Introduction

Getting Node.js will always be the first step in getting started with building Node.js applications.

In this article, we will walk you through downloading Node.js. There are three sections: Windows, Linux, and macOS. Choose the one that matches your operating system.

Once completed, you will be ready to start building Node.js applications!

Table of Contents

Windows

For Windows, we will install Node.js directly from the Node.js website.

Let's get started!

Install Node.js

Follow this link to the download page on the Node.js website and click the Windows Installer button.

This will start a download of the .msi file.

When that is complete, click on the downloaded file to start the Node.js Setup Wizard. You will be given a series of prompts as you work through the setup wizard.

When you are finished, open a command prompt and execute the following command:

    
      node --version
    
  

You should see an output similar to this (you may see a different version number based on which one you installed):

    
      v10.16.0
    
  

NPM (Node.js Package Manager) should have been automatically bundled with your Node.js installation. But you can double-check it with this command:

    
      npm --version
    
  

You should see an output similar to this (you may see a different version number based on which one you installed):

    
      v6.9.0
    
  

You now have Node.js installed and it's ready for you to use!

Linux

We will be using the Node Version Manager (Nvm). And compared to other Node.js installation methods, it has the easiest ways to have multiple versions of Node.js without adding much extra complexity. There will be times when applications need different versions of Node.js to work, so having the flexibility to change that is important and will save you a lot of time.

Before going through these steps, open a new terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and navigate to the home directory of your machine:

    
      cd ~
    
  

Install/Verify System Packages

First, let's update the system packages on your machine:

    
      apt-get update
    
  

When that finishes, run the following command to install the build-essential package if you don't already have it:

    
      apt-get install build-essential
    
  

Install Nvm (Node Version Manager)

Now we are ready to install the nvm package. Use one of the two (curl or wget) commands below to run the nvm bash script.

At the time of publication, NVM v0.34.0 was the most recent version available. Make sure you check the NVM Github project page to get the latest version and replace the yellow text in the commands below.

curl command:

    
      curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nvm-sh/nvm/v0.34.0/install.sh | bash
    
  

Or use the wget command:

    
      wget -qO- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nvm-sh/nvm/v0.34.0/install.sh | bash
    
  

The bash script clones the nvm repository to ~/.nvm and adds the source line to your profile (~/.bash_profile, ~/.zshrc, ~/.profile, or ~/.bashrc).

Reload the Shell

After running the above command, you will receive an output message similar to the following in your terminal:

    
      ...

      => Close and reopen your terminal to start using nvm or run the following to use it now:

      ...
    
  

You can reload the shell by running:

    
      source ~/.bashrc
    
  

Or simply open a new Terminal window/tab.

Verify the Installation

To verify that nvm was installed correctly, use this command:

    
      nvm --version
    
  

You should see an output with the version of nvm you downloaded.

Now let's install the latest Node.js stable release (replace v10.16.0 with the version you wish to install):

    
      nvm install v10.16.0
    
  

You now have Node.js installed and it's ready for you to use!

macOS

We will be using the Node Version Manager (Nvm). And compared to other Node.js installation methods, it has the easiest ways to have multiple versions of Node.js without adding much extra complexity. There will be times when applications need different versions of Node.js to work, so having the flexibility to change that is important and will save you a lot of time.

Before going through these steps, open a new terminal window.

To open it, either open your Applications folder, then open Utilities and double-click on Terminal, or press Command - spacebar to launch Spotlight and type "Terminal," then double-click the search result.

Install Nvm (Node Version Manager)

Now we are ready to install the nvm package. Use one of the two (curl or wget) commands below to run the nvm bash script.

At the time of publication, NVM v0.34.0 was the most recent version available. Make sure you check the NVM Github project page to get the latest version and replace the version shown in the commands below.

curl command:

    
      curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nvm-sh/nvm/v0.34.0/install.sh | bash
    
  

Or use the wget command:

    
      wget -qO- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nvm-sh/nvm/v0.34.0/install.sh | bash
    
  

The bash script clones the nvm repository to ~/.nvm and adds the source line to your profile (~/.bash_profile, ~/.zshrc, ~/.profile, or ~/.bashrc).

Reload the Shell

After running the above command, you will receive an output message similar to the following in your terminal:

    
      ...

      => Close and reopen your terminal to start using nvm or run the following to use it now:

      ...
    
  

You can reload the shell by running:

    
      source ~/.bashrc
    
  

Or simply open a new Terminal window/tab.

Verify the Installation

To verify that nvm was installed correctly, use this command:

    
      nvm --version
    
  

You should see an output with the version of nvm you downloaded.

Now let's install the latest Node.js stable release (replace v10.16.0 with the version you wish to install):

    
      nvm install v10.16.0
    
  

You now have Node.js installed and you are ready to start building!

Go build something cool! Thanks for reading and happy coding.