DEV Community 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Cover image for Why You Should Use NVM (Node Version Manager) and How to Install It
Melvin Liu
Melvin Liu

Posted on

Why You Should Use NVM (Node Version Manager) and How to Install It


Have you ever experience difficulties in software development due to unsupported / different version ? Recently I was facing the same issue. The issue was a different Node.js version from my machine (Node v14.18.0) with my company project repository (Node v10 required). The first solution that instantly pop up in my mind was "I think downgrade my current node by uninstalling it will do the work", But what if you need another version for another project in the near future? Do you want to endure the pain of installing and uninstalling Node.js every time you need a different version of it ?

Node Version Manager

Node Version Manager

NVM is a version manager for Node.js, it allows you to quickly install and use different versions of node via the command line.

Let's head to the tutorial !

Instaling Node Version Manager Guide

If you happen to use UNIX, macOS, or WSL (Window Sub-system for Linux), you can install and read the official documentation here

If you happen to use Windows you can install it at NVM for windows which is developed by Corey Butler, download the file.
NVM for windows github

Important Note

Installation Guide Github
It is stated that you need to uninstall pre-existing node version, but based on my experience it is not necessary to do so.

After the installation you can open your command prompt and check whether nvm is recognized

C:\Users\YourUsername>nvm -v

Running version 1.1.8.
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

If nvm is not recognized as internal command or external command, try to re-open your command prompt.

Then, You can type nvm list in order to see list of Node.js version on your machine.

C:\Users\YourUsername>nvm list

  * 14.18.0 (Currently using 64-bit executable)
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

If you don't see your desired Node.js version in the list, you can use nvm install command, for example if you want Node.js version 8, you can type nvm install 8.0.0

To use the installed Node.js version you can simply type nvm use 8.0.0


If you see an error message exit status 5: Access is denied., It is due to admin privilege issue. To solve it you can simply run your command prompt as administrator.

Thank you for your time reading this short article / tutorial about Node Version Manager, hope it helps! and Have a great day.

Top comments (5)

iamludal profile image
Ludal 🚀

I personally prefer the n npm package. I find it very simple to use and very intuitive. 🤔

melvnl profile image
Melvin Liu Author

Ah yes, I just look into n, which can be directly installed via npm, the installation is much easier I guess.

iamludal profile image
Ludal 🚀

Yes, I once tried to use nvm, but had some problems during the installation, so I tried n and it worked like at charm.

However, once nvm is installed, I guess it works pretty much the same as n.

cytim profile image
Tim Wong • Edited on

I love nvm too. Had been using it for many years. Recently I'm also trying out asdf. It's very much like nvm, but supports many other tools as well. I like its .tool-versions file particularly that I can specify the versions for different projects. asdf will choose the correct version automatically when I swtich the project.

thorstenhirsch profile image
Thorsten Hirsch

What about nodenv?

Classic DEV Post from 2020:

js visualized

🚀⚙️ JavaScript Visualized: the JavaScript Engine

As JavaScript devs, we usually don't have to deal with compilers ourselves. However, it's definitely good to know the basics of the JavaScript engine and see how it handles our human-friendly JS code, and turns it into something machines understand! 🥳

Happy coding!