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6555770 Jan 7, 2017
@sindresorhus @fengzilong @alrra
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Install npm packages globally without sudo on macOS and Linux

npm installs packages locally within your projects by default. You can also install packages globally (e.g. npm install -g <package>) (useful for command-line apps). However the downside of this is that you need to be root (or use sudo) to be able to install globally.

Here is a way to install packages globally for a given user.

1. Create a directory for global packages
mkdir "${HOME}/.npm-packages"
2. Indicate to npm where to store globally installed packages. In your ~/.npmrc file add:
prefix=${HOME}/.npm-packages
3. Ensure npm will find installed binaries and man pages. Add the following to your .bashrc/.zshrc:
NPM_PACKAGES="${HOME}/.npm-packages"

PATH="$NPM_PACKAGES/bin:$PATH"

# Unset manpath so we can inherit from /etc/manpath via the `manpath` command
unset MANPATH # delete if you already modified MANPATH elsewhere in your config
export MANPATH="$NPM_PACKAGES/share/man:$(manpath)"

Check out npm-g_nosudo for doing the above steps automagically

NOTE: If you are running macOS, the .bashrc file may not yet exist, and the terminal will be obtaining its environment parameters from another file, such as .profile or .bash_profile. These files also reside in the user's home folder. In this case, simply adding the following line to them will instruct Terminal to also load the .bashrc file:

source ~/.bashrc

See also: npm's documentation on "Fixing npm permissions".