Fixing npm permissions


You may receive an EACCES error when you try to install a package globally. This indicates that you do not have permission to write to the directories that npm uses to store global packages and commands.

You can fix this problem using one of two options:

  1. Change the permission to npm’s default directory.
  2. Change npm’s default directory to another directory.

You should back-up your computer before moving forward.

  1. Find the path to npm’s directory:
     npm config get prefix

For many systems, this will be /usr/local.

WARNING: If your path is /usr, switch to option 2.

  1. Change the owner of npm’s directory’s to the effective name of the current user (your username!):
     sudo chown -R `whoami` <directory>

If you don’t want to change the permissions on the entire directory, you can change permissions on the subfolders lib/node_modules, bin, and share.

There are times when you do not want to change ownership of the default directory that npm uses; for example, if you are sharing a machine with other users.

In this case, you can configure npm to use a different directory.

  1. Make a directory for global installations:
     mkdir ~/npm-global
  2. Configure npm to use the new directory path:
     npm config set prefix '~/npm-global'
  3. Open or create a ~/.profile file and add this line:
     export PATH=~/npm-global/bin:$PATH
  4. Back on the command line, update your system variables:
     source ~/.profile

Test: Download a package globally without using sudo.

    npm install -g jshint

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