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I'm running into errors running npm bundled with node ≥ 0.8.7 (1.1.49 +) on OS X 10.8. I manage my node installs locally with nvm.
Here is the error (happens if i just run npm by itself as well):
jalavaadita:~ bog$ npm install request
Error: First argument needs to be a number, array or string.
at new Buffer (buffer.js:236:15)
at Conf.add (/Users/bog/.nvm/v0.8.8/lib/node_modules/npm/node_modules/npmconf/npmconf.js:250:16)
at ConfigChain.addString (/Users/bog/.nvm/v0.8.8/lib/node_modules/npm/node_modules/npmconf/node_modules/config-chain/index.js:244:8)
at Conf.addFile (/Users/bog/.nvm/v0.8.8/lib/node_modules/npm/node_modules/npmconf/npmconf.js:235:10)
at fs.readFile (fs.js:176:14)
at fs.close (/Users/bog/.nvm/v0.8.8/lib/node_modules/npm/node_modules/graceful-fs/graceful-fs.js:92:5)
at Object.oncomplete (fs.js:297:15)
var doExit = npm.config.get("_exit")
TypeError: Object #<Object> has no method 'get'
at exit (/Users/bog/.nvm/v0.8.8/lib/node_modules/npm/lib/utils/error-handler.js:49:27)
at process.errorHandler (/Users/bog/.nvm/v0.8.8/lib/node_modules/npm/lib/utils/error-handler.js:264:3)
at process.EventEmitter.emit (events.js:115:20)
npm 1.1.48 (bundled with node v0.8.6) works without issue.
Does it work when you're not using nvm?
Same issue. Errors now originate from files in /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm/ so it's definitely the manually installed reference.
So, I investigated this a bit further. It's definitely an issue with npmconf (I can move the ticket if you want, but since it's already started…)
The contents of my .npmrc file are:
_password = undefined
_authCrypt = undefined
_auth = undefined
It's definitely an old file. It looks like Conf.add is creating a buffer for auth from that file. Since auth is undefined, the crash ensues. I'm not sure of the history here so I don't feel comfortable submitting a patch that just checks for undefined, but that does fix the issue locally (as does authenticating or removing the .npmrc file).
Not sure what went wrong here, but hopefully a clean install fixed it. Let us know if you're still having this problem.