How to Install Node.js and npm on Ubuntu Linux

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This post shows students and new users steps to install Node.js and npm on Ubuntu Linux to allow users and developers run Node.js based applications.

Node.js is an opensource, cross-platform solution which is primarily used to build back-end server apps using JavaScript runtime, built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Chrome V8 engine on the other hand is a Google’s open source high-performance JavaScript engine written in C++ and used in Google Chrome, the open source projects.

Npm is the default package manager for Node.js and the world’s largest software registry.

This post will show you multiple ways to install these two popular packages when using Ubuntu Linux The steps below will show you three ways to install Node.js and npm packages on Ubuntu Linux.

For more about Node.js, please visit the project’s homepage.

To get stated with installing Node.js and npm on Ubuntu Linux, follow the steps below:

How to install Node.js from Ubuntu repositories

By default, Node.js and npm packages are available in Ubuntu default repositories. However, the versions in Ubuntu repositories might not necessarily be the latest. The installation is pretty straightforward.

Run the following commands to update the package index and install Node.js and npm:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nodejs npm

The command above will install number of Node.js and npm packages, including the tools necessary to compile and install native addons from npm.

Once the installation is complete, run the commands below to check the version installed.

nodejs --version

That should output similar line as shown below:

v10.19.0

As you can see, the latest version in Ubuntu is v10.19.0. However, newer v11, v12, v13 and v14 have also been released.

How to Install Node.js and npm from Snap

Another way to install Node.js is via Snap package management. This might be the easiest way to do it.

Snaps are containerized software packages that are simple to create and install. They are applications packaged with all their dependencies to run on all popular Linux distributions from a single build which allow them to update automatically and roll back gracefully.

To install via Snap, run the commands below install Snap.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install snapd

Once Snap is installed, simply run the commands below to get Node.js and npm installed via Snap. Choose the correct Node.js versions you want to install in Ubuntu.

For the Latest release (version 14),

sudo snap install node --channel=14/stable --classic

For version 13, run this:

sudo snap install node --channel=13/stable --classic

For the LTS (version 10)

sudo snap install node --channel=10/stable --classic

How to Install Node.js and npm from NodeSource

NodeSource is the company’s own enterprise-grade Node repository that they maintain and contains the latest versions of Node.js.

You can use NodeSource repository if you want to install specific version of Node.js. At the time of this writing, the repository contains Node.js version 14, 14, 12, 11, 10, 8.

To install Node.js from NodeSource, simply run the commands below to add a specific repository for the version you want.

Then for the Latest release (version 14), add this PPA.

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_14.x | sudo -E bash -

For (version 12), run the commands below:

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_12.x | bash -

To install the LTS release (version 10), use this PPA

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | bash -

After that, you can now install the version of Node.js from the particular repository you chose. If you add multiple repositories, the latest version of Node.js will be installed and not the LTS.

Install Node.js and npm

Once the NodeSource repositories are added, simply run the command to install Node.js from the repository added.

sudo apt install nodejs

After installing, both Node.js and npm modules should be installed and ready to use.

You can use the commands below to view the version number installed.

node --version
npm --version

The commands will list the current installed version:

v14.0.0
6.14.4

To test whether the web server is properly installed, run the commands below to create a test file called http_server.js in your home folder.

cd ~/
nano http_server.js

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save.

const http = require('http');

const hostname = '127.0.0.1';
const port = 3000;

const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
  res.statusCode = 200;
  res.setHeader('Content-Type', 'text/plain');
  res.end('Hello Worldn');
});

server.listen(port, hostname, () => {
  console.log(`Server running at http://${hostname}:${port}/`);
});

After that save the file and run the commands below to start the server.

node http_server.js

You should see an output that reads:

Server running at http://127.0.0.1:3000/

Now open your browser and browse to the server hostname or IP address followed by port 3000. and you should see a default page with Hello World

http://localhost:3000
Node.js ubuntu install

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to install Node.js and npm on Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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