How To Install Node.js on Ubuntu 16.04

Install Node.js on Ubuntu 16.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configuration of Node.js on your Ubuntu 16.04 server. For those of you who didn’t know, Node.js is a Javascript platform for programming that enables users to build network applications very quickly. If you are using Javascript on both the front-end and the back-end, it means your development can be much more consistent and be designed within the same system.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Node.js on a Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) server.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • An active internet connection. You’ll need an internet connection to download the necessary packages and dependencies for Node.js.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Node.js on Ubuntu 16.04

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt-get commands in the terminal.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2. Installing Node.js using the repository.

The default Ubuntu repo does contain a version of Node.js. It is never the latest version but is usually known to be quite stable:

apt-get install nodejs

This will install Node.js, however, we still need to install the package manager (NPM) so that 3rd party modules can be installed:

apt-get install npm

Verify the current version of Node.js installed:

node -v

Step 3. Installing Node.js using PPA repository for Ubuntu 16.04.

First, you need to node.js PPA in our system provides by Node.js official website. We also need to install the python-software-properties package if not installed already:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
curl -sL | sudo -E bash -

After adding the required PPA file, let’s install the Node.js package. NPM will also be installed with node.js. This command will also install many other dependent packages on your system:

apt-get install nodejs

Verify the current version of Node.js installed:

node -v

Step 4. Install Node.js using NVM (Node.js Version Manager).

Using nvm, you will be able to install multiple, self-contained versions of Node.js which will means you can control your environment much easier. It will give you on-demand access to the latest versions of Node.js, but it will also allow you to specify previous releases that your app may need. So, first we’ll want to update our local repository index and then install libssl-dev and build-essential. That can be done by running the below commands in a terminal or shell:

apt-get update
apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev

Once those are installed you need to download the setup script for NVM. Typically you can grab this from their Github page. Though at the time of this writing the newest version is in the command below:

wget -qO-

Verify that the script is indeed the one you want and then run:


To begin the install of NVM. Once it finishes you will need to reload your profile to have your changes take effect without logging back into your server again. Run the command:

source ~/.profile

Now as we have nvm installed, we can install isolated Node.js versions. To find out the versions of Node.js that are available for installation, we need to type:

[ ~]# nvm ls-remote
. . .

Install the version you want with the command:

nvm install [your version]


nvm install 6.0.0

Configure nvm to use the version of Node.js that you just downloaded, the command is:

nvm use 6.0.0

To verify the current version of Node.js installed, the command is:

node -v

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Node.js. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing Node.js in Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus LTS system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Node.js website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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