Installing Node


Node is a JavaScript interpreter that doesn’t run in the browser, there are many tools that require this to be installed. Testing frameworks and bundlers are two of many.

We’re going to install it using nvm (Node Version Manager), because it makes it easy to change node versions and upgrade node. There is another tool called npm (Node Package Manager) that you will use later to install the various libraries and tools used in javascript environment. It can be easy to confuse these two so read carefully!

Node is also very easy to install using nvm, so this should go quickly :)

Step 0: Prerequisites For Linux

To install NVM properly, you’ll need curl. Simply run the command below:

sudo apt install curl

Step 1: Downloading and Installing nvm

Step 1.1: Download and Install

Simply run this command:

curl -o- | bash

This will install nvm

Step 1.2: Initializing nvm

In the terminal there should be some directions on how to initialize nvm, if not, (or you don’t feel like copying from the terminal), run these commands:

export NVM_DIR="$([ -z "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME-}" ] && printf %s "${HOME}/.nvm" || printf %s "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/nvm")"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/" # This loads nvm

You can verify nvm is installed by running the command:

command -v nvm

if this returns nvm: command not found close the terminal and re-open it.

On OS X you may continue to see the same message. If this happens, open your .bash_profile and add the following line of code:

source ~/.bashrc

For more information, view NVM’s github documentation.

Then try running the above command again. If you get anything else, you’re good to continue!

Step 2: Installing Node

Now that we have nvm installed: we can install Node.

Step 2.1: Installation


nvm install node

This will install the most recent version of node, and you’ll see a lot of output in the terminal. If everything worked, you should see something similar to this somewhere in the lines of output:

Downloading and installing node v12.6.0...

If not, close the terminal, re-open it and run nvm install node again.

Step 2.2: Setting the node Version

We need to tell nvm which version of Node to use when we run the node command. It’s easy, just run the following command:

nvm use node

Now when you run node -v you should see v11.8.0 or something similar.

If you see that, you have successfully installed node!

Material based on Erik Trautman | The Odin Project