Error: The 'brew link' step did not complete successfully


Question

I'm trying to install node.js via Homebrew. Unfortunately, I get this error:

➜  ~  brew install node
==> Downloading http://nodejs.org/dist/v0.8.10/node-v0.8.10.tar.gz
######################################################################## 100.0%
==> ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/Cellar/node/0.8.10
==> make install
==> Caveats
Homebrew installed npm.
We recommend prepending the following path to your PATH environment
variable to have npm-installed binaries picked up:
  /usr/local/share/npm/bin
Warning: Could not link node. Unlinking...
Error: The `brew link` step did not complete successfully
The formula built, but is not symlinked into /usr/local
You can try again using `brew link node'
==> Summary
/usr/local/Cellar/node/0.8.10: 856 files, 13M, built in 103 seconds

So then I try to link node manually...

➜  ~  brew link node
Linking /usr/local/Cellar/node/0.8.10... Warning: Could not link node. Unlinking...

Error: Could not symlink file: /usr/local/Cellar/node/0.8.10/lib/node_modules/npm/scripts/relocate.sh
Target /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm/scripts/relocate.sh already exists. You may need to delete it.
To force the link and delete this file, do:
  brew link -f formula_name

To list all files that would be deleted:
  brew link -n formula_name

No luck, so I try forcefully linking node...

➜  ~  brew link -f node
Linking /usr/local/Cellar/node/0.8.10... Warning: Could not link node. Unlinking...

Error: Permission denied - /usr/local/lib/dtrace/node.d

I'm not familiar with dtrace in any regard and I'm afraid to mess with permissions, so I tried to sudo..

➜ ~ git:(master) sudo brew link -f node
Password:
Error: Cowardly refusing to `sudo brew link'
You can use brew with sudo, but only if the brew executable is owned by root.
However, this is both not recommended and completely unsupported so do so at
your own risk.

I've tried uninstalling node via brew uninstall node and retrying the install with no luck.

1
152
9/26/2012 5:26:11 PM

Accepted Answer

The homebrew package for node.js now includes npm again, so this happened to me when I missed the homebrew package's message about removing the standalone version first.

Assuming, like me, you've already broken node/npm by attempting the upgrade before knowing to npm uninstall npm -g first, you can rm -rf /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm and then brew link node. This removes the standalone self-hosted npm package (rather than the one brew would like to install) and lets brew symlink its bundled one from Cellar.

121
10/5/2012 5:54:29 PM

I run Mac OS X Mavericks. I tried to install node 0.10.25 and the top answer did not work for me.

natevw says to rm -rf /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm but if the permissions on /usr/local/lib/node_modules look like this:

drwxr-xr-x   3 root      admin   102 Feb  2 20:45 node_modules

then brew will not be able to create its npm symlink in that directory. Here's my solution:

Step 1: Update Homebrew

$ brew update

Step 2: Remove node/npm everywhere on your system

Some of these commands are not necessary depending on how you installed node/npm in the past.

$ brew uninstall npm
$ brew uninstall node
$ npm uninstall npm -g
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/node_modules

Note: I had stray node files that I found by running brew -v link node (which gave me the verbose output of the linking errors brew was complaining about). You may need to:

$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/include/node
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/node

Step 3: Open a new terminal and install node

$ brew install node

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