Installing Nodejs on CentOS


Tim Kye

This is part of my complete guide to Setting up a CentOS Digital Ocean droplet with Nginx for beginners.

Where to get it from

Yum has a Nodejs package. I don't recommend using it. It update slowly, and you are probably going to want to manage node and npm's version yourself. I highly recommend installing and updating node yourself, without a package manager (other than npm). Later on, being able to update Nodejs though npm is going to make your life a lot easier.

Where to put it

There is some confusion over where it is best to install things on linux. I think this answer gives a good overview of the purpose of the available options, but it still isn't clear to me if the recommended solution to this is /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin.

I don't use either.

I install Nodejs in ~/bin/node. This does produce the rather redudnant PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin/node/bin, but I still prefer to have it in a directory under $HOME. Nodejs, primarily because of npm, is kind of unique. It isn't a shareable binary, because it's "global" environment shouldn't be shared with other users. It's mutable, and I want to keep it completely isolated. /usr/local/bin would do that, but I want to make it extra special. This might seem crazy, and it might be. If you want to install under /usr/local/bin, just make the manual adjustment.

Whatever you do, do not install nodejs in a location that requires sudo access. Not only will it make it pointlessly difficult to run your application later, sudo changes your path in ways that will turn npm into a bi-polar ax murderer.

Manual Installation

I use this script, modified from here. It stuff it in ~/bin/node and adds $HOME/bin/node/bin to your path. The make install is going to take a few minutes.

echo 'export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin/node/bin' >> ~/.bashrc
. ~/.bashrc
mkdir bin -p
cd ~/bin
mkdir node -p
rm -rf install-node 
mkdir install-node -p
cd install-node
curl | tar xz --strip-components=1
./configure --prefix=~/bin/node
make install
curl | sh
cd ~/bin
rm -rf install-node

You can run this super easily with this handy one-liner.

curl | sh

If the length makes that linebreak in your browser (it will), just trust me. It's one line.