
  • total: number the size of the whole binary
  • data: string the content of the current packet. Concatenate all those data portions to get the whole binary

onError(cb: onErrorCallback): NodeOTA

Call this method and provide a callback if you like to be notified about errors during binary image transmissions. The onErrorCallback type returns void and accepts the following parameters:

  • err: Error the error thrown by the UDP socket or by the TCP socket which reads the binary image from your IDE

onEnd(cb: onEndCallback): NodeOTA

Call this method and provide a callback if you like to be notified about upcoming data transmissions. The onEndCallback type returns void and has no parameters

Example for ESP chips and linux-based device

  • run npm install node-ota
  • copy this code into a .js file and adjust the board constant (ESP32 or ESP8266) and adjust the child process call in the onEnd callback
  • execute it with node
const nodeOta = require('node-ota');
const fs = require('fs');
const { spawn } = require('child_process');
const ota = new nodeOta.NodeOTA(true);

const board = 'ESP8266'; // or 'ESP32';

let filehandle = null;
    .begin('Node Device', 8266, 'test')
    .onStart((size => {
        filehandle = fs.createWriteStream('./binary.bin');
    .onProgress(((currentPacket, transferred, total, data) => {
    .onError(((err) => {
    .onEnd(() => {

        const params = board === 'ESP32'
            ? ['--port', '/dev/ttyUSB0', '--baud', '115200', '--before', 'default_reset', '--after', 'hard_reset', 'write_flash', '0x10000', 'binary.bin']
            : ['--port', '/dev/ttyUSB0', '--baud', '115200', '--before', 'default_reset', '--after', 'hard_reset', 'write_flash', '0x0', 'binary.bin']
        const esptool = spawn('', params, {cwd: __dirname});

        esptool.stdout.on('data', (data) => {
            console.log('Esptool.stdout(' + data + ')');

        esptool.stderr.on('data', (data) => {
            console.error('Esptool.stderr(' + data + ')');

        esptool.on('close', (code) => {
            if (code !== 0) {
            console.log('Esptool.end(code=' + code + ')');

process.on('SIGINT', function() {
process.on('exit', code => {
  • go to your Arduino IDE, select the port labelled as 'Node Device'
  • build and upload a sketch e.g. the Blink sketch (password is test)


This is licensed under WTFPL, so do whatever you like with this code.


This library is written in TypeScript und bundled with rollup for further usage and publishing and see src/NodeOTA.ts for the source code. If you just want to use the library either get via npm or run npm run start, which will bundle the library first and start the node script basic_example.js afterwards.


Feel free to create issues or PRs.


  • [x] publishing this library as npm
  • [ ] automated tests



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