grookle grookle - 7 months ago 46
Node.js Question

Node Version Manager (NVM) npm installing modules to common folder

I've installed NVM for node.js using the instructions from this post:

When I switch between node versions and then use npm to install a module, all the modules are placed in the same 'node_modules' folder (~/node_modules/) instead of in the 'node_modules' directory specific to that version of node?

Any idea on how to remedy this?


Based on the comments from

When installing packages with npm using the global switch -g the package ends up in the proper directory (i.e. .nvm/$VERSION/lib/node_modules), however node is unable to require it since it somehow isn't searching on it's prefix.

So using npm install -g xxxxx will put the modules in the correct location for NVM but if you try to require one of them node can't find the module. I am still playing around with this and will update if I find a solution.


Where does NPM put node_modules? (see

  • Local install (default): puts stuff in ./node_modules of the current package root.
  • Global install (with -g): puts stuff in /usr/local or wherever node is installed.
  • Install it locally if you're going to require() it.
  • Install it globally if you're going to run it on the command line.
  • If you need both, then install it in both places, or use npm link.

So what I did was run npm init (see in my projects root dir which generated package.json. Now when I run npm install xxxxx it creates a node_modules dir in my project folder (which I add to my .gitignore). This works for modules that I require in my code.

For commands such as CoffeeScript I install with npm install -g coffee-script which puts it in the correct directory (.nvm/$VERSION/lib/node_modules). While I can't require these modules (npm link should solve this problem) I can run the commands - i.e. coffee.