How To Install NodeJS On Linux

Install Nodejs On Linux

NodeJS is an open source, cross-platform, and lightweight JavaScript run-time environment that can be used to build scalable network applications. It is fast and efficient server-side software built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Initially, JavaScript was primarily used for client-side scripting. But, Nodejs enables JavaScript to be used for server-side scripting, and runs scripts server-side to produce dynamic web pages. Another notable thing is Nodejs has a command-line utility called npm, a package manager to install, manage nodejs libraries and applications. Nodejs package ecosystem is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world.

In this tutorial, we will see how to install Node.js on major Linux operating systems including Arch Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS, Fedora etc.

Install NodeJS on Linux

There are quite a few ways to install Nodejs. The first method is for those who wants to use the stable NodeJS version. The second method and third methods can get you the latest available versions. In particular, the third method is the best way to avoid permission issues while installing packages globally. I will explain all of them.

1. Install Nodejs using your distribution’s package manager (Stable, but outdated versions)

Nodejs is available in the default repositories of most Linux distributions. It might not be latest version, but stable. If you want to have a stable Node.js on your Linux, you better install it using your distribution’s package manager as shown below.

On Arch Linux and its derivatives like Antergos, Manajaro Linux, run the following command to install it:

sudo pacman -S nodejs npm

On Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint:

sudo apt-get install nodejs npm

On RHEL, CentOS, you need to enable EPEL repository first.

sudo yum install epel-release

And, then install Nodejs using command:

sudo yum install nodejs npm

On Fedora:

sudo dnf install nodejs npm

Note: Since the packages from the default repositories are outdated, you will get the following error when you try to install any NodeJS modules using npm.

/usr/bin/env: ‘node’: No such file or directory

To solve this error, you need to create symlink as shown below.

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node

2. Install Nodejs from NodeSource

Like I already said, nodejs is available in the default repositories, but it might be bit outdated. To install the most recent version, install the latest version from NodeSource as shown below.

On Debian, Ubuntu distributions:

Add Nodejs 6.x repository:

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -

For Nodejs 7.x:

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -

Then, install Node.js using command:

sudo apt-get install nodejs npm

On RHEL, CentOS:

Run the following command as root user to add Node.js v6 LTS repository:

curl --silent --location | bash -

To add Node.js v7 repository:

curl --silent --location | bash -

To add Node.js 0.10 repository:

curl --silent --location | bash -

Then install, as root:

yum install nodejs npm

For Fedora, follow the same instructions above.

Install build tools (Optional)

To compile and install native addons from npm repository, you may also need to install build tools.

To install build tools on Debian, Ubuntu distributions, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential

On RHEL based systems:

sudo yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

On Fedora:

sudo dnf groupinstall 'Development Tools'

3. Install Nodejs using NVM (Recommended method)

This is yet another way to install Nodejs. This is the best way to avoid permissions issues. NVM (Node Version Manager) is a bash script used to manage multiple Node.js versions. It allows us to install, uninstall node.js, and switch from one version to another. Good thing is we can install to any available Node.js version of our choice, using NVM.

To install nvm, run the following command:

curl -o- | bash

The above command will clone the nvm repository to ~/.nvm and add the source line to your profile (~/.bash_profile, ~/.zshrc, ~/.profile, or ~/.bashrc).

Sample output will be:

% Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current
 Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
100 11699 100 11699 0 0 3899 0 0:00:03 0:00:03 --:--:-- 3019
=> Downloading nvm from git to '/home/sk/.nvm'
=> Cloning into '/home/sk/.nvm'...
remote: Counting objects: 6699, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (11/11), done.
remote: Total 6699 (delta 4), reused 11 (delta 4), pack-reused 6684
Receiving objects: 100% (6699/6699), 2.07 MiB | 53.00 KiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (4156/4156), done.
* (HEAD detached at v0.33.2)
=> Compressing and cleaning up git repository
Counting objects: 6699, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (6654/6654), done.
Writing objects: 100% (6699/6699), done.
Total 6699 (delta 4423), reused 2069 (delta 0)

=> Appending nvm source string to /home/sk/.bashrc
=> Appending bash_completion source string to /home/sk/.bashrc
=> Close and reopen your terminal to start using nvm or run the following to use it now:

export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/" # This loads nvm
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" # This loads nvm bash_completion

Restart your Terminal once before start using NVM.

To verify whether NVM is installed or not, run:

command -v nvm

Sample output:


It should output ‘nvm’ if the installation was successful.

Now, we can install Nodejs and npm.

First, run the following command to view the list of available Nodejs versions:

nvm ls-remote

Sample output:

 v8.9.0 (LTS: Carbon)
 v8.9.1 (LTS: Carbon)
 v8.9.2 (LTS: Carbon)
 v8.9.3 (LTS: Carbon)
 v8.9.4 (Latest LTS: Carbon)

To install the most recent Nodejs version, just run:

nvm install node

Alternatively, you can run the following to install any Nodejs version of your choice.

For example, to install Nodejs v9.3.0, run:

nvm install v9.3.0

Sample output:

Downloading and installing node v9.3.0...
######################################################################## 100.0%
Computing checksum with sha256sum
Checksums matched!
Now using node v9.3.0 (npm v5.6.0)
Creating default alias: default -> v9.3.0

Similarly, you can install any number of versions you want.

To view the list of installed Nodejs versions, run:

nvm list

Sample output:

-> v9.4.0
default -> node (-> v9.4.0)
node -> stable (-> v9.4.0) (default)
stable -> 9.4 (-> v9.4.0) (default)
iojs -> N/A (default)
lts/* -> lts/carbon (-> N/A)
lts/argon -> v4.8.7 (-> N/A)
lts/boron -> v6.12.3 (-> N/A)
lts/carbon -> v8.9.4 (-> N/A)

As you see in the above output, I have installed v9.4.0.

If you have installed more than one version, you can switch between different Nodejs versions as below.

nvm use node

Or you can just run it to be more specific:

nvm run node v9.3.0

To set a particular Nodejs version as the default, run:

nvm alias default v9.3.0

Sample output would be:

default -> v9.3.0

To remove the particular Nodejs version, run:

nvm uninstall v9.3.0

Sample output:

Uninstalled node v9.3.0

To view the currently installed and default Nodejs version, run:

node --version


node -v

Sample output:


Check npm version:

npm -v

Sample output:


And, that’s all. You know now how to install Nodejs on your Linux distribution. As you can see, installing Nodejs is fairly easy. Anyone can install and setup the Nodejs within few minutes.

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