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asdf-nodejs Build

Node.js plugin for asdf version manager


After installing asdf, install the plugin by running:

asdf plugin add nodejs


Check asdf readme for instructions on how to install & manage versions of Node.js at a system and project level.

Behind the scenes, asdf-nodejs utilizes node-build to install pre-compiled binaries and compile from source if necessary. You can check its README for additional settings and some troubleshooting.

When compiling a version from source, you are going to need to install all requirements for compiling Node.js (be advised that different versions might require different configurations). That being said, node-build does a great job at handling edge cases and compilations rarely need a deep investigation.


node-build already has a handful of settings, in additional to that asdf-nodejs has a few extra configuration variables:

  • ASDF_NODEJS_VERBOSE_INSTALL: Enables verbose output for downloading and building. Any value different from empty is treated as enabled.
  • ASDF_NODEJS_FORCE_COMPILE: Forces compilation from source instead of preferring pre-compiled binaries
  • ASDF_NODEJS_NODEBUILD_HOME: Home for the node-build installation, defaults to $ASDF_DIR/plugins/nodejs/.node-build, you can install it in another place or share it with your system
  • ASDF_NODEJS_NODEBUILD: Path to the node-build executable, defaults to $NODE_BUILD_MIRROR_URL/bin/node-build
  • ASDF_NODEJS_CONCURRENCY: How many jobs should be used in compilation. Defaults to half the computer cores
  • NODEJS_ORG_MIRROR: (Legacy) overrides the default mirror used for downloading the distibutions, alternative to the NODE_BUILD_MIRROR_URL node-build env var

Integrity/signature check

In the past asdf-nodejs checked for signatures and integrity by querying live keyservers. node-build, on the other hand, checks integrity by precomputing checksums ahead of time and versioning them together with the instructions for building them, making the process a lot more streamlined.

.nvmrc and .node-version support

asdf uses a .tool-versions file for auto-switching between software versions. To ease migration, you can have it read an existing .nvmrc or .node-version file to find out what version of Node.js should be used. To do this, add the following to $HOME/.asdfrc:

legacy_version_file = yes

Running the wrapped node-build command

We provide a command for running the installed node-build command:

asdf nodejs nodebuild --version

node-build advanced variations

node-build has some additional variations aside from the versions listed in asdf list-all nodejs (chakracore/graalvm branches and some others). As of now, we weakly support these variations. In the sense that they are available for install and can be used in a .tool-versions file, but we don't list them as installation candidates nor give them full attention.

Some of them will work out of the box, and some will need a bit of investigation to get them built. We are planning in providing better support for these variations in the future.

To list all the available variations run:

asdf nodejs nodebuild --definitions

Note that this command only lists the current node-build definitions. You might want to update the local node-build repository before listing them.

Manually updating node-build definitions

Every new node version needs to have a definition file in the node-build repository. asdf-nodejs already tries to update node-build on every new version installation, but if you want to update node-build manually for some reason we provide a command just for that:

asdf nodejs update-nodebuild

Default npm Packages

asdf-nodejs can automatically install a set of default set of npm package right after installing a Node.js version. To enable this feature, provide a $HOME/.default-npm-packages file that lists one package per line, for example:


You can specify a non-default location of this file by setting a ASDF_NPM_DEFAULT_PACKAGES_FILE variable.


Node.js plugin for asdf version manager







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