A Beginner’s Guide to npm — the Node Package Manager

By Michael Wanyoike , Peter Dierx

Node.js makes it possible to write applications in JavaScript on the server. It’s built on the V8 JavaScript runtime and written in C++ — so it’s fast. Originally, it was intended as a server environment for applications, but developers started using it to create tools to aid them in local task automation. Since then, a whole new ecosystem of Node-based tools (such as Grunt, Gulp and Webpack) has evolved to transform the face of front-end development.

This popular article was updated on 08.06.2017 to reflect the current state of npm, as well as the changes introduced by the release of version 5.

To make use of these tools (or packages) in Node.js we need to be able to install and manage them in a useful way. This is where npm, the Node package manager, comes in. It installs the packages you want to use and provides a useful interface to work with them.

In this article I’m going to look at the basics of working with npm. I will show you how to install packages in local and global mode, as well as delete, update and install a certain version of a package. I’ll also show you how to work with package.json to manage a project’s dependencies. If you’re more of a video person, why not sign up for SitePoint Premium and watch our free screencast: What is npm and How Can I Use It?.

But before we can start using npm, we first have to install Node.js on our system. Let’s do that now…

Installing Node.js

Head to the Node.js download page and grab the version you need. There are Windows and Mac installers available, as well as pre-compiled Linux binaries and source code. For Linux, you can also install Node via the package manager, as outlined here.

For this tutorial we are going to use v6.10.3 Stable. At the time of writing, this is the current Long Term Support (LTS) version of Node.

Tip: You might also consider installing Node using a version manager. This negates the permissions issue raised in the next section.

Let’s see where node was installed and check the version.

$ which node
/usr/bin/node
$ node --version
v6.10.3

To verify that your installation was successful let’s give Node’s REPL a try.

$ node
> console.log('Node is running');
Node is running
> .help
.break Sometimes you get stuck, this gets you out
.clear Alias for .break
.exit  Exit the repl
.help  Show repl options
.load  Load JS from a file into the REPL session
.save  Save all evaluated commands in this REPL session to a file
> .exit

The Node.js installation worked, so we can now focus our attention on npm, which was included in the install.

$ which npm
/usr/bin/npm
$ npm --version
3.10.10

Node Packaged Modules

npm can install packages in local or global mode. In local mode it installs the package in a node_modules folder in your parent working directory. This location is owned by the current user. Global packages are installed in {prefix}/lib/node_modules/ which is owned by root (where {prefix} is usually /usr/ or /usr/local). This means you would have to use sudo to install packages globally, which could cause permission errors when resolving third-party dependencies, as well as being a security concern. Lets change that:

Parcel delivery company
Time to manage those packages

Changing the Location of Global Packages

Let’s see what output npm config gives us.

$ npm config list
; cli configs
user-agent = "npm/3.10.10 node/v6.10.3 linux x64"

; userconfig /home/sitepoint/.npmrc
prefix = "/home/sitepoint/.node_modules_global"

; node bin location = /usr/bin/nodejs
; cwd = /home/sitepoint
; HOME = /home/sitepoint
; "npm config ls -l" to show all defaults.

This gives us information about our install. For now it’s important to get the current global location.

$ npm config get prefix
/usr

This is the prefix we want to change, so as to install global packages in our home directory. To do that create a new directory in your home folder.

$ cd ~ && mkdir .node_modules_global
$ npm config set prefix=$HOME/.node_modules_global

With this simple configuration change, we have altered the location to which global Node packages are installed. This also creates a .npmrc file in our home directory.

$ npm config get prefix
/home/sitepoint/.node_modules_global
$ cat .npmrc
prefix=/home/sitepoint/.node_modules_global

We still have npm installed in a location owned by root. But because we changed our global package location we can take advantage of that. We need to install npm again, but this time in the new user-owned location. This will also install the latest version of npm.

$ npm install npm --global
└─┬ npm@5.0.2
  ├── abbrev@1.1.0
  ├── ansi-regex@2.1.1
....
├── wrappy@1.0.2
└── write-file-atomic@2.1.0

Finally, we need to add .node_modules_global/bin to our $PATH environment variable, so that we can run global packages from the command line. Do this by appending the following line to your .profile, .bash_profileor .bashrc and restarting your terminal.

export PATH="$HOME/.node_modules_global/bin:$PATH"

Now our .node_modules_global/bin will be found first and the correct version of npm will be used.

$ which npm
/home/sitepoint/.node_modules_global/bin/npm
$ npm --version
5.0.2

Installing Packages in Global Mode

At the moment we only have one package installed globally — that is the npm package itself. So let’s change that and install UglifyJS (a JavaScript minification tool). We use the --global flag, but this can be abbreviated to -g.

$ npm install uglify-js --global
/home/sitepoint/.node_modules_global/bin/uglifyjs -> /home/sitepoint/.node_modules_global/lib/node_modules/uglify-js/bin/uglifyjs
+ uglify-js@3.0.15
added 4 packages in 5.836s

As you can see from the output, additional packages are installed — these are UglifyJS’s dependencies.

Listing Global Packages

We can list the global packages we have installed with the npm list command.

$ npm list --global
home/sitepoint/.node_modules_global/lib
├─┬ npm@5.0.2
│ ├── abbrev@1.1.0
│ ├── ansi-regex@2.1.1
│ ├── ansicolors@0.3.2
│ ├── ansistyles@0.1.3
....................
└─┬ uglify-js@3.0.15
  ├─┬ commander@2.9.0
  │ └── graceful-readlink@1.0.1
  └── source-map@0.5.6

The output however, is rather verbose. We can change that with the --depth=0 option.

$ npm list -g --depth=0
/home/sitepoint/.node_modules_global/lib
├── npm@5.0.2
└── uglify-js@3.0.15

That’s better — just the packages we have installed along with their version numbers.

Any packages installed globally will become available from the command line. For example, here’s how you would use the Uglify package to minify example.js into example.min.js:

$ uglifyjs example.js -o example.min.js

Installing Packages in Local Mode

When you install packages locally, you normally do so using a package.json file. Let’s go ahead and create one.

$ npm init
package name: (project)
version: (1.0.0)
description: Demo of package.json
entry point: (index.js)
test command:
git repository:
keywords:
author:
license: (ISC)

Press Enter to accept the defaults, then type yes to confirm. This will create a package.json file at the root of the project.

{
  "name": "project",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  },
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC"
}

Tip: If you want a quicker way to generate a package.json file use npm init --y

The fields are hopefully pretty self-explanatory, with the exception of main and scripts. The main field is the primary entry point to your program and the scripts field lets you specify script commands that are run at various times in the lifecycle of your package. We can leave these as they are for now, but if you’d like to find out more, see the package.json documentation on npm and this article on using npm as a build tool.

Now let’s try and install Underscore.

$ npm install underscore
npm notice created a lockfile as package-lock.json. You should commit this file.
npm WARN project@1.0.0 No description
npm WARN project@1.0.0 No repository field.

+ underscore@1.8.3
added 1 package in 0.344s

Note that a lockfile is created. We’ll be coming back to this later.

Now if we have a look in package.json we will see that a dependencies field has been added:

{
  ...
  "dependencies": {
    "underscore": "^1.8.3"
  }
}

Managing Dependencies with package.json

As you can see, Underscore v1.8.3 was installed in our project. The caret (^) at the front of the version number indicates that when installing, npm will pull in the highest version of the package it can find where the only the major version has to match (unless a package-lock.json file is present). In our case, that would be anything below v2.0.0. This method of versioning dependencies (major.minor.patch) is known as semantic versioning. You can read more about it here: Semantic Versioning: Why You Should Be Using it.

Also notice that Underscore was saved as a property of the dependencies field. This has become the default in the latest version of npm and is used for packages (like Underscore) required for the application to run. It would also be possible to save a package as a devDependency by specifying a --save-dev flag. devDependencies are packages used for development purposes, for example for running tests or transpiling code.

You can also add private: true to package.json to prevent accidental publication of private repositories as well as suppressing any warnings generated when running npm install.

By far and away the biggest reason for using package.json to specify a project’s dependencies is portability. For example, when you clone someone else’s code, all you have to do is run npm i in the project root and npm will resolve and fetch all of the necessary packages for you to run the app. We’ll look at this in more detail later.

Before finishing this section, let’s quickly check Underscore is working. Create a file called test.js in the project root and add the following:

const _ = require('underscore');
console.log(_.range(5));

Run the file using node test.js and you should see [0, 1, 2, 3, 4] output to the screen.

Uninstalling Local Packages

npm is a package manager so it must be able to remove a package. Let’s assume that the current Underscore package is causing us compatibility problems. We can remove the package and install an older version, like so:

$ npm uninstall underscore
removed 2 packages in 0.107s
$ npm list
project@1.0.0 /home/sitepoint/project
└── (empty)
--ADVERTISEMENT--

Installing a Specific Version of a Package

We can now install the Underscore package in the version we want. We do that by using the @ sign to append a version number.

$ npm install underscore@1.8.2
+ underscore@1.8.2
added 1 package in 1.574s

$ npm list
project@1.0.0 /home/sitepoint/project
└── underscore@1.8.2

Updating a Package

Let’s check if there’s an update for the Underscore package:

$ npm outdated
Package     Current  Wanted  Latest  Location
underscore    1.8.2   1.8.3   1.8.3  project

The Current column shows us the version that is installed locally. The Latest column tells us the latest version of the package. And the Wanted column tells us the latest version of the package we can upgrade to without breaking our existing code.

Remember the package-lock.json file from earlier? Introduced in npm v5, the purpose of this file is to ensure that the dependencies remain the same on all machines the project is installed on. It is automatically generated for any operations where npm modifies either the node_modules folder, or package.json file.

You can go ahead and try this out if you like. Delete the node_modules folder, then re-run npm i. The latest version of npm will install Underscore v1.8.2 (as this is what is specified in the package-lock.json file). Earlier versions will pull in v1.8.3 due to the rules of semantic versioning. In the past inconsistent package versions have proven a big headache for developers. This was normally solved by using an npm-shrinkwrap.json file which had to be manually created.

Now, let’s assume the latest version of Underscore fixed the bug we had earlier and we want to update our package to that version.

$ npm update underscore
+ underscore@1.8.3
updated 1 package in 0.236s

$ npm list
project@1.0.0 /home/sitepoint/project
└── underscore@1.8.3

Tip: For this to work, Underscore has to be listed as a dependency in package.json. We can also execute npm update if we have many outdated modules we want to update.

Searching for Packages

We’ve used the mkdir command a couple of times in this tutorial. Is there a node package that does the same? Let’s use npm search.

$ npm search mkdir
NAME      | DESCRIPTION          | AUTHOR          | DATE       | VERSION
mkdir     | Directory crea…      | =joehewitt      | 2012-04-17 | 0.0.2
fs-extra  | fs-extra conta…      | =jprichardson…  | 2017-05-04 | 3.0.1
mkdirp    | Recursively mkdir,…  | =substack       | 2015-05-14 | 0.5.1
...

There is (mkdirp). Let’s install it.

$ npm install mkdirp
+ mkdirp@0.5.1
added 2 packages in 3.357s

Now create a file mkdir.js and copy-paste this code:

const mkdirp = require('mkdirp');
mkdirp('foo', function (err) {
  if (err) console.error(err)
  else console.log('Directory created!')
});

And run it from the terminal:

$ node mkdir.js
Directory created!

Re-installing Project Dependencies

Let’s first install one more package:

$ npm install request
+ request@2.81.0
added 54 packages in 15.92s

Check the package.json.

"dependencies": {
  "mkdirp": "^0.5.1",
  "request": "^2.81.0",
  "underscore": "^1.8.2"
},

Note the dependencies list got updated automatically. In previous versions of npm, you would have had to execute npm install request --save to save the dependency in package.json. If you wanted to install a package without saving it in package.json, just use --no-save argument.

Let’s assume you have cloned your project source code to a another machine and we want to install the dependencies. Let’s delete the node_modules folder first then execute npm install

$ rm -R node-modules
$ npm list
project@1.0.0 /home/sitepoint/project
├── UNMET DEPENDENCY mkdirp@^0.5.1
├── UNMET DEPENDENCY request@^2.81.0
└── UNMET DEPENDENCY underscore@^1.8.2

npm ERR! missing: mkdirp@^0.5.1, required by project@1.0.0
npm ERR! missing: request@^2.81.0, required by project@1.0.0
npm ERR! missing: underscore@^1.8.2, required by project@1.0.0

$ npm install
added 57 packages in 1.595s

If you look at your node_modules folder, you’ll see that it gets recreated again. This way, you can easily share your code with others without bloating your project and source repositories with dependencies.

Managing the Cache

When npm installs a package it keeps a copy, so the next time you want to install that package, it doesn’t need to hit the network. The copies are cached in the .npm directory in your home path.

$ ls ~/.npm
anonymous-cli-metrics.json  _cacache  _locks  npm  registry.npmjs.org

This directory will get cluttered with old packages over time, so it’s useful to clean it up occasionally.

$ npm cache clean

You can also purge all node_module folders from your workspace if you have multiple node projects on your system you want to clean up.

find . -name "node_modules" -type d -exec rm -rf '{}' +

Aliases

As you may have noticed, there are multiple ways of running npm commands. Here is a brief list of some of the commonly used npm aliases:

  • npm i <package> – install local package
  • npm i -g <package> – install global package
  • npm un <package> – uninstall local package
  • npm up – npm update packages
  • npm t – run tests
  • npm ls – list installed modules
  • npm ll or npm la – print additional package information while listing modules

You can also install multiple packages at once like this:

$ npm i express momemt lodash mongoose body-parser webpack

If you want to learn all common npm commands, just execute npm help for the full list. You can also learn more in our article 10 Tips and Tricks That Will Make You an npm Ninja.

Version Managers

There are a couple of tools available that allow you to manage multiple versions of Node.js on the same machine. One such tool is n. Another such tool is nvm (Node Version Manager). If this is something you’re interested in, why not check out our tutorial: Install Multiple Versions of Node.js using nvm.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, I have covered the basics of working with npm. I have demonstrated how to install Node.js from the project’s download page, how to alter the location of global packages (so we can avoid using sudo) and how to install packages in local and global mode. I also covered deleting, updating and installing a certain version of a package, as well as managing a project’s dependencies. If you would to learn more about the new features in the latest releases, you can visit the npm Github releases page.

With version 5, npm is making huge strides into the world of front-end development. According to its COO, it’s user base is changing and most of those using it are not using it to write Node at all. Rather it’s becoming a tool that people use to put JavaScript together on the frontend (seriously, you can use it to install just about anything) and one which is becoming an integral part of writing modern JavaScript. Are you using npm in your projects? If not, now might be a good time to start.

This article was peer reviewed by Graham Cox. Thanks to all of SitePoint’s peer reviewers for making SitePoint content the best it can be!

  • M S i N Lund

    Great!
    I have been looking for a way to get more dependencies into my code.

  • Be careful if you use NPM v3 on pre-existing projects. The NPM overlords have decided that you cannot nest your dependencies. If you accidentally upgrade from v2 to v3, it will completely reorganize your project. This can break things and, if you have an organization you prefer, you’re screwed.

    Also, if you have extraneous projects, ie, ones that are not properly connected with a package file, NPM will very nicely DELETE them for you. Make sure you always have a current backup if you use NPM. It’s dangerous.

    I now install dependencies into a temp file outside my project and copy them in by hand. It’s the only way I can keep control of my structure.

    For me, NPM has stopped being a useful tool and reverted to being a simple library with a bad UI.

    • James Hibbard

      This can break things

      Are you linking directly to files in npm_modules (or how does it break things)?

      Also, if you have extraneous projects, ie, ones that are not properly connected with a package file, NPM will very nicely DELETE them for you.

      I don’t follow. Could you expand on that?

      • Yes, I could expand. Thanks for asking.

        Yes, I did link to a file in a module. I know. Turns out it was way quicker than moving the module to a place where it would be found naturally. Bad form, I know. But, I wasn’t planning on having one of my main tools reorganize my project.

        I have a library of things that I use for almost every project. It has utilities that I always need. It is a handful of Nodejs modules, eg, Bunyan, and my own things, that I keep in a git repo. I clone it into the root of my projects.

        Recently, I used NPM3 to add a package to the kit and, it told me that basically everything in the directory was “extraneous” and deleted them. Since the library is not a part of a project, there is no package.json that references its components. Again, you might think this is bad form but, it has been working for me for all of my Nodejs years and I like it.

        I consider both of these behaviors heinous. Or, I should say, I consider that there is no flag that allows me to suppress these behaviors to be heinous.

        If I want a program to comment on my development style, I’ll get me some lint, or I’ll dig up some grunt scripts. I will do it on purpose.

        I am working on a project right now that I started before, in NPM2. I have had to do elaborate aliases in my text editing tool so that I don’t have to scroll past dozens of installed packages to find my work. I have another NPM2 project that I have been procrastinating on because I know that NPM3 is going to ruin it’s organization when I get back to it.

        • James Hibbard

          How can I reproduce the extraneous packages problem? npm shouldn’t be deleting stuff without warning. But on the other hand, you can’t be surprised if moving from 2.x.x > 3.x.x (of anything) breaks things .

          • I’m happy to say that, as of 3.3.12, it no longer does it.

            I promise that I really did observe the problem. I actually experimented with variations on the theme to make sure I wasn’t doing something weird. I’ve been working around it since so I didn’t notice that it changed.

            Thanks for following up with me on this.

            (Now if I can only get an automagic fix for the flat directories problem, I can be happy again.)

          • Create an empty test directory that has no package.json file.

            Clone the repo

            https://github.com/tqwhite/qNodeBase

            into node_modules.

            Take a look at the contents of

            node_modules/qtools/node_modules/

            It will have directories such as environmentChanges or lodash and some others.

            Install your favorite demo NPM module against that node_modules directory.

            Afterwards, that directory (node_modules/qtools/node_modules/) will be gone as will all the contents. The files will not be hoisted into the top level or anywhere else.

          • James Hibbard

            So:

            mkdir -p test/node_modules
            cd test/node_modules/
            git clone git@github.com:tqwhite/qNodeBase.git

            Then in which directory should I run npm install whatever?

          • I would have run
            mkdir test
            cd test

            git clone git@github.com:tqwhite/qNodeBase.git node_modules

            #still in test, containing node_modules holding my code

            npm install …

          • James Hibbard

            Ah gotchya. Yeah, it does delete qtools/node_modules — that’s unfortunate. I guess the reason for this happening in npm3 is that they fixed the problem with deeply nested node_modules directories breaking the Windows file system (see here).

            Anyway, it seems to me that you have a bunch of modules (some regular ones on npm and some you wrote yourself) which you are wanting to include in new projects (tell me if I got that wrong). Why not separate out your own modules into their own GitHub repos and then specify everything you need in a package.json file in the root of your project? (it’s possible to use npm to install modules from GitHub, too). Each of these modules should specify its dependencies in its own package.json file, rather than having them committed along with the module (taking up space). They would then be pulled in as part of the install process too.

            Given the above, all you would need to do when starting a new project is copy the package.json file and run npm install.

          • Told ya! ;-)

            One of these days, I will restructure it, I suppose. I already realized that but I’ve been so bitter about the changes to npm that I can barely work. Reading that this was done because of Windows makes me want to jump out of a Window. I thought I was done having my life wrecked by Microsoft when everyone agreed not to support IE.old. That they won’t give me a switch changes me from suicide to murder.

            But, if you know anyone in the world of npm, tell them to stop deleting files. The flat directory sucks but having files deleted (not moved to the trash) is unacceptable.

            Thanks for the interaction. It’s been fun.

    • James Hibbard

      This can break things

      Are you linking directly to files in npm_modules (or how does it break things)?

      Also, if you have extraneous projects, ie, ones that are not properly connected with a package file, NPM will very nicely DELETE them for you.

      I don’t follow. Could you expand on that?

    • M S i N Lund

      JFC!
      Why on earth would anyone use something like that?

  • get

  • Craig Buckler

    Another quick tip: show your outdated modules with `npm outdated`

  • miliu99 .

    I always wondered why do I need to install the whole third-party packages using npm for developing my node.js app? Wouldn’t it be enough to just download the js files?

    • James Hibbard

      I suppose you could do that, but why would you want to. What about when packages depend on other packages?

  • Michael

    Just a correction on this line,

    $ node. mkdir.js
    Directory created!

    you have a dot that shouldn’t be there.

    • James Hibbard

      Fixed. Thank you :)

  • Alex Mills

    sudo chown -R $(whoami) $(npm root) $(npm root -g) /// is best

  • Geeta Puri

    Hi, I am just starting to learn node and ionic. In my previous attempt to install ionic, I was having all these ownership issues. Following your article step by step has made life a lot easier for me :) One question, all these pacakges – cordova, ionic, should they be installed as global or local packages? Whats the difference between these anyway? (I mean global and local packages)

    • James Hibbard

      Local packages are available to a specific folder, global packages are available, well, globally. As to whether local or global, I think that every project should bundle its own dependencies to make sure that other developers working on the same code base use the same tools.

  • Just to let Ya know: When You (or I) run the Searching for Packages [on n stable] on a cheapest hosting virtual server… it will run out of memory.

    So, this is an opportunity for the developers to enhance the *npm search*, because it means there is room for improvement – in possible memory-wise optimizations: i.e. to detect memory limit and (maybe?) to swap some data to disk accordingly [before the limit is HIT] in the process of the *First* index building.
    —- see the error below—-

    npm search mkdir

    103247 ms: Mark-sweep 849.9 (1211.3) -> 849.3 (1219.3) MB, 21274.6 / 0 ms (+ 695.4 ms in 638 steps since start of marking, biggest step 61.5 ms) [allocation failure] [GC in old space requested].
    106317 ms: Mark-sweep 849.3 (1219.3) -> 824.4 (1197.1) MB, 3065.2 / 0 ms [allocation failure] [GC in old space requested].
    108208 ms: Mark-sweep 824.4 (1197.1) -> 824.3 (1190.1) MB, 1891.4 / 0 ms [last resort gc].
    110092 ms: Mark-sweep 824.3 (1190.1) -> 824.3 (1183.1) MB, 1883.6 / 0 ms [last resort gc].

    ==== JS stack trace =========================================

    Security context: 0x1529445c9e59
    1: fromString(aka fromString) [buffer.js:234] [pc=0x25cbd0c5e49] (this=0x152944504189 ,string=0x1b8a8157d119 ,encoding=0x1529445d7aa9 )
    2: from [buffer.js:131] [pc=0x25cbd0543d6] (this=0x268ca2fdb249 ,value=0x1b8a8157d119 ,encodingOrOffset=0x152944…

    FATAL ERROR: CALL_AND_RETRY_LAST Allocation failed – JavaScript heap out of memory

  • Excellent guide! Thanx a lot.

  • brentxscholl

    How do you edit the .bash_profile?

    i tried
    touch ~/.bash_profile; open ~/.bash_profile
    But when i put
    which npm
    it still gives me /usr/local/bin/npm

    • James Hibbard

      Which OS are you using?

      • Nicolas Villafan

        Hi James, I am Also having trouble doing this. i am using Linux Mint 18.1 In a kde enviroment; at my home i have three .bash files: .bash_history , .bash_logout & .bashrc, also i have .profile wich inside have this line: # set PATH so it includes user’s private bin directories
        PATH=”$HOME/bin:$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH” .. here is where i added : export PATH=”$HOME/.node_modules_global/bin:$PATH” .. maybe sure i delete the previus line? and replace it by this one?.. becasue which npm still point to /user… or maybe has something to do with that i am using zshell?

        this is my .zshrc file :

        # If you come from bash you might have to change your $PATH.
        # export PATH=$HOME/bin:/usr/local/bin:$PATH

        # Path to your oh-my-zsh installation.
        export ZSH=/home/niko/.oh-my-zsh

        • James Hibbard

          Hi. I think you would need to add the additional configuration to the .zshrc file in your home directory.

          Or, use nvm, which negates the permissions problem: https://www.sitepoint.com/quick-tip-multiple-versions-node-nvm/

          • Nicolas Villafan

            Thanks James.. Basically a try to modify zsh without success..next gonna try second method on wich i will follow the guide u provide me with.. will let you know.

    • Jeremy Flowers

      I have a sneaky suspicion you might need
      export PATH=”${HOME}/.node_modules_global/bin:${PATH}
      instead of
      export PATH=”~/.node_modules_global/bin:${PATH}
      This fixed it for me on a Mac running Yosemite 10.10.5

  • Gagandeep Singh

    Thanks!

  • Sebastian Herrera

    great!

  • Nguyễn Đức Đông

    Thanks!

  • This article on introduction to node.js is easily found all across the net, and from reading articles, this all really pretty much same to many others. However your article has won a merit compared to rest of others since you did discuss the global of node.js. That is G r E a T! There are numerous benefits in switching between local & global, which will help coders being more closer to the technology edge.

    Benefits of local vs global are often overlooked. So, while “thinking out of the box”, let’s see global as “parent box” and local is actually a “child box” that is inside the parent box. Setting your project blended with both of “boxes” will give you the full benefits that node.js have to offer. In other words, if you dont know local vs global, then you are missing out …fairly lots. :)

    Your article is now my pick #1 because it offers so simple solution in making global to work, and takes few so simple tasks to fix the configuration so local & global can function. This really does eliminate the hassle on having to make request from IT administrators for sudo access to be set up for you which would be bit time-consuming.

    Great thought out article and …heh…I banged my head thinking “of course, why I didn’t think of that?” after realising how simple it can be when it comes to system engineering working with file system.

    Great article!!

  • AlexeyR

    Hi, Peter!
    Thank you for good article.
    I have limitation for data transfer.
    Could you recommend me how short data traffic?

    I have some ideas to short data transfer from internet.
    Can I avoid load from internet the same modules for different projects if I store it in local project ?
    Is it possible install globaly (-g) different verisioons of modules to different projects?
    Maybe some special settings to NPM’s chache?

    Thanks in advance!

  • disqus_55hvnPSrri

    Great article. Good for a starter.

  • Anon Wibble

    The question i came here for is “how do i run npm”. Seeing as windows does not have a sane command line and there’s no place in visual stupid that i can find it… All i want to do is get a command line where i can run npm. That’s all i want. Can’t find it anywhere on google. Who keeps writing this utter drivel, like visual studio?

  • Franck Moreira

    Muito obrigado, ajudou-me bastante.

    Thank you very so much, it’s so helpful.

  • Sorcerer

    I ran into a strange install problem. Tried to install a project using npm

    e.g. npm install -g XYZ-js

    NPM pulled the project from github and installed without displaying any error. ‘package.json’ is in the root directory of the folder for the project. But there is a missing folder/subfolder and with it, some files e.g. index.js, config.json, etc.

    I had uninstalled this project and clean out the cache. Reinstalled it again. Same missing folders and files problems.
    I downloaded the project directly from github and unzipped it (I am using Win8 OS). The missing folders and files are there in the unzipped folder.
    I am going to create a new folder, e.g. Projectfolder, and dump the complete unzipped project in there. Can someone kindly tell me how I can install this project using npm (from within the folder) and preventing npm to go to github to retrieve the project (because of the missing folder/files)?
    Could the command be something like this?

    npm install -g “C:/Projectfolder/XYZ-js”

    Will the above command run the ‘package.json’ file in the root directory of this folder?

  • Manikandan V

    Thank you very much for this. good step by step commands and explanation. Learning with ease :)

  • Jon Phillips

    “Finally, we need to add .node_modules_global/bin to our $PATH environment variable, so that we can run global packages from the command line. Do this by appending the following line to your .profile or .bash_profile and restarting your terminal.”

    How do you edit the .bash_profile on windows?

    • This step doesn’t apply to Windows users since the node_modules folder is already inside the user’s (home) directory.
      You can safely install global packages without any permission issue

  • I am receving this error,While running whatever command in nvm.
    Can anyone tell me the solution?

    module.js:472
    throw err;
    ^

    Error: Cannot find module ‘readable-stream’
    at Function.Module._resolveFilename (module.js:470:15)
    at Function.Module._load (module.js:418:25)
    at Module.require (module.js:498:17)
    at require (internal/module.js:20:19)
    at Object. (C:UsersBenjaminAppDataRoamingnpmnode_modulesnpmnode_modulesnpmlognode_modulesare-we-there-yetindex.js:2:14)
    at Module._compile (module.js:571:32)
    at Object.Module._extensions..js (module.js:580:10)
    at Module.load (module.js:488:32)
    at tryModuleLoad (module.js:447:12)
    at Function.Module._load (module.js:439:3)

  • Eno

    It all worked perfectly until I got to this:

    “`Finally, we need to add .node_modules_global/bin to our $PATH environment variable, so that we can run global packages from the command line. Do this by appending the following line to your .profile or .bash_profile and restarting your terminal.“`

    I’m using ZSH with Oh-My-ZSH and I have no idea of how to append this to my profile or even where this is?

  • Липус
  • Igster

    npm does not stand for Node Package Manager, just a heads up ^ ^ I don’t think that was mentioned in the article

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