could not install packages globally with package.json in global node directories #4827

trinonsense opened this Issue Mar 3, 2014 · 3 comments


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4 participants

I created a symlink for a package.json in the global npm directory, like so:

/usr/local/lib/package.json -> ~/path/to/my/dotfiles/package.json

Then I ran these commands to install global node packages from the package.json symlink:

cd /usr/local/lib
npm install -g

...and then I get this error

npm ERR! System Darwin 13.0.0
npm ERR! command "/usr/local/Cellar/node/0.10.26/bin/node" "/usr/local/bin/npm" "install" "-g"
npm ERR! cwd /usr/local/lib
npm ERR! node -v v0.10.26
npm ERR! npm -v 1.4.3
npm ERR! path /var/folders/22/9byr5_b10xn9rmxd0y_fnxpw0000gn/T/npm-16102-CRdnP8aI/1393805630684-0.25814521964639425/package/package.json
npm ERR! code ENOENT
npm ERR! errno 34

I first tried running npm install without the -g flag, the packages were downloaded and placed correctly, but the package symlinks for executables and man pages were not properly set as a global install


  • What is causing that error and what is the solution?
  • Is there a better method to achive the same goal?

isaacs commented Mar 3, 2014

When you type npm install -g, that means "install the current package folder (current working directory) as a global package".

Since your current working directory IS the package install dir... well... I don't know what would happen. But a random weird ENOENT is probably not the worst way it could fail, I guess.

It seems like your goal is to install a set of global packages all at the top-level? You could do this, I suppose:

npm i -g jsontool
node -e "
deps=$(json dependencies</usr/local/lib/package.json)
for (var i in x) {
  console.log(i + '@' + deps[i])
" | xargs npm install -g

@othiym23 othiym23 added the support label Sep 26, 2014


smikes commented Jan 6, 2015

@trinonsense , Is this still a problem for you?

This is an unusual use case -- did you try the approach @isaacs suggested above, or did you change the way you were using npm?

There have been a lot of improvements to npm -- especially around conflicts and race conditions during install -- since 1.4.3. Can you try updating your npm installation?

To update npm, run npm -g install npm@latest

We are trying to clean up older npm issues, so if we don't hear back from you within a week, we will close this issue. (Don't worry -- you can always come back again and open a new issue!)



othiym23 commented Jan 15, 2015

Closing as abandoned.

@othiym23 othiym23 closed this Jan 15, 2015

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