Setting up Node

Node allows you to run JavaScript outside of your web browser, enabling you to build all kinds of applications.

Node Version Manager

Node is a JavaScript runtime environment that allows you to run JavaScript outside of your web browser, this means that you can code the server side of your application in JavaScript. To get started, there are some required tools we need before we can install Node on your system.

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 :)

Installing nvm

Installation on Linux

Step 0: Prerequisites

To install nvm properly, you'll need curl. Simply run the command below:

sudo apt install curl

Step 1: Downloading and installing nvm

Simply run this command:

curl -o- | bash

This will install nvm

Step 2: Initializing nvm

In the terminal there should be some directions on how to initialize nvm, if not, (or if 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.

Installation on macOS

On macOS 10.15 and above, the default shell is now zsh. During installation, nvm will look for a .zshrc file in your user home directory. By default, this file does not exist so we need to create it.

To create the .zshrc file and start the nvm installation, run the following commands:

touch ~/.zshrc
curl -o- | bash

Restart your terminal, or copy and paste the following into your terminal and press enter:

export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/" # This loads nvm
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" # This loads nvm bash_completion

Test your nvm installation by running:

nvm --version.

For more information, view NVM's github documentation.

Installing Node

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

Step 1: Installation


nvm install node --lts

This will install the most recent stable 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 v14.xx.x...

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

Step 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 v14.xx.x or something similar.

If you see that, you have successfully installed Node!

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