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Building Node.js

Depending on what platform or features you require, the build process may differ slightly. After you've successfully built a binary, running the test suite to validate that the binary works as intended is a good next step.

If you consistently can reproduce a test failure, search for it in the Node.js issue tracker or file a new issue.

Supported platforms

This list of supported platforms is current as of the branch/release to which it is attached.

Input

Node.js relies on V8 and libuv. Therefore, we adopt a subset of their supported platforms.

Strategy

Support is divided into three tiers:

  • Tier 1: Full test coverage and maintenance by the Node.js core team and the broader community.
  • Tier 2: Full test coverage but more limited maintenance, often provided by the vendor of the platform.
  • Experimental: May not compile reliably or test suite may not pass. These are often working to be promoted to Tier 2 but are not quite ready. There is at least one individual actively providing maintenance and the team is striving to broaden quality and reliability of support.

Supported platforms

The community does not build or test against end-of-life distributions (EoL). Thus we do not recommend that you use Node on end-of-life or unsupported platforms in production.

System Support type Version Architectures Notes
GNU/Linux Tier 1 kernel >= 2.6.32, glibc >= 2.12 x64, arm
GNU/Linux Tier 1 kernel >= 3.10, glibc >= 2.17 arm64
macOS/OS X Tier 1 >= 10.10 x64
Windows Tier 1 >= Windows 7/2008 R2/2012 R2 x86, x64 vs2017
SmartOS Tier 2 >= 15 < 16.4 x86, x64 see note1
FreeBSD Tier 2 >= 10 x64
GNU/Linux Tier 2 kernel >= 3.13.0, glibc >= 2.19 ppc64le >=power8
AIX Tier 2 >= 7.1 TL04 ppc64be >=power7
GNU/Linux Tier 2 kernel >= 3.10, glibc >= 2.17 s390x
OS X Experimental >= 10.8 < 10.10 x64 no test coverage
GNU/Linux Experimental kernel >= 2.6.32, glibc >= 2.12 x86 limited CI
Linux (musl) Experimental musl >= 1.0 x64

note1 - The gcc4.8-libs package needs to be installed, because node binaries have been built with GCC 4.8, for which runtime libraries are not installed by default. For these node versions, the recommended binaries are the ones available in pkgsrc, not the one available from nodejs.org. Note that the binaries downloaded from the pkgsrc repositories are not officially supported by the Node.js project, and instead are supported by Joyent. SmartOS images >= 16.4 are not supported because GCC 4.8 runtime libraries are not available in their pkgsrc repository

Note: On Windows, running Node.js in windows terminal emulators like mintty requires the usage of winpty for Node's tty channels to work correctly (e.g. winpty node.exe script.js). In "Git bash" if you call the node shell alias (node without the .exe extension), winpty is used automatically.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is not directly supported, but the GNU/Linux build process and binaries should work. The community will only address issues that reproduce on native GNU/Linux systems. Issues that only reproduce on WSL should be reported in the WSL issue tracker. Running the Windows binary (node.exe) in WSL is not recommended, and will not work without adjustment (such as stdio redirection).

Supported toolchains

Depending on host platform, the selection of toolchains may vary.

Unix

  • GCC 4.9.4 or newer
  • Clang 3.4.2 or newer

AIX

  • GCC 6.3 or newer

Windows

  • Visual Studio 2017 or the Build Tools thereof

OpenSSL asm support

OpenSSL-1.1.0 requires the following asssembler version for use of asm support on x86_64 and ia32.

  • gas (GNU assembler) version 2.23 or higher
  • xcode version 5.0 or higher
  • llvm version 3.3 or higher
  • nasm version 2.10 or higher in Windows

Otherwise configure will fail with an error. This can be avoided by either providing a newer assembler as per the list above or by using the --openssl-no-asm flag.

Note: The forthcoming OpenSSL-1.1.1 will require higher version. Please refer https://www.openssl.org/docs/man1.1.1/man3/OPENSSL_ia32cap.html for details.

Building Node.js on supported platforms

Note: All prerequisites can be easily installed by following this bootstrapping guide.

Unix/macOS

Prerequisites

  • gcc and g++ 4.9.4 or newer, or
  • clang and clang++ 3.4.2 or newer (macOS: latest Xcode Command Line Tools)
  • Python 2.6 or 2.7
  • GNU Make 3.81 or newer

On macOS, you will need to install the Xcode Command Line Tools by running xcode-select --install. Alternatively, if you already have the full Xcode installed, you can find them under the menu Xcode -> Open Developer Tool -> More Developer Tools.... This step will install clang, clang++, and make.

If the path to your build directory contains a space, the build will likely fail.

After building, setting up firewall rules can avoid popups asking to accept incoming network connections when running tests.

Running the following script on macOS will add the firewall rules for the executable node in the out directory and the symbolic node link in the project's root directory.

$ sudo ./tools/macos-firewall.sh

On FreeBSD and OpenBSD, you may also need:

  • libexecinfo

Building Node.js

To build Node.js:

$ ./configure
$ make -j4

Running make with the -j4 flag will cause it to run 4 compilation jobs concurrently which may significantly reduce build time. The number after -j can be changed to best suit the number of processor cores on your machine. If you run into problems running make with concurrency, try running it without the -j4 flag. See the GNU Make Documentation for more information.

Note that the above requires that python resolve to Python 2.6 or 2.7 and not a newer version.

Running Tests

To verify the build:

$ make test-only

At this point, you are ready to make code changes and re-run the tests.

If you are running tests prior to submitting a Pull Request, the recommended command is:

$ make -j4 test

make -j4 test does a full check on the codebase, including running linters and documentation tests.

Optionally, continue below.

To run the tests and generate code coverage reports:

$ ./configure --coverage
$ make coverage

This will generate coverage reports for both JavaScript and C++ tests (if you only want to run the JavaScript tests then you do not need to run the first command ./configure --coverage).

The make coverage command downloads some tools to the project root directory and overwrites the lib/ directory. To clean up after generating the coverage reports:

$ make coverage-clean

Building the documentation

To build the documentation:

This will build Node.js first (if necessary) and then use it to build the docs:

$ make doc

If you have an existing Node.js build, you can build just the docs with:

$ NODE=/path/to/node make doc-only

To read the documentation:

$ man doc/node.1

If you prefer to read the documentation in a browser, run the following after make doc is finished:

$ make docopen

This will open a browser with the documentation.

To test if Node.js was built correctly:

$ ./node -e "console.log('Hello from Node.js ' + process.version)"

To install this version of Node.js into a system directory:

$ [sudo] make install

Windows

Prerequisites:

If the path to your build directory contains a space or a non-ASCII character, the build will likely fail.

> .\vcbuild

To run the tests:

> .\vcbuild test

To test if Node.js was built correctly:

> Release\node -e "console.log('Hello from Node.js', process.version)"

Android/Android-based devices (e.g. Firefox OS)

Although these instructions for building on Android are provided, please note that Android is not an officially supported platform at this time. Patches to improve the Android build are accepted. However, there is no testing on Android in the current continuous integration environment. The participation of people dedicated and determined to improve Android building, testing, and support is encouraged.

Be sure you have downloaded and extracted Android NDK before in a folder. Then run:

$ ./android-configure /path/to/your/android-ndk
$ make

Intl (ECMA-402) support:

Intl support is enabled by default, with English data only.

Default: small-icu (English only) support

By default, only English data is included, but the full Intl (ECMA-402) APIs. It does not need to download any dependencies to function. You can add full data at runtime.

Build with full ICU support (all locales supported by ICU):

With the --download=all, this may download ICU if you don't have an ICU in deps/icu. (The embedded small-icu included in the default Node.js source does not include all locales.)

Unix/macOS:
$ ./configure --with-intl=full-icu --download=all
Windows:
> .\vcbuild full-icu download-all

Building without Intl support

The Intl object will not be available, nor some other APIs such as String.normalize.

Unix/macOS:
$ ./configure --without-intl
Windows:
> .\vcbuild without-intl

Use existing installed ICU (Unix/macOS only):

$ pkg-config --modversion icu-i18n && ./configure --with-intl=system-icu

If you are cross compiling, your pkg-config must be able to supply a path that works for both your host and target environments.

Build with a specific ICU:

You can find other ICU releases at the ICU homepage. Download the file named something like icu4c-**##.#**-src.tgz (or .zip).

Unix/macOS

From an already-unpacked ICU:

$ ./configure --with-intl=[small-icu,full-icu] --with-icu-source=/path/to/icu

From a local ICU tarball:

$ ./configure --with-intl=[small-icu,full-icu] --with-icu-source=/path/to/icu.tgz

From a tarball URL:

$ ./configure --with-intl=full-icu --with-icu-source=http://url/to/icu.tgz
Windows

First unpack latest ICU to deps/icu icu4c-##.#-src.tgz (or .zip) as deps/icu (You'll have: deps/icu/source/...)

> .\vcbuild full-icu

Building Node.js with FIPS-compliant OpenSSL

This version of Node.js does not support FIPS.

Building Node.js with external core modules

It is possible to specify one or more JavaScript text files to be bundled in the binary as builtin modules when building Node.js.

Unix/macOS

This command will make /root/myModule.js available via require('/root/myModule') and ./myModule2.js available via require('myModule2').

$ ./configure --link-module '/root/myModule.js' --link-module './myModule2.js'

Windows

To make ./myModule.js available via require('myModule') and ./myModule2.js available via require('myModule2'):

> .\vcbuild link-module './myModule.js' link-module './myModule2.js'