NVM for Windows Subsystem for Linux

A day back, I wrote about Setting up Hyper terminal with ZSH on Windows machine.

Although the setup might work flawless, but there were some hiccups when I tried Node projects with it.

So here are notes on the problems I faced and solutions I opted for.

  • Your Window's NodeJs installation wont work in WSL. You would need to install it again using:

    sudo apt install nodejs
    sudo apt install npm
  • When trying to npm, you might see below:
    Remove node modules

Solution to this is to remove the node_modules directory and install the packages again:

rm -rf ./node_modules
npm install

Still there might be cases where you can face problems like one below.
Where I am trying to install gatsby-cli but failed because of write permissions.

npm permission issue

For the solution, you can refer to this StackOverflow answer.


As suggested in the SO answer, I decided to use nvm. Which felt a great option after reading about it.

So I removed node and npm using apt and installed nvm as below:

  • Get the shell script

    curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.35.3/install.sh -o install_nvm.sh
  • After verifying, run it

  • It added its following stuff to the .bashrc file So i had to move it to .zshrc to make it work.

    export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
    [ -s "$NVM_DIR/nvm.sh" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/nvm.sh"  # This loads nvm
    [ -s "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion"  # This loads nvm bash_complet>
  • Restart the hyper terminal or source the .zshrc file
  • You can list available node version with following command

    nvm ls-remote
  • Then you can install node as

    nvm install 14.15.1
  • Try checking node version to verify installation

    node -v
  • You can list node installations with

    nvm ls
  • Switching between versions can be achieved as below

    nvm alias fix-bug 12.18.3
    nvm use fix-bug


After setting up node with nvm. Everything worked smoothly.
Do remove node_modules directory and start fresh.

Thats it for this note.


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