Quick update, probably user error.
I misunderstood "Restart NodeBB" to mean restart the process. When using the Restart button on the Dashboard and uninstall/reinstall the plugin works as expected in the simple case.
Sorry to bother y'all. Thanks.
I needed two customised plugins for our forum (one scaled back FB SSO and one for bulk user creation). Initially I had huge problems making the plugins actually show up. I ended up adding symbolic links to each from node_modules.
That way they showed up as "installed" and could be activated.
However, is this really "the right way" of doing it? The docs say use "npm install" (which installed the dependencies but not much more). What's the proper way of deploying a plugin that's not made for public use?
npm install supports local folders
@phit can you explain how you mean?
run this in your nodebb directory
npm install /path/of/your/pluginfolder
Symbolic links are absolutely fine. It's the way I do all my plugins. NPM can even manage links for you using