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Kenan Yildirim edited this page Mar 24, 2017 · 64 revisions

Many common problems can be solved with one of these steps:

Try the latest stable version of node

Node 0.4 and 0.6 are no longer supported.

If you're experiencing issues while using a version of node which is unsupported (e.g 0.4.x or 0.6.x) or unstable (odd numbered versions e.g. 0.7.x, 0.9.x, 0.11.x), it's very possible your issue will be fixed by simply using the latest stable version of node.

See what version of node you're running:

node -v

Updating node on Linux

For some Linux distributions (Debian/Ubuntu and RedHat/CentOS), the latest node version provided by the distribution may lag behind the stable version. Here are instructions from NodeSource on getting the latest node.

Updating node on Windows

Install the latest msi from

Updating node on OSX

Install the latest package from

or if you are using homebrew

brew install node

Installing or updating node without elevated permissions

If you want to install/update node on a unix-like system but don't have root permissions, here are a number of ways to do that!

Try the latest stable version of npm

See what version of npm you're running:

npm -v

Upgrading on *nix (OSX, Linux, etc.)

(You may need to prefix these commands with sudo, especially on Linux, or OS X if you installed Node using its default installer.)

You can upgrade to the latest version of npm using:

npm install -g npm@latest

Or upgrade to the most recent LTS release:

npm install -g npm@lts

Upgrading on Windows

Microsoft wrote a small command line tool to automate the steps below. You can go and download it here - or stick with the manual path outlined below.

By default, npm is installed alongside node in C:\Program Files (x86)\nodejs. npm's globally installed packages (including, potentially, npm itself) are stored separately in a user-specific directory (which is currently C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\npm). Because the installer puts C:\Program Files (x86)\nodejs before C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\npm on your PATH, it will always use version of npm installed with node instead of the version of npm you installed using npm -g install npm@<version>. To get around this, you can do one of the following:

  • Option 1: edit your Windows installation's PATH to put %appdata%\npm before %ProgramFiles%\nodejs. Remember that you'll need to restart cmd.exe (and potentially restart Windows) when you make changes to PATH or how npm is installed.

  • Option 2: remove both of

    • %ProgramFiles%\nodejs\npm
    • %ProgramFiles%\nodejs\npm.cmd
  • Option 3: Navigate to %ProgramFiles%\nodejs\node_modules\npm and copy the npmrcfile to another folder or the desktop. Then open cmd.exe and run the following commands:

cd %ProgramFiles%\nodejs
npm install npm@latest

If you installed npm with the node.js installer, after doing one of the previous steps, do the following.

  • Option 1 or 2

    • Go into %ProgramFiles%\nodejs\node_modules\npm and copy the file named npmrc in the new npm folder, which should be %appdata%\npm\node_modules\npm. This will tell the new npm where the global installed packages are.
  • Option 3

    • Copy the npmrc file back into %ProgramFiles%\nodejs\node_modules\npm

(See also the point below if you're running Windows 7 and don't have the directory %appdata%\npm.)

A brief note on the built-in Windows configuration

The Node installer installs, directly into the npm folder, a special piece of Windows-specific configuration that tells npm where to install global packages. When npm is used to install itself, it is supposed to copy this special builtin configuration into the new install. There was a bug in some versions of npm that kept this from working, so you may need to go in and fix that up by hand. Run the following command to see where npm will install global packages to verify it is correct.

npm config get prefix -g

If it isn't set to <X>:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\npm, you can run the below command to correct it:

npm config set prefix "${APPDATA}/npm" -g

Incidentally, if you would prefer that packages not be installed to your roaming profile (because you have a quota on your shared network, or it makes logging in or out from a domain sluggish), you can put it in your local app data instead:

npm config set prefix "${LOCALAPPDATA}/npm" -g well as copying %APPDATA%\npm to %LOCALAPPDATA%\npm (and updating your %PATH%, of course).

Everyone who works on npm knows that this process is complicated and fraught, and we're working on making it simpler. Stay tuned.

If your npm is broken

Reinstall npm:

curl -L | sh

If you're on Windows and you have a broken installation, the easiest thing to do is to reinstall node from the official installer (remember this note).

Try clearing the npm cache

Sometimes npm's cache gets confused. You can reset it using:

npm cache clean

Common Errors

No compatible version found

You have an outdated npm. Please update to the latest stable npm.

Permission Error

npm ERR! code EPERM
npm ERR! code EACCES
  • Fix the permissions of your cache with sudo chown -R $(whoami) "$HOME/.npm".
  • Try again with sudo. e.g. sudo npm install express -g. (You'll probably need to fix cache permissions afterwards, as above).
  • Reinstall node so it doesn't require sudo.

Travis projects using 0.8 can't upgrade to npm 2

In your .travis.yml replace this:

- npm install -g npm@latest

with this:

- '[ "${TRAVIS_NODE_VERSION}" != "0.8" ] || npm install -g npm@1.4.28'
- npm install -g npm@latest

This suggestion is based on this Travis issue and comes courtesy @simondean.

Error: ENOENT, stat 'C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\npm' on Windows 7

This is a consequence of joyent/node#8141, and is an issue with the Node installer for Windows. The workaround is to ensure that C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\npm exists and is writable with your normal user account.

No space

npm ERR! Error: ENOSPC, write

You are trying to install on a drive that either has no space, or has no permission to write.

  • Free some disk space or
  • Set the tmp folder somewhere with more space: npm config set tmp /path/to/big/drive/tmp or
  • Build Node yourself and install it somewhere writable with lots of space.

No git

npm ERR! not found: git

You need to install git.

running a Vagrant box on Windows fails due to path length issues

@drmyersii went through what sounds like a lot of painful trial and error to come up with a working solution involving Windows long paths and some custom Vagrant configuration:

This is the commit that I implemented it in, but I'll go ahead and post the main snippet of code here:

config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |v|
    v.customize ["sharedfolder", "add", :id, "--name", "www", "--hostpath", (("//?/" + File.dirname(__FILE__) + "/www").gsub("/","\\"))]

config.vm.provision :shell, inline: "mkdir /home/vagrant/www"
config.vm.provision :shell, inline: "mount -t vboxsf -o uid=`id -u vagrant`,gid=`getent group vagrant | cut -d: -f3` > www /home/vagrant/www", run: "always"

In the code above, I am appending \\?\ to the current directory absolute path. This will actually force the Windows API to allow an increase in the MAX_PATH variable (normally capped at 260). Read more about max path. This is happening during the sharedfolder creation which is intentionally handled by VBoxManage and not Vagrant's "synced_folder" method. The last bit is pretty self-explanatory; we create the new shared folder and then make sure it's mounted each time the machine is accessed or touched since Vagrant likes to reload its mounts/shared folders on each load.

npm only uses git: and ssh+git: URLs for GitHub repos, breaking proxies

@LaurentGoderre fixed this with some Git trickery:

I fixed this issue for several of my colleagues by running the following two commands:

git config --global url."".insteadOf
git config --global url."https://".insteadOf git://

One thing we noticed is that the .gitconfig used is not always the one expected so if you are on a machine that modified the home path to a shared drive, you need to ensure that your .gitconfig is the same on both your shared drive and in c:\users\[your user]\

SSL Error

npm ERR! Error: 7684:error:140770FC:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:unknown protocol:openssl\ssl\s23_clnt.c:787:

You are trying to talk SSL to an unencrypted endpoint. More often than not, this is due to a proxy configuration error (see also this helpful, if dated, guide). In this case, you do not want to disable strict-ssl – you may need to set up a CA / CA file for use with your proxy, but it's much better to take the time to figure that out than disabling SSL protection.


This problem will happen if you're running Node 0.6. Please upgrade to node 0.8 or above. See this post for details.

You could also try these workarounds: npm config set ca "" or npm config set strict-ssl false


npm no longer supports its self-signed certificates


  • upgrade your version of npm npm install npm -g --ca=""
  • tell your current version of npm to use known registrars npm config set ca=""

If this does not fix the problem, then you may have an SSL-intercepting proxy. (For example, Kaspersky: #7439 (comment) and #16132 (comment))


This error means that there's a TLS certificate in the chain that is signed by an unknown certificate authority (CA). Presumably, this is the certificate used by one's HTTPS proxy. The solution is to configure the cafile value:

$ npm config set cafile /path/to/your/file.pem

If you need to, you can generate a .pem file from a .crt one with:

$ openssl x509 -inform der -in /path/to/the.crt -out /path/to/the/file.pem

For more discussion on this error, see #9580 and nodejs/node#3742.

SSL-intercepting proxy

Unsolved. See

Not found / Server error

npm http 404
npm ERR! fetch failed
npm ERR! Error: 404 Not Found
npm http 500
  • It's most likely a temporary npm registry glitch. Check npm server status and try again later.
  • If the error persists, perhaps the published package is corrupt. Contact the package owner and have them publish a new version of the package.

Invalid JSON

Error: Invalid JSON
npm ERR! SyntaxError: Unexpected token <
npm ERR! registry error parsing json
  • Possible temporary npm registry glitch, or corrupted local server cache. Run npm cache clean and/or try again later.
  • This can be caused by corporate proxies that give HTML responses to package.json requests. Check npm's proxy configuration.
  • Check that it's not a problem with a package you're trying to install (e.g. invalid package.json).

Many ENOENT / ENOTEMPTY errors in output

npm is written to use resources efficiently on install, and part of this is that it tries to do as many things concurrently as is practical. Sometimes this results in race conditions and other synchronization issues. As of npm 2.0.0, a very large number of these issues were addressed. If you see ENOENT lstat, ENOENT chmod, ENOTEMPTY unlink, or something similar in your log output, try updating npm to the latest version. If the problem persists, look at npm/npm#6043 and see if somebody has already discussed your issue.

cb() never called! when using shrinkwrapped dependencies

Take a look at issue #5920. We're working on fixing this one, but it's a fairly subtle race condition and it's taking us a little time. You might try moving your npm-shrinkwrap.json file out of the way until we have this fixed. This has been fixed in versions of npm newer than npm@2.1.5, so update to npm@latest.

npm login errors

Sometimes npm login fails for no obvious reason. The first thing to do is to log in at and check that your e-mail address on matches the email address you are giving to npm login.

If that's not the problem, or if you are seeing the message "may not mix password_sha and pbkdf2", then

  1. Log in at
  2. Change password at – you can even "change" it to the same password
  3. Clear login-related fields from ~/.npmrc – e.g., by running sed -ie '/' ~/.npmrc
  4. npm login

and it generally seems to work.

See for the history of this issue.

npm hangs on Windows at addRemoteTarball

Check if you have two temp directories set in your .npmrc:

> npm config ls -l 

Look for lines defining the tmp config variable. If you find more than one, remove all but one of them.

See for more about this unusual problem.


  • Some strange issues can be resolved by simply running npm cache clean and trying again.
  • If you are having trouble with npm install, use the -verbose option to have more details.
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