Sayem Sayem - 5 months ago 46
Node.js Question

Cannot install packages using node package manager in Ubuntu

NodeJS interpreter name(

node
) on Ubuntu has been renamed to
nodejs
because of name conflict with another package. Here's what the readme.debian says:


The upstream name for the Node.js interpreter command is "node".
In Debian the interpreter command has been changed to "nodejs".

This was done to prevent a namespace collision: other commands use
the same name in their upstreams, such as ax25-node from the "node"
package.

Scripts calling Node.js as a shell command must be changed to instead
use the "nodejs" command.


However, using nodejs mucks up installing packages using
npm
. Package installation fails with the following error:

sh: 1: node: not found
npm WARN This failure might be due to the use of legacy binary "node"
npm WARN For further explanations, please read /usr/share/doc/nodejs/README.Debian


How do I make npm understand that nodejs is already installed on the system but the interpreter name is different?

vbo vbo
Answer

TL;DR:

sudo apt-get install nodejs-legacy

First of all let me clarify the situation a bit. In summer 2012 Debian maintainers decided to rename Node.js executable to prevent some kind of namespace collision with another package. It was very hard decision for Debian Technical Committee, because it breaks backward compatibility.

The following is a quote from Committee resolution draft, published in Debian mailing list:

  1. The nodejs package shall be changed to provide /usr/bin/nodejs, not /usr/bin/node. The package should declare a Breaks: relationship with any packages in Debian that reference /usr/bin/node.

  2. The nodejs source package shall also provide a nodejs-legacy binary package at Priority: extra that contains /usr/bin/node as a symlink to /usr/bin/nodejs. No package in the archive may depend on or recommend the nodejs-legacy package, which is provided solely for upstream
    compatibility. This package declares shall also declare a Conflicts: relationship with the node package.

<...>

Paragraph 2 is the actual solution for OP's issue. OP should try to install this package instead of doing symlink by hand. Here is a link to this package in Debian package index website.

It can be installed using sudo apt-get install nodejs-legacy.

I have not found any information about adopting the whole thing by NPM developers, but I think npm package will be fixed on some point and nodejs-legacy become really legacy.