How to check Node version

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Knowing what Node.js version you have in a project is vital because it affects the Node and JavaScript language features you can use. Also, you might not want to miss out on essential security patches or experience compatibility problems.

There are several ways to check the Node version you’re using. You can use basic command line prompts, npm, or nvm as well to do it. In this article below, we list ways for you to check your Node version with different methods, on different operating systems.

Check your Node version in one step

To check the version of Node.js on your computer (may it run MacOS, Windows or a Linux distro such as Ubuntu), run the following command:

$ node -v

This will return the current version of node that is installed on your system. 

If you want to learn more about Node.js, you can find instructions and official docs on the node website. 

To check the latest version of Node for both the LTS and Current versions, check out our blog post that collects and lists all major updates.

Using npm to check your node version (and also update it)

Alternatively, you can use a package manager like npm to update Node.

$ npm install -g npm@latest 


$ npm update -g node 

will update node and npm. 

If you are having issues with your node installation, you can try the following commands:

$ npm cache clean

$ npm install -g --unsafe-perm node 

These commands will try to clean up any issues with your npm cache and install Node with permissions that may help resolve any installation issues. 

To only check your npm version, you can use the following command:

$ npm -v

Managing your Node versions with nvm

NVM (Node Version Manager) is a bash script that allows you to manage multiple active versions of Node.js. It allows you to install, uninstall, list, and switch between node versions.

​​The preferred way for managing your local node.js versions is to use nvm, which can be installed like this:

curl | bash

Then, use this to install node.js:

$ nvm install node

To use a specific version of node.js, you can do:

$ nvm use node

If you want to uninstall node.js, you can type:

$ nvm uninstall node

To update Node to the latest LTS version, you can use the nvm update node command.

For further details on how to install specific versions, see the nvm docs:

If you’re using Windows, you’ll need to use nvm-windows, which has almost the same API as nvm, but is a completely different project, and has a different philosophy.

What is Node.js?

If you are already familiar with Node, but need a quick refresher about it, we’ve got you covered:

Node.js is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. It uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices. 

Node.js is open-source and free to use. It also provides a first-class development experience, making it an ideal platform for web-based applications. Node.js also has a large community of developers who are constantly creating new modules and libraries to make development easier. 

Node.js applications are written in JavaScript, and can be run on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux which makes it fully cross-platform. Node.js has an event-driven architecture and a non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient. These features make it perfect for data-intensive, real-time applications that run across distributed devices. 

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing Node.js applications. First, since Node.js is asynchronous, you need to use promises, async functions, callbacks or events to handle data flow. Second, Node.js is single-threaded, so you need to be careful not to block the thread with long computations. 

How the Node release schedule works

A few words about the Node.js release schedule:

The Node.js Release Schedule

Node.js releases are identified by a major and minor version number, e.g. v4.2.0. Minor version releases (e.g. v4.2.1) are made every few weeks and contain new features and bug fixes. Major version releases (e.g. v5.0.0) are made every six months or so and may contain breaking changes.

Nowadays, the LTS (long-term support) Node.js versions get an even number, like 16.14.0, while Current releases have an odd version number, like 17.5.0.

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