Kraang Prime Kraang Prime - 8 days ago 3
Node.js Question

Why is "npm install" really slow?

What am I doing wrong when setting up my packages ? Is there any way to speed this up ?

packages.json



{
"name": "testing node",
"version": "0.0.0",
"description": "",
"main": "app.config.js",
"dependencies": {
"babel-core": "^6.17.0",
"babel-loader": "^6.2.0",
"babel-plugin-add-module-exports": "^0.1.2",
"babel-plugin-react-html-attrs": "^2.0.0",
"babel-plugin-transform-class-properties": "^6.3.13",
"babel-plugin-transform-decorators-legacy": "^1.3.4",
"babel-preset-es2015": "^6.3.13",
"babel-preset-react": "^6.3.13",
"babel-preset-stage-0": "^6.3.13",
"react": "^0.14.6",
"react-dom": "^0.14.6",
"webpack": "^1.12.9",
"webpack-dev-server": "^1.14.1",
"mysql": "*"
},
"devDependencies": {},
"scripts": {
"dev": "webpack-dev-server --content-base src --inline --hot",
"test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
},
"author": "",
"license": "ISC"
}


When inside the folder if I run

npm install


I get the following which can take hours to fully setup:

npm install stuck

This is not a general computing or hardware issue. Comparative speeds are below :


  1. Run
    haversine
    to calculate all distances on over 1 million records in a non-index mysql table takes significantly less time. (computational)

  2. Download a full install of Linux (Dual Layer DVD ISO) in significantly less time. (bandwidth)



I suspect there is something wrong with my
packages.json
or the command I am running
npm install
. From the image, it seems there are numerous attempts to retrieve the same file. Possibly there is a way to force
npm
to retrieve from a more stable mirror ? Possible the mirror selection it uses by default is wonky ? Just some suggestions -- I don't know the specific cause which is why I am asking.

This problem also occurs on my Linode, Digital Ocean, and VULTR boxes -- so I suspect it is something specific with
npm
, the way I am using (something missing), or my
packages.json
.

Answer

I was able to resolve this from the comments section; outlining the process below.

From the comments

AndreFigueiredo stated :

I installed modules here in less than 1 min with your package.json with npm v3.5.2 and node v4.2.6. I suggest you update node and npm.


v1.3.0 didn't even have flattened dependencies introduced on v3 that resolved a lot of annoying issues

LINKIWI stated :

Generally speaking, don't rely on package managers like apt to maintain up-to-date software. I would strongly recommend purging the node/npm combo you installed from apt and following the instructions on nodejs.org to install the latest release.

Observations

Following their advice, I noticed that CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian all use very outdated versions of nodejs and npm when retrieving the current version using apt or yum (depending on operating systems primary package manager).

Get rid of the outdated nodejs and npm

To resolve this with as minimal headache as possible, I ran the following command (on Ubuntu) :

apt-get purge --auto-remove nodejs npm

This purged the system of the archaic nodejs and npm as well as all dependencies which were no longer required

Install current nodejs and compatible npm

The next objective was to get a current version of both nodejs and npm which I can snag nodejs directly from here and either compile or use the binary, however this would not make it easy to swap versions as I need to (depending on age of project).

I came across a great package called nvm which (so far) seems to manage this task quite well. To install the current stable latest build of version 7 of nodejs :

Install nvm

curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.33.0/install.sh | bash

Use nvm to install nodejs 7.x nvm install 7

After installation I was pleasantly surprised by much faster performance of npm, that it also now showed a pretty progress bar while snagging packages.

For those curious, the current (as of this date) version of npm should look like the following (and if it doesn't, you likely need to update it):

current npm running

Summary

DO NOT USE YOUR OS PACKAGE MANAGER TO INSTALL NODE.JS OR NPM - You will get very bad results as it seems no OS is keeping these packages (not even close to) current. If you find that npm is running slow and it isn't your computer or internet, it is most likely because of a severely outdated version.