System - Raspbian (Jessie):

sudo apt-get install npm sudo npm install -g n sudo n stable

Now I have two instances of node.

/usr/bin/node -v returns v0.10.29

/usr/local/bin/node -v returns v6.2.1


sudo apt-get purge nodejs has a laundry list of packages that will be removed. Is it safe to purge these dependencies? Is the instance in /usr/local/bin self-contained or does it rely on these pre-existing packages? Will node red still work?


So I ran: sudo apt-get purge nodejs

Unfortunately, it did impact my ability to call node -v.

I was able to find where all the symbolic links using:

sudo find / -name "node" | less

Then I removed them and created a new one using:

sudo ln -s /usr/local/n/versions/node/6.2.2/bin/node /usr/local/bin/node

Now node -v returns v6.2.2 as expected.


Afterward, my Pi was having difficulty locating node pacakages I installed. I was able to remedy this by adding /usr/local/n/versions/node/6.2.2/bin to my $PATH environment variable.

To test if it will work for you (without making permanent changes), you can simply type. export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/n/versions/node/6.2.2/bin

If that worked, then you can permanently update your path variable by editing /etc/profile; the file where the $PATH variable gets set. sudo nano /etc/profile

NOTE: You will need to replace 6.2.2 with your current version of node


I purged the original Node.js that comes pre-installed with the Pi and installed Node.js myself. The purge did indeed remove Node-RED and other Node based tools. After I installed the latest Node.js I then manually installed the packages I needed (such as Node-RED). I suffered no ill effects and ended up with exactly the set of installed packages at the correct levels that I wanted. My recommendation is to note the packages that are removed by a Node.js purge and decide which of them you want to have again.

I use Node.js extensively on the Pi and there has been no ill effects on me following this procedure.

  • Thanks for the quick response, it gave me the courage to pull the trigger! I recorded my experience as a more specific answer for others.
    – Zak
    Jun 17 '16 at 17:40

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