Installing node.js on Debian 6.0


So well, I have a vserver with Debian 6.0.

Now I would like to install Node.js, but none of the tutorials on the web seem to work. I have tried all of the results google gives me when I enter "install node.js on linux" I mostly failed because I had no idea how to install the dependencies (I'm new to linux btw)

How to install node.js on a Debian system that was just setup (so no programs already installed on it and such)?

5/7/2012 9:04:01 AM

Accepted Answer

Although, as ArjunShankar says, you should normally use a pre-built package. Node.js is rather too fast moving for Debian packages to keep up. I would strongly recommend that you do your own installs until such a time as Node settles down. For example, there was an unexpected update recently that fixes an important security loophole - you do not want to be dependent on a package that is for an out-of-date version of Debian when things need to move fast.

Instead, you should install from source.

You can download the source archive direct unpack it into a temporary folder and follow the instructions on the Node Github page. Alternatively, if you are confident with GIT, you can use that to grab the source - again to a temporary folder & follow the installation instructions.

There are a number of software dependencies for compiling so you need to make sure that you have them first - they should all be in the Debian apt packages. See or for further information.

It will take a few minutes to do the compile so be patient.

Once you've done it once, upgrades are also easy - just repeat the download/compile process.

Node.js installations now include the npm tool so installing libraries and other code is extremely simple.

5/8/2012 10:50:48 AM

If anyone else needs step-by-step instructions, I used the following steps from Install Node.js on Debian Squeeze and it installed with no problems:

  1. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install git-core curl build-essential openssl libssl-dev
  2. git clone
  3. cd node
  4. git checkout v5.0.0 (or the version you want to build)
  5. ./configure
  6. make
  7. sudo make install
  8. node -v
  9. npm -v

I didn't have to install any additional sources into apt to get it to build.

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