Options for Installing Node.js on Ubuntu
There are a few different ways you can perform the install, depending on your requirements and customization needs. Here are a few of the more popular methods:
- Ubuntu's package manager
- Ubuntu package from NodeSource
- Binary directly from Node
- Install from Source
Ubuntu's package manager
This is, in my opinion, the easiest method. I always try to install packages through
apt-get whenever possible to keep everything in one place. This way you'll also know the commands to uninstall the package when needed.
NOTE: As of the time of this writing (11/25/15), the binary installed with
apt-get is only v0.10.25, while the latest stable version available is v5.1.0, so they're pretty far behind. For the newest version, check the other install methods below.
To install Node and npm via
apt-get, run these commands:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install nodejs sudo ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node sudo apt-get install npm
Since the package is linked as
nodejs and not the typical
node name, we have to add a symlink, otherwise some services won't work correctly as they expect the
node command to be available.
Ubuntu package from NodeSource
If you still want to use
apt-get, but need a much newer version of Node, you should use this method.
This is very similar to the last one I showed you, but instead we'll be running a script (maintained and distributed by NodeSource) to show the package manager where to get the latest version.
Here are the commands:
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_5.x | sudo -E bash - sudo apt-get install -y nodejs sudo ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node
There is no need to explicitly install npm as it is already included with this binary.
Binary Directly from nodejs.org
You can skip all of the package manager hand-waiving and just install a binary directly from nodejs.org itself.
Just make sure you install the correct version for your system. They have binaries for all different version, operatings systems, and CPU architectures. If you're not exactly sure what the name of the binary will be for your system, try browsing through the distributions.
In my case here, I needed version 5.1.0 for 64-bit Linux:
wget http://nodejs.org/dist/v5.1.0/node-v5.1.0-linux-x64.tar.gz sudo tar -C /usr/local --strip-components 1 -xzf node-v5.1.0-linux-x64.tar.gz
This will give you both the
node binary and
Install from Source
This one is a bit more complicated, but you'll learn a bit more by doing it this way.
First, you'll need to install a few tools required to build the code. For this step, all you need to do is:
apt-get install make g++ libssl-dev
Once that has completed (or if you already have these packages installed), you can download the source code from nodejs.org:
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cd /tmp wget http://nodejs.org/dist/v5.1.0/node-v5.1.0.tar.gz tar -xvf node-v5.1.0.tar.gz cd node-v5.1.0
You'll probably notice that the URL looks much like the one from the last method. It is very similar, but if you look closer there is no "linux-x64" in the name, meaning it hasn't already been built for a particular system. This download gives us just the source code.
Next, configure and build the code:
./configure make -jX
And finally, if everything went well with the last command, install it:
And that's it, you're done! Regardless of whatever installation method you used, you should run
node -v to verify the build/install worked correctly. If you used either of the last two methods, make sure the version printed out matches the one you intended to download.
Node.js is under heavy development right now and seems to at least be releasing a new minor version every week. What this means is
apt probably won't be able to keep up with all the new version coming out, so you'll probably be better off using the last two methods.