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nve logo

Node Codecov Mastodon Medium

Run any command on specific Node.js versions.

Unlike nvm exec it:

  • can run multiple Node.js versions at once
  • can be run programmatically
  • is much faster
  • does not need a separate installation step for each Node version
  • can run the major release's latest minor/patch version automatically
  • works on Windows. No need to run as Administrator.
  • does not require Bash
  • is installed as a Node module (as opposed to a Bash installation script downloaded with curl)

nve executes a single file or command. It does not change the node nor npm global binaries. To run a specific Node.js version for an entire project or shell session, please use nvm, nvm-windows, n or nvs instead.

Hire me

Please reach out if you're looking for a Node.js API or CLI engineer (11 years of experience). Most recently I have been Netlify Build's and Netlify Plugins' technical lead for 2.5 years. I am available for full-time remote positions.


# Same as `node` but with Node 12
$ nve 12 node
Welcome to Node.js v12.22.12.
Type ".help" for more information.
> .exit

# Same as `node file.js` but with Node 8
$ nve 8 node file.js

# Any command can be used
$ nve 12 npm test

# Execute a local binary
$ nve 8 ava

# Run a specific version
$ nve 8.10.0 npm test

# Use a version range
$ nve "<8" npm test

# Run the latest Node.js version
$ nve latest npm test

# Run the latest LTS version
$ nve lts npm test

# Run the Node version from `~/.nvmrc` or the current process version
$ nve global npm test

# Run the current directory's Node.js version using its `.nvmrc` or `package.json` (`engines.node` field)
$ nve local npm test

# Run the Node version using a file like `.nvmrc` or `package.json`
$ nve /path/to/.nvmrc npm test

# Use a different mirror for the Node binaries
$ nve --mirror= 8 npm test

# Do not use the cached list of available Node.js versions
$ nve --fetch 8 npm test

# Always use the cached list of available Node.js versions even if it's more
# than one hour old
$ nve --no-fetch 8 npm test

# Use a different CPU architecture for the Node binaries
$ nve --arch=x32 8 npm test

# Chaining commands
$ nve 8 npm run build && nve 8 npm test

# Cache Node 8 download
$ nve 8 node --version

Examples (multiple versions)

# Run multiple versions
$ nve 12,10,8 npm test

 ⬢  Node 12.22.12

  105 tests passed
  Finished 'test' after 3.8 s

 ⬢  Node 10.24.1

  105 tests passed
  Finished 'test' after 4.2 s

 ⬢  Node 8.17.0

  105 tests passed
  Finished 'test' after 4.5 s

# Do not abort on the first version that fails
$ nve --continue 12,10,8 npm test

# Run all versions in parallel
$ nve --parallel 12,10,8 npm test

# Cache multiple Node downloads
$ nve 12,10,8 node --version

Examples (list versions)

# Prints latest Node.js version
$ nve latest

# Prints latest Node.js 8 version
$ nve 8

# Prints latest Node.js 12, 10 and 8 versions
$ nve 12,10,8


You can try this library:


npm install -g nve

node >=18.18.0 must be globally installed. However the command run by nve can use any Node version (providing it is compatible with it).

To use this programmatically (from Node.js) instead, please check nvexeca.



This is exactly the same as:


But using a specific Node VERSION. Several comma-separated VERSION can be specified at once.

VERSION can be:

COMMAND must be compatible with the specific Node VERSION. For example npm is only compatible with Node >=6.

Both global and local binaries can be executed.



Alias: -c
Type: boolean
Default: false

By default, when running multiple Node versions and one of those versions fails, the others are aborted. This option disables this.


Alias: -p
Type: boolean
Default: false

When running multiple Node versions, run all of them at the same time. This is faster. However this does not work if the command:

  • requires some interactive CLI input (for example using a prompt)
  • is not concurrency-safe


Type: boolean
Default: true

Whether to show a progress bar while the Node binary is downloading.


Alias: -m
Type: string

Base URL to retrieve Node binaries. Can be overridden (for example

The following environment variables can also be used: NODE_MIRROR, NVM_NODEJS_ORG_MIRROR, N_NODE_MIRROR or NODIST_NODE_MIRROR.


Alias: -f
Type: boolean
Default: undefined

The list of available Node.js versions is cached for one hour by default. With:

  • --fetch: the cache will not be used
  • --no-fetch: the cache will be used even if it's older than one hour

The default value is undefined (neither of the above). When no COMMAND is specified (only printing the Node.js version), the default value is --fetch instead.


Alias: -a
Type: string
Default: process.arch

Node.js binary's CPU architecture. This is useful for example when you're on x64 but would like to run Node.js x32.

All the values from process.arch are allowed except mips and mipsel.

Initial download

The first time nve is run with a new VERSION, the Node binary is downloaded under the hood. This initially takes few seconds. However subsequent runs are almost instantaneous.

COMMAND can be omitted in order to cache that initial download without executing any commands.

Difference with nvm

nve is meant for one-off command execution. Examples include:

  • running tests with an older Node.js version
  • checking if an older Node.js version supports a specific syntax or feature
  • benchmarking different Node.js versions
  • programmatic usage or child processes

Tools like nvm, nvm-windows, n or nvs are meant to execute a specific Node.js version for an entire machine, project or shell session.

nve can (and probably should) be used alongside those tools.

Native modules

If your code is using native modules, nve works providing:

  • they are built with N-API
  • the target Node.js version is >=8.12.0 (since N-API was not available or stable before that)

Otherwise the following error message is shown: Error: The module was compiled against a different Node.js version.


The following benchmarks compare the average time to run nve, nvm exec and npx node:

nve:      261ms
nvm exec: 619ms
npx node: 994ms

See also


For any question, don't hesitate to submit an issue on GitHub.

Everyone is welcome regardless of personal background. We enforce a Code of conduct in order to promote a positive and inclusive environment.


This project was made with ❤️. The simplest way to give back is by starring and sharing it online.

If the documentation is unclear or has a typo, please click on the page's Edit button (pencil icon) and suggest a correction.

If you would like to help us fix a bug or add a new feature, please check our guidelines. Pull requests are welcome!

Thanks go to our wonderful contributors:


💻 🎨 🤔 📖
Scott Warren
Scott Warren

Charlike Mike Reagent
Charlike Mike Reagent

💬 🤔

Pedro Augusto de Paula Barbosa
Pedro Augusto de Paula Barbosa

Adrien Becchis
Adrien Becchis

💻 ⚠️ 🤔
Eric Cornelissen
Eric Cornelissen

🐛 🤔