I got it, now that I understand what installs redis.
The way I upgrade is I create a brand new workspace, install a new version of nodebb, copy over the config.json. I think that makes sense in real deployment scenario versus executing "git pull" in place. This way I retain a fully functional prior version installation I can fall back to in a instant should something fail with a new version.
So turns out I've been committing plugins on two seperate accounts, because my brain cells have 410.
I have 6 packages on one account, and 7 on another. I would like to combine them. As trying to publish my changes is giving me 403 errors. And I can't seem to logout of one npm and log in to the other. I'm all so very confused. 😕