Node version management
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README.md

n – Interactively Manage Your Node.js Versions

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/tj/n npm npm npm npm

Node.js version management: no subshells, no profile setup, no convoluted API, just simple.

(Unfortunately n is not supported on Windows yet. If you're able to make it work, send in a pull request!)

Installation

Since you probably already have node, the easiest way to install n is through npm:

$ npm install -g n

Alternatively, you can clone this repo and

$ make install

to install n to bin/n of the directory specified in the environment variable $PREFIX, which defaults to /usr/local (note that you will likely need to use sudo). To install n in a custom location (such as $CUSTOM_LOCATION/bin/n), run PREFIX=$CUSTOM_LOCATION make install.

Once installed, n installs node versions to subdirectory n/versions of the directory specified in environment variable N_PREFIX, which defaults to /usr/local; the active node/iojs version is installed directly in N_PREFIX.
To change the default to, say, $HOME, prefix later calls to n with N_PREFIX=$HOME or add export N_PREFIX=$HOME to your shell initialization file.

Additionally, consider third-party installer n-install, which allows installation directly from GitHub; for instance,

curl -L http://git.io/n-install | bash

sets both PREFIX and N_PREFIX to $HOME/n, installs n to $HOME/n/bin, modifies the initialization files of supported shells to export N_PREFIX and add $HOME/n/bin to the PATH, and installs the latest stable node version.

As a result, both n itself and all node versions it manages are hosted inside a single, optionally configurable directory, which you can later remove with the included n-uninstall script. n-update updates n itself to the latest version. See the n-install repo for more details.

Installing/Activating Versions

Simply execute n <version> to install a version of node. If <version has already been installed (via n), n will activate that version.

$ n 0.8.14
$ n 0.8.17
$ n 0.9.6

Execute n on its own to view your currently installed versions. Use the up and down arrow keys to navigate and press enter or the right arrow key to select. Use ^C (control + C) to exit the selection screen.

$ n

  0.8.14
ο 0.8.17
  0.9.6

Use or install the latest official release:

$ n latest

Use or install the stable official release:

$ n stable

Use or install the latest LTS official release:

$ n lts

Removing Versions

Remove some versions:

$ n rm 0.9.4 v0.10.0

Alternatively, you can use - in lieu of rm:

$ n - 0.9.4

Binary Usage

When running multiple versions of node, we can target them directly by asking n for the binary path:

$ n bin 0.9.4
/usr/local/n/versions/0.9.4/bin/node

Or by using a specific version through n's use sub-command:

$ n use 0.9.4 some.js

Flags also work here:

$ n as 0.9.4 --debug some.js

Working with npm

After switching Node.js versions using n, npm may not work properly. This should fix it (thanks @mikemoser!):

$ curl -0 -L http://npmjs.org/install.sh | sudo sh

sudo may not be required depending on your system configuration.

Usage

Output can also be obtained from n --help.

Usage: n [options/env] [COMMAND] [args]

Environments:
 n [COMMAND] [args]            Uses default env (node)
 n io [COMMAND]                Sets env as io

Commands:

  n                              Output versions installed
  n latest                       Install or activate the latest node release
  n -a x86 latest                As above but force 32 bit architecture
  n stable                       Install or activate the latest stable node release
  n lts                          Install or activate the latest LTS node release
  n <version>                    Install node <version>
  n use <version> [args ...]     Execute node <version> with [args ...]
  n bin <version>                Output bin path for <version>
  n rm <version ...>             Remove the given version(s)
  n --latest                     Output the latest node version available
  n --stable                     Output the latest stable node version available
  n --lts                        Output the latest LTS node version available
  n ls                           Output the versions of node available

(iojs):

  n io latest                    Install or activate the latest iojs release
  n io -a x86 latest             As above but force 32 bit architecture
  n io <version>                 Install iojs <version>
  n io use <version> [args ...]  Execute iojs <version> with [args ...]
  n io bin <version>             Output bin path for <version>
  n io rm <version ...>          Remove the given version(s)
  n io --latest                  Output the latest iojs version available
  n io ls                        Output the versions of iojs available

Options:

  -V, --version   Output current version of n
  -h, --help      Display help information
  -q, --quiet     Disable curl output (if available)
  -d, --download  Download only
  -a, --arch      Override system architecture

Aliases:

  which   bin
  use     as
  list    ls
  -       rm

Custom source

If you would like to use a project other than the official Node.js or io.js projects, you can use the special n project [command] which allows you to control the behavior of n using environment variables.

For example, to grab the latest io.js version but name it "foo" instead,

  PROJECT_NAME="foo" PROJECT_URL="https://iojs.org/dist/" n project latest

Required Variables:

  • PROJECT_NAME: The name the project will be stored under
  • PROJECT_URL: The location to download the project from. Note, this must follow the same format as the io.js/Node.js repos

Optional Variables:

  • HTTP_USER: The username if the PROJECT_URL is protected by basic authentication
  • HTTP_PASSWORD: The password if the PROJECT_URL is protected by basic authentication
  • PROJECT_VERSION_CHECK: Many custom projects keep the same version number as the Node.js release they are based on, and maintain their own separate version in process. This allows you to define a JavaScript variable that will be used to check for the version of the process, for example: process.versions.node

Custom architecture

By default n picks the binaries matching your system architecture, e.g. n will download 64 bit binaries for a 64 bit system. You can override this by using the -a or --arch option.

Download and use latest 32 bit version of node:

$ n --arch x86 latest

Download and use latest 32 bit version of iojs:

$ n io --arch x86 latest

Download and use 64 bit LTS version of node for older Mac Intel Core 2 Duo systems (x86 image is no longer available but x64 runs fine):

$ n --arch x64 lts

Additional Details

n installs versions to /usr/local/n/versions by default. Here, it can see what versions are currently installed and activate previously installed versions accordingly when n <version> is invoked again.

Activated versions are then installed to the prefix /usr/local, which may be altered via the N_PREFIX environment variable.

To alter where n operates, simply export N_PREFIX.

n does not work on Windows at the moment. Pull Requests are appreciated.

If you are searching for the latest version of n below 2.x.x, check out the branch 1.x.x.

Core Team

License

(The MIT License)

Copyright (c) 2014 TJ Holowaychuk <tj@vision-media.ca>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS', WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.