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Installing node without root privilegies

This script have been implemente followin the steps in this article "NODE.JS HOWTO: INSTALL NODE+NPM AS USER (NOT ROOT) UNDER UNIX OSES". Kudos to Tom Novelli!

What does it do?

The script will install nodejs (compiling it from source) in your home directory.

At the end you will have a .local and a .node_modules folders in your home directory. The first one containing the source and binaries for node and npm, the second one is just a link to ~/.local/lib/node_modules where all the globally installed node module will be stored.

How to use it

Clone the repo

git clone


git clone


cd /repo/path/

./ [4.2.1] ['/.bashrc']

The two parameters are not mandatory. The default values are the ones written above

The first parameter has to be the node version you want to use.

The second has to be the file that your console reads your modification to the PATH env variable


To update nodejs you can run the same command, just remember to specify the new version as the first parameter.

cd /repo/path/

./ 5.0.0


  • You need to have the following packages (or xcode on mac osx) installed to compile the source:
  • make
  • gcc
  • g++
  • python
  • linux-headers
  • paxctl
  • libgcc
  • libstdc++
  • tar
  • wget (on mac osx you will need to install it with brew install wget)


  • Add custom install path option, now it installs node+npm in ~/.local
  • Remove dependency on bash


If you are looking for something way more powerful and complete than my script you can check out NVM ;)


Licensed under the MIT license