Managing Node.js Versions with nvm

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A while back I wrote a blog post called Upgrade Node.js with NPM.  The shell commands within that post work great but there were reports in the comments that it could mess with node module paths and such -- a far from ideal situation.  Little did I know that I was only off by one letter:  nvm is the ideal solution.

Installation

You can read the installation steps on the nvm GitHub page.  There are only two easy steps for installation and configuration.

Using nvm

If you work with a lot of different Node.js utilities, you know that sometimes you need to quickly switch to other versions of Node.js without hosing your entire machine.  That's where you can use nvm to download, install, and use different versions of Node.js:

nvm install 4.0

At any given time you can switch to another with use:

nvm use 0.12

If you want to check out what versions of Node.js are installed on your machine, you can use the ls option:

nvm ls

/*
		v0.10.26
		v0.10.36
->      v0.12.7
		v4.2.1
		system
*/

If you're done with a version and want it gone, you can do that too:

nvm uninstall 0.10

Set the Default Node Version

You can set the default Node.js version by using alias:

nvm alias default system

# or...
nvm alias default v9.3.0

nvm has been a lifesaver for me, especially when troubleshooting issues in projects where the user may have more than one Node.js version.  If you're looking to get into Node.js development, one of the first tools you get should be nvm!

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Discussion

  1. Aliasing is quick important especially when it comes to default:

    nvm alias default 4.2.1
    
  2. Also not that there is a similar tool for windows users.
    [NVMW](https://github.com/hakobera/nvmw).

    You can also check [my fork](https://github.com/yoannmoinet/nvmw) which will persist your choice across session and reboots.

  3. nvm install node --reinstall-packages-from=node

    is useful for moving your tools to the new Node.js version.

    See usage: https://github.com/creationix/nvm#usage

  4. I’ve been using nvm for almost two years now and really really like it. Very easy to use and very compatible across Mac and RedHat.

  5. Is this a replacement for nodenv which I never really got the hang of?

  6. I agree with Kyle. Been using it for a couple years as well and I like it a lot too!

  7. I always had problem with nvm. I’d suggest n https://github.com/tj/n instead :)

  8. Thanks for the nvm primer; it’s been a while and I done fergot. BTW, for installs, updates and dependencies, I do things concentrically:

    Self > OS X
    OS X > Homebrew
    Homebrew > node
    Homebrew > nvm

    Since nvm manages node I don’t use npm to administer with it.

  9. Hello David,

    I am trying to install it. But getting err in my Windows OS

    $ nvm install v6.6
    ######################################################################## 100.0%
    Computing checksum with sha256sum
    Checksums matched!
      File "./configure", line 486
        except OSError, e:
                      ^
    SyntaxError: invalid syntax
    nvm: install v6.6.0 failed!
    
  10. Christopher Wansing

    I am using Node-Red with Node.js version 4.8.2. Now I need v.6.0+ for a sideproject. However I installed NVM and the latest nodejs version and tried to install the package via NPM.
    I got one error during the installation, but after that it finished fine:
    ” Pre-built binaries not found for usb@1.2.0 and node@7.9.0 (node-v51 ABI) (falling back to source compile with node-gyp)”

    When starting a script within the new library I get the error message saying: “Error: Module version mismatch. Expected 46, got 51” Es scheint also daran zu liegen, dass die “alte” Version noch installiert war und ich dann NVM und die neue nachinstalliert habe.

    Wie kann ich den Fehler wegbekommen, ohne komplett meine Node Red Daten zu verlieren?

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