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This is just enough info to get you up and running.

More info available via npm help once it's installed.


You need node v0.2.0 or higher to run this program.

You shouldn't use sudo with it.

Simple Install

To install npm, do this:

curl | sh

Permission Errors

If it dies with a "Permission Denied" or EACCESS error, then that probably means that you are running node in a shared root-owned location. You've got options.

Using sudo with npm is Very Not Recommended. Anyone can publish anything, and package installations can run arbitrary scripts.

Option 1: Take ownership

Don't do this if you don't know what it does! If you have software in /usr/local that depends on a specific ownership (such as MySQL), then it might break if you change its ownership. Be careful. Unix does not assume you don't know what you're doing!

This is convenient if you have a single-user machine. Run this command once, and never use sudo again to install stuff in /usr/local:

sudo chown -R $USER /usr/local/{share/man,bin,lib/node}

You could also give your user permission to write into that directory by making it group-writable and adding your user to the group that owns it.

Option 2: Don't leave $HOME

Install node in $HOME/local and npm will default to living right alongside it. Follow the steps in this gist:

Option 3: Customize npm to your heart's content

Create and edit a file at ~/.npmrc. This is an ini-formatted file, which you can use to set npm configs. Do something like this to it:

cat >>~/.npmrc <<NPMRC
root = ~/.node_libraries
binroot = ~/bin
manroot = ~/share/man


You can just use sudo all the time for everything, and ignore the incredibly obnoxious warnings telling you that you're insane for doing this.

# you must REALLY trust me to do this!
curl | sudo sh
sudo npm ls
sudo npm install please-pwn-my-machine-kthx

If this causes horrible things to happen, you can't say I didn't warn you over and over again until everyone got sick of hearing about it and told me to shut up already.

It is on the roadmap to make npm do a bunch of chown/setuid stuff when sudoed, so eventually it'll actually be safer to run as root than as a user account, but that's a refactor that is slowly progressing.

If you have feelings about sudo use and what it should imply, then please go add some comments and thoughts on this issue.

More Fancy Installing

First, get the code. Maybe use git for this. That'd be cool. Very fancy.

The default make target is install, which downloads the current stable version of npm, and installs that for you.

If you want to install the exact code that you're looking at, the bleeding-edge master branch, do this:

make dev

If you'd prefer to just symlink in the current code so you can hack on it, you can do this:

make link

If you check out the Makefile, you'll see that these are just running npm commands at the cli.js script directly. You can also use npm without ever installing it by using node cli.js instead of "npm". Set up an alias if you want, that's fine. (You'll still need read permission to the root/binroot/manroot folders, but at this point, you probably grok all that anyway.)


So sad to see you go.

    npm uninstall npm

Or, if that fails,

    make uninstall

Using npm Programmatically

If you would like to use npm programmatically, you can do that as of version 0.2.6. It's not very well documented, but it IS rather simple.

var npm = require("npm")
npm.load(myConfigObject, function (er) {
  if (er) return handlError(er)
  npm.commands.install(["some", "args"], function (er, data) {
    if (er) return commandFailed(er)
    // command succeeded, and data might have some info
  npm.on("log", function (message) { .... })

See ./cli.js for an example of pulling config values off of the command line arguments. You may also want to check out npm help config to learn about all the options you can set there.

As more features are added for programmatic access to the npm library, this section will likely be split out into its own documentation page.

More Docs

Check out the docs.

You can use the npm help command to read any of them.

If you're a developer, and you want to use npm to publish your program, you should read this

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