Node.js in Ubuntu
How To

How to Install Node.js on Ubuntu

Sagar Sharma
Sagar Sharma

Table of Contents

Looking to get Node.js on your Ubuntu system? You can get it directly from the developers of Node.js.

Since you'll be adding their repository to the system, you'll also get updates on the installed Node.js version directly from the source.

You can also use Snap for installing Node on Ubuntu. I'll discuss that method in the later sections of this article.

Sounds good? Make up your mind about the Node version you want to install and follow the instructions below.

Oh, wait! You need to make sure that curl is installed on your Ubuntu system.

sudo apt install curl

You'll be using it for downloading a bash installer script provided by Node developers.

Install the latest version of Node.js

While writing, Node.js v20.x is the most recent (stable) release, but the given instruction should remain the same as they will fetch the most recent release rather than pointing to the specific one.

Let’s say you want to install Node.js v20. First, go to the NodeSource repo and check the supported version for your distribution.

💡
For Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Node versions 16, 18 and 20 are supported.

You need to install some more dependencies, like ca-cerificates and GnuPG before setting up Node.js. Open a terminal and run:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y ca-certificates gnupg

Create a keyrings directory and add NodeSource GPG key.

sudo mkdir -p /etc/apt/keyrings
curl -fsSL https://deb.nodesource.com/gpgkey/nodesource-repo.gpg.key | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/nodesource.gpg

Now, create the sources file. For this, you need to specify the version you need. In this example, I will be using Node v.20.

NODE_MAJOR=20

Now, in the same session, run:

echo "deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/nodesource.gpg] https://deb.nodesource.com/node_$NODE_MAJOR.x nodistro main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nodesource.list
📋
If you want any other supported version, replace the version number of NODE_MAJOR.

Update your system and install Node.js.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nodejs -y

You can verify that Node is installed on your system with:

nodejs --version

It should show the version of currently installed Node:

sagar@Learnubuntu:~$ nodejs --version
v20.6.0

Uninstalling Node from Ubuntu

Whether you went with LTS or non-LTS, the uninstallation method remains the same and only needs a single command:

sudo apt purge --auto-remove nodejs

You can always check for the installed version to check whether you successfully removed Node.js or not.

sagar@Learnubuntu:~$ nodejs --version
bash: /usr/bin/node: No such file or directory

And it should give you similar results after the removal process.

Now, remove the GPG key and the sources.list file added at the time of installation.

sudo rm -r /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nodesource.list
sudo rm -r /etc/apt/keyrings/nodesource.gpg

Those who installed Node.js through the installation script should migrate to the new repository. This is because, the installation script method is being deprecated, and you won't receive any updates there. To migrate, first remove the repository and keyring of the old method:

sudo rm /etc/apt/keyrings/nodesource.gpg
sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/nodesource.gpg
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nodesource.list

Now, use the commands one by one:

NODE_MAJOR=18
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y ca-certificates curl gnupg
sudo mkdir -p /etc/apt/keyrings
curl -fsSL https://deb.nodesource.com/gpgkey/nodesource-repo.gpg.key | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/nodesource.gpg
echo "deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/nodesource.gpg] https://deb.nodesource.com/node_${NODE_MAJOR}.x nodistro main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nodesource.list

Update the system.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nodejs

That's it. You are now moved to the supported method.

Alternative: Install Node.js in Ubuntu using snap

Snaps come pre-configured in Ubuntu and you can install Node.js as a snap package and also allows you to choose between stable and edge releases. So let's start with installing the stable release:

Install stable release of Node.js using snap

As always, it only requires single command when installing snap packages and the same goes for Node.js:

sudo snap install node --classic
sagar@Learnubuntu:~$ sudo snap install node --classic
node (18/stable) 18.17.1 from OpenJS Foundation (iojs**) installed

And as you can see, it gave me Node.js 18.17.1!

Install the most recent build of Node.js

I will not recommend this build to the general audience as it might have bugs and stability issues. To install the bleeding edge version of Node.js, you just have to use the given command and it will utilize the edge channel:

sudo snap install node --channel=latest/edge --classic
sagar@Learnubuntu:~$ sudo snap install node --channel=latest/edge --classic
node (edge) 21.0.0-nightly202309048dfe4248 from OpenJS Foundation (iojs**) installed

And it got me a nightly build running Node.js 21.0!

Uninstall Node in snap format

Whether you went with the bleeding edge version or the stable, the command will remain the same for the uninstallation process:

sudo snap remove node

That's it! Enjoy using Node.js on Ubuntu.