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In this guide I'll show you how to install Node.js on either your VPS or dedicated server. Node.js is a server-side JavaScript framework built off the V8 JavaScript engine from Google Chrome that allows for event-driven, asynchronous I/O requests to help handle a large amount of concurrent requests efficiently.

You need root access to either your VPS or dedicated server in order to follow along with these steps.

Installing Node.js

Using the steps below you should be able to quickly install Node.js on your server, and begin testing commands directly on the server via the interpreter, or begin writing applications to run.

  1. Login to your server as the root user via SSH.
  2. You need to check for some software dependencies for Node.js, as it requires OpenSSL, Python2.6+, and a compiler like gcc. You can check for these with the following yum commands:

    yum list installed | egrep "openssl-devel|python26|python27|gcc-c++"

    You might get output back like this:

    gcc-c++.x86_64 4.4.7-3.el6 @base
    openssl-devel.x86_64 1.0.0-27.el6_4.2 @updates

    On this particular server, we already have our gcc-c++ compiler, and the openssl-devel package installed. So we just need to install Python 2.6, or verifiy if it's already on the server and not installed via yum.

    Check Python version or install Python 2.6

    If you're on a newer VPS or dedicated server you should be running CentOS 6.x, you can confirm this by running the following command:

    cat /etc/redhat-release

    Which should return:

    CentOS release 6.4 (Final)

    Older servers would instead return something like:

    CentOS release 5.9 (Final)

    Now check your Python version with this command:

    python --version

    You should get back something like:

    Python 2.6.6

    If you're on an older server, and your Python version is older than 2.6, run the following command to install Python 2.6:

    yum install python26

    If either the gcc-c++ compiler, or the openssl-devel package were also missing when you checked, you'd run one of the following to install those dependencies:

    yum install gcc-c++
    yum install openssl-devel

  3. Now you want to navigate to your server's source directory:

    cd /usr/local/src

  4. Grab the latest copy of Node.js:

    wget http://nodejs.org/dist/node-latest.tar.gz

  5. Extract the Node.js archive:

    tar zxvf node-latest.tar.gz

  6. Navigate to the Node.js directory:

    cd node-v*

  7. Now finally configure and install Node.js with this series of commands:

    python2.6 configure
    make PYTHON=python2.6
    make install

    Upon a successful installation, the last few lines should look like this:

    installing /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm/scripts/clean-old.sh
    symlinking ../lib/node_modules/npm/bin/npm-cli.js -> /usr/local/bin/npm
    updating shebang of /usr/local/bin/npm to /usr/local/bin/node

  8. Finally you can test your Node.js installation by simply calling the node interpreter, running a few basic JavaScript commands, then hitting Ctrl-C on your keyboard twice in a row to exit:

    root@server [~]# node
    > a = 3;
    3
    > b = 2;
    2
    > a + b;
    5
    >
    (^C again to quit)
    >

You should now have a successful installation of Node.js running, and in further guides we'll go more in-depth with some of the amazing things you can do with Node.js!

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Question: Do I need Root Access?

n/a Points
2014-07-27 8:46 pm

Great article - Thanks.Is it possible that Node can be installed by a domain user for a particular domain that has SSH access, so thay can install packages like Grunt and build a workflow without having to do it as root.

Staff
15,308 Points
2014-07-28 8:06 am
Hello Neil,

Installing node.js unfortunately needs to be done with the root user. Even with SSH access they would nee the root level permissions.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2014-07-31 6:50 am

Great nodejs installation guide!!! Super useful!

Cheers!

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