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Unofficial binaries for Node.js
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Node.js unofficial-builds project

This project is experimental: its output is not guaranteed to remain consistent and its existence is not guaranteed into the future. This project is in need of a community of maintainers to keep it viable. If you would like to join, please submit pull requests to improve the work here.

The unofficial-builds project aims to provide Node.js binaries for some platforms not made available officially by the Node.js project at Node.js is used on a large variety of platforms, but the Node.js project, in consultation with the Node.js Build Working Group, maintains a limited set of platforms that it tests code on and produces binaries for.

This list of officially supported platforms is available in the Node.js, where you can also find details in the official binaries section. Some platforms are "supported" in that they are tested by the Node.js test infrastructure, but they don't have binaries produced for Other platforms receive minimal or no official support.

unofficial-builds attempts to provide basic Node.js binaries for some platforms that either not supported or only partially supported by Node.js. This project does not provide any guarantees and its results are not rigorously tested. Builds made available at have very high quality standards for code quality, support on the relevant platforms and for timing and methods of delivery. Builds made available by unofficial-builds have minimal or no testing; the platforms may have no inclusion in the official Node.js test infrastructure. These builds are made available for the convenience of their user community but those communities are expected to assist in their maintenance.


  • linux-x64-musl: Linux x64 binaries compiled against musl libc version 1.1.20. Primarily useful for users of Alpine Linux 3.9 and later. Linux x64 with musl is considered "Experimental" by Node.js but the Node.js test infrastructure includes some Alpine test servers so support is generally good.
  • linux-x86: Linux x86 (32-bit) binaries compiled against libc 2.17, similar to the way the official linux-x64 binaries are produced. 32-bit Linux binaries were dropped for Node.js 10 and 32-bit support is now considered "Experimental".
  • linux-armv6l: Linux ARMv6 binaries, cross-compiled on Ubuntu 16.04 with a [custom GCC 6 toolchain] in a similar manner to the official linux-armv7l binaries. Binaries are optimized for armv6zk which is suitable for Raspberry Pi devices (1, 1+ and Zero in particular). ARMv6 binaries were dropped from Node.js 12 and ARMv6 support is now considered "Experimental".

"Experimental" status for Node.js is defined as:

Experimental: May not compile or test suite may not pass. The core team does not create releases for these platforms. Test failures on experimental platforms do not block releases. Contributions to improve support for these platforms are welcome.

Therefore, it is possible that unofficial-builds may occasionally fail to produce binaries and fixes to support these platforms may need to be contributed to Node.js.


This project makes use of a server provided by the Node.js Build Working Group to compile and host binaries. Currently all binaries are produced on that server within specialized Docker containers. The possibility of future expansion to platforms that require alternative infrastructure to build is not excluded.

The server is configured according to the Ansible unofficial-builds role in the nodejs/build repository. This is executed via the create-unofficial-builds.yml playbook.

The build process operates as the nodejs user and in /home/nodejs which has the following layout:

  • bin/ - currently only contains which is responsible for updating unofficial-builds/ with this repository when it's updated (see below).
  • download/ - the directory served at
  • logs/ - the directory served at and containing logs for deploys of this repository github-webhook.log and a directory for each build, identified by a datetime string combined with the Node.js version string of the compiled version. These log directories contain a master build.log and a log file for each compile build "recipe" which is the output of the Docker container for that build.
  • staging/ - a directory where build assets are placed by the Docker containers prior to promotion to download/ along with a SHASUMS256.txt file and updated index.json and files.
  • unofficial-builds/ - a clone of this repository, updated automatically when master is updated here.
  • var/ - where state files are stored for the build queue, build locking and release checking.

The build process can be described as:

  1. This repository is cloned onto the unoffocial-builds server whenever it is updated (triggered via github-webhook) and Docker images contained within the /recipes directory are built by means of the /bin/ script which in turn calls the /bin/ script.
  2. A periodic service runs every 5 minutes via systemd on the server which calls /bin/ script.
  3. calls /bin/ for each release line being checked ("release", "rc", etc.). Any new versions that finds are added to the build queue via /bin/ (the build queue uses a locking mechanism to prevent concurrent changes).
  4. calls /bin/ which will execute a build if there is at least one build in the queue and no builds are currently running. /bin/ is used to atomically remove the next build from the queue. Note that only zero or one build per periodic run is executed. If the queue has more than one build, these will be deferred until later periodic runs.
  5. When encounters a build in the queue that it can execute, it calls /bin/ to perform the build. This script iterates through the images that have been pre-built from the /recipes directory, starting with the /recipes/fetch-source recipe that fetches the source file for the given version and validates official releases using GPG keys. Each recipe is passed this source and is given a staging directory to place its binaries in. After all recipes are finished, builds are promoted to the directory along with a SHASUMS256.txt file and the and index.json files for that release type are updated.


unofficial-builds is maintained by:

  • @rvagg
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