Read in 4 minutes
How to install Node.js on Ubuntu 18.04
There are several different ways to install Node.js on a Ubuntu 18.04 machine. In this tutorial we will show you three different ways to install Node.js, personally I prefer to install Node.js using the NVM script.
Install Node.js from the Ubuntu repository
Node.js package is available from the Ubuntu 18.04 distribution repository. At the time of writing, the version in the repositories is v8.10.0 which may not always be the latest version.
As always before installing a package with
apt first we need to refresh the packages index and then install the Node.js package by typing:
sudo apt update sudo apt install nodejs
Verify the installation by typing:
The Node.js executable from the Ubuntu repositories is named
nodejs instead of
node because of a conflict with another package.
To be able to download npm packages, we also need to install
npm, the Node.js package manager. We can do that by typing:
sudo apt install npm
Install Node.js from the NodeSource repository
NodeSource is a company focused on providing enterprise-grade Node support and they maintain a repository containing the latest versions of Node.js.
To enable the NodeSource repository type the following command:
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_8.x | sudo bash -
The current LTS version of Node.js is version 8.x, Carbon. If you need to install version 10.x just change
Once the NodeSource repository is enabled install Node.js and npm by typing:
sudo apt install nodejs
Check if the installation was successful, by printing the Node.js and npm versions:
Install Node.js using NVM
NVM (Node Version Manager) is a bash script used to manage multiple active Node.js versions. With NVM we can install and uninstall any specific Node.js allowing us to have any number of Node.js versions we want to use or test.
To download the nvm install script type:
curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.33.11/install.sh | bash
The script clones the nvm repository from Github to
~/.nvm and adds the script path to your Bash or ZSH profile.
=> 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.sh" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/nvm.sh" # This loads nvm [ -s "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" # This loads nvm bash_completion
As the output above says, we need to either close and reopen the terminal or run the commands to add the path to nvm script to our current session. You can do whatever is easier for you.
To verify that nvm was properly installed type:
Now that we have
nvm installed we can install the latest available version of Node.js, by typing:
nvm install node
Downloading and installing node v10.1.0... Downloading https://nodejs.org/dist/v10.1.0/node-v10.1.0-linux-x64.tar.xz... ######################################################################## 100.0% Computing checksum with sha256sum Checksums matched! Now using node v10.1.0 (npm v5.6.0) Creating default alias: default -> node (-> v10.1.0)
We can verify the Node.js version, by typing:
Let’t install two more versions, the latest LTS version and version 4.9.1
nvm install --lts nvm install 4.9.1
Once LTS version and 4.9.1 are installed we can list installed Node.js instances by typing:
-> v4.9.1 # ACTIVE VERSION v8.11.1 v10.1.0 default -> node (-> v10.1.0) # DEFAULT VERSION node -> stable (-> v10.1.0) (default) stable -> 10.1 (-> v10.1.0) (default) iojs -> N/A (default) lts/* -> lts/carbon (-> v8.11.1) lts/argon -> v4.9.1 lts/boron -> v6.14.2 (-> N/A) lts/carbon -> v8.11.1
The output tells us that the entry with an arrow on the left (-> v4.9.1), is the version used in the current shell session and the default version is set to v10.1.0. Default version is the version that will be active when opening new shells.
We change the current active version with:
nvm use 8.11.1
and verify it by typing:
In case you want to set version 8.11.1 as a default Node.js version you can do that with the following command:
nvm alias default 8.11.1
Install development tools
We need to install the development tools so that we are able to build native addons from npm, to install all the necessary packages type:
sudo apt install gcc g++ make
If for some reasons you want to uninstall Node.js and npm packages, you can use the following command:
sudo apt remove nodejs npm
That’s it! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to comment below.