Send Raspberry Pi IP Address on Boot in Node with Messages

Published August 05, 2020 by Greg Holmes

Being a Raspberry Pi enthusiast, there have been several occasions where a reusable script is needed that I can use to improve my projects. A prime example of this is knowing what my Raspberry Pi’s IP address is when booting in headless mode (without a monitor, keyboard, or mouse).

Recently I published a tutorial on how to build a Home Surveillance System With Node and a Raspberry Pi. When implementing this project, the idea is not to have the Raspberry Pi connected to a monitor, so no default way of knowing the IP address of the Raspberry Pi when it is booted up in a remote location away from any monitors. This tutorial will guide you through a solution to the problem of not knowing the IP address.


Vonage API Account

To complete this tutorial, you will need a Vonage API account. If you don’t have one already, you can sign up today and start building with free credit. Once you have an account, you can find your API Key and API Secret at the top of the Vonage API Dashboard.

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The Code

Inside your project directory, create and open a file called .env, adding your environment variables.
You can find your API_KEY and API_SECRET in the Vonage Developer Dashboard. Add these values to the first two lines of the example below:

If you choose to send SMS notifications, add your mobile number to the SMS_TO= part of your .env file. If you decide to use WhatsApp for your notifications, then add your WhatsApp enabled mobile number to the WHATSAPP_TO= part of your .env file.

You can find your WHATSAPP_FROM number on the Messages Sandbox API page.

Follow all of the input requests from the command above. Then, once finished, run the command below to install the Nexmo Node SDK, Express, Body-Parser and DotEnv packages into your project:

Make a new file in your project directory called index.js, and then open this file. The first part needed is to retrieve the IP Address of your Raspberry Pi.

Add the code below to your new index.js file. The OS module provides access to the information of the device’s operating system such as the network interfaces.

The code below loops through each of these interfaces looking for the interface named wlan0, ensuring that interface is IPv4 and is not an internal-facing interface.

If you run the command below in your Terminal, you should have your device’s Wifi IP Address output as a result:

Next, it’s time to send the IP address as a notification. This tutorial allows you to choose to send the notification as an SMS text message, a WhatsApp message, or both.

Send SMS

Sending an SMS requires using your API key and API secret, which you’ve already saved in the .env file. First, at the top of your index.js file, add the following lines to include the Nexmo package and DotEnv package:

Now, at the bottom of your file, add the following functionality, which initiates the Nexmo object with the API key and secret. The next line populates the variable text with the string “Your IP Address is:” and then the ipAddress passed into the function.

The last part of this method sends the SMS.

Send WhatsApp

Sending a WhatsApp message requires a little more information, including an Application ID and the Private Key. To create an application, which generates both the application_id variable and the private.key file, run the follow command:

Open your .env file, and update the line APPLICATION_ID= to contain your new Application ID.

Back in your index.js file, at the bottom of the file add the following command:

The above example creates a new function called sendWhatsApp with the parameter ipAddress. The function initiates a new instance of the Nexmo object using the API_KEY, API_SECRET, APPLICATION_ID, and APPLICATION_PRIVATE_KEY_PATH. The extra important bit of information needed here is setting the apiHost to make sure that the connection made is to the messages-sandbox API and not the standard production API.

The rest of the method creates a string telling the user what the IP Address, and then sends the WhatsApp message.

Sending the Notification

As it stands, nothing gets sent if you run node index.js. The IP Address will be output, nothing further. To send the notification, whether it be as an SMS, WhatsApp message, or both, find the line: console.log(iface.address);. Below this line, add the following:

Run the Command

Now that the code is implemented and working, the operating system now needs to be configured to run this script whenever the Raspberry Pi boots up. To do this, open the following file in your Terminal:

This file will run commands whenever the Operating System boots up. Above the line: exit 0 add the following command to run the project you’ve just built. Be sure to update the full path of the file index.js:

Test it!

You’ve set up a Raspberry Pi, written some code that allows you to either send the IP address of the Raspberry Pi to you via WhatsApp, SMS or Text-To-Speech voice call. All that’s left to do now is reboot the Raspberry Pi and watch the notification(s) come into the destination number.

Further Reading

Here are some more articles you may find helpful in building a service with a Raspberry Pi, or sending WhatsApp messages.

And don’t forget, if you have any questions, advice or ideas you’d like to share with the community, then please feel free to jump on our Community Slack workspace or pop a reply below 👇

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