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About node.js

  • As an asynchronous event-driven JavaScript runtime, Node.js is designed to build scalable network applications. In the example, many connections can be handled concurrently. Upon each connection, the callback is fired, but if there is no work to be done, Node.js will sleep.
  • Node.js is a cross-platform environment and library for running JavaScript applications which is used to create networking and server-side applications. Node.js is mostly used to run real-time server applications.


See also my note on Javascript

Install on Ubuntu

Install using the official binary: Download, instruction. The binary package is a self-contained directory. So we just need to unpack it to a global location.

How to Install Latest Node.js and NPM on Ubuntu with PPA (old)

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

sudo apt-get install nodejs

Check the versions

$ node -v  # v12.3.1
$ npm -v  # 6.9.0

How To Install Node.js on Ubuntu 20.04

curl -sL -o
sudo bash
sudo apt install -y nodejs
node -v

Install on Mac

    • 65MB space is needed
    • Node.js v10.16.3 will be in /usr/local/bin/node
    • npm v6.9.0 will be in /usr/local/bin/npm

Install on Raspberry Pi

How to install NodeJS on a Raspberry Pi

uname -m
tar -xvf node-v8.11.3-linux-armv6l.tar.xz
cd node-v8.11.3-linux-armv6l
cp -R * /usr/local/
node -v
npm -v

Error from sudo apt-get install nodejs npm

$ sudo apt-get install nodejs npm

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
  nodejs:  Conflicts: npm
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
$ node --version

Teh nodejs package includes npm since v0.10.0..

Error from running npm

$ sudo npm install gtop -g
Failed to parse json
Failed to parse package.json data
package.json must be actual JSON, not just Javascript

This is not a bug in npm
Tell the package author to fix their package.json file. JSON.parse

One solution that works in my case is

npm cache clean

Update npm

$ sudo npm install npm -g

where -g means to install to the global environment.


node.js prompt

How to exit

[email protected]:~/Downloads$ node
> Math.random()
> .exit

HTTP server

Note HTTP is just one application of TCP.

First create a js file

var http = require('http');

var s = http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
  res.write('Hello \n');
  setTimeout(function() {
  }, 2000);


Then using node program to run the js script. We can test the program by using a web browser or curl program.

# Terminal 1
node web-server.js

# Terminal 2
curl http://localhost:8000
OR use "-i" to include HTTP-header in the output
curl -i http://localhost:8000

The output I get is

$ curl -i http://localhost:8000
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/plain
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2013 20:55:17 GMT
Connection: keep-alive
Transfer-Encoding: chunked


We can compare this with the Example from Hypertext Transfer Protocol in Wikipedia.

Test the http server

Apache benchmark testing

ab -n 1000 -c 100 http://localhost:8000

Setup Nginx as Frontend Server for Node.js

TCP server

Simple example

Create <tcp-server.js> file

var net= require('net')

var server = net.createServer(function(socket) {


After running this program, we can test it by using telnet or nc.

telnet localhost 8000
nc localhost 8000

Echo server

This is modified from Simple server.

var net= require('net')

var server = net.createServer(function(socket) {

  socket.on('data', function(data) {


We can use netstat -an | grep tcp to lists all the TCP ports on which your Linux server is listening including all the active network connections to and from your server. This can be very helpful in determining whether slowness is due to high traffic volumes:

telnet needs to use Ctrl+] to break out the connection but nc can disconnect by using Ctrl+C.

$ telnet localhost 8000
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.

telnet> quit
Connection closed.
$ nc localhost 8000


Chat server

net = require('net');

var sockets = [];

var s = net.Server(function(socket) {

  socket.on('data', function(d) {
    for(var i=0; i<sockets.length; i++) {
      if (sockets[i] == socket) continue;

  socket.on('end', function() {
    var i = socksets.indexOf(socket);
    sockets.splice(i, 1);


Test it by

Terminal 1: telnet localhost 8000

Terminal 2: telnet localhost 8000

http get

Node.js - RESTful API from

$ cat hello-world-server.js 
setInterval(function() {
 }, 2000)


var http = require('http')
setInterval(function() {
  http.get({ host: '' }, function(res) {
}, 2000)


Modules, npm and package.json

  • npm version # the packages are not complete?
$ npm version
{ npm: '6.9.0',
  ares: '1.15.0',
  brotli: '1.0.7',
  cldr: '35.1',
  http_parser: '2.8.0',
  icu: '64.2',
  modules: '64',
  napi: '4',
  nghttp2: '1.39.2',
  node: '10.16.3',
  openssl: '1.1.1c',
  tz: '2019a',
  unicode: '12.1',
  uv: '1.28.0',
  v8: '',
  zlib: '1.2.11' }
  • npm install <Module Name>
$ npm install tz
npm WARN saveError ENOENT: no such file or directory, open '/Users/XXX/Downloads/package.json'
npm notice created a lockfile as package-lock.json. You should commit this file.
npm WARN enoent ENOENT: no such file or directory, open '/Users/XXX/Downloads/package.json'
npm WARN Downloads No description
npm WARN Downloads No repository field.
npm WARN Downloads No README data
npm WARN Downloads No license field.

+ [email protected]
added 2 packages from 1 contributor and audited 2 packages in 0.904s
found 0 vulnerabilities
$ ls -lt | head
# package-lock.json & node_modules are created
  • npm ls # List packages under ./node_modules
  • npm install <Module Name> -g # install packages in global environment
  • npm uninstall <Module Name>
  • npm search <Module Name>


Global vs Local installation

npm 1.0: Global vs Local installation. The rule of thumb is:

  • If you’re installing something that you want to use in your program, using require('whatever'), then install it locally, at the root of your project.
  • If you’re installing something that you want to use in your shell, on the command line or something, install it globally, so that its binaries end up in your PATH environment variable.

npm ls: check all the modules installed

$ npm ls # locally

$ npm ls -g # globally



Official Docker Image for Node.js