How to Install Multiple NodeJS Versions Using NVM.

How to Install Multiple NodeJS Versions Using NVM.

Recently, while I was updating my website I also wanted to upgrade the NodeJS version. Having explored this path in the past I knew it could be painful.

So on I went down the journey of upgrading NodeJS. I found there is multiple ways of tackling this problem. But, the best method I found is NVM or Node Version Manager.

In this post, we'll look at using NVM to install multiple NodeJS versions and how to switch between them at the drop of a hat.

Installing NVM

To install NVM it's as simple as running the authors install script which you can find here. You can either paste this into your terminal or you can run one of the below curl or wget commands to do it for you:

curl -o- | bash

wget -qO- | bash

After running this script, you should notice the NVM repository has been copied into a ~/.nvm folder. Following this, the below code should now be added to your current terminal profile.

For example, I use ZSH for my terminal which is located in ~/.zshrc. After installing NVM I should find the below code copied into that file.

export NVM_DIR="$([ -z "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME-}" ] && printf %s "${HOME}/.nvm" || printf %s "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/nvm")"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/" # This loads nvm

If everything went smoothly, NVM should now be installed!

Using NVM

Using NVM is simple, let's take a look at some of the most common commands you'll use:

Installing a New NodeJS Version

To install a new NodeJS version, you can use one of the below commands.

To get the latest version you can run:

nvm install node # "node" is an alias for the latest version

Or, if you have a particular version in mind:

nvm install 14.8.0 # or 10.10.0, 8.9.1, etc

NOTE: The first version you install becomes the default that new shell windows use.

Checking Installed NodeJS Versions

If you want to check what versions of Node you have installed you can run:

nvm ls

Checking What NodeJS Versions Can Be installed.

If you're interested in seeing what versions you can install using NVM, you can run:

nvm ls-remote

Switching NodeJS Versions

To switch between versions you can use:

nvm use 14.8.0 # or 10.10.0, 8.9.1, etc

Uninstalling Old NodeJS Versions

If you want to uninstall a version of Node you no longer need:

nvm uninstall 14.8.0 # or 10.10.0, 8.9.1, etc


If you were like me and run into the error nvm: command not found every time you try to run one of these commands. Or, you have another issue you can check out the troubleshooting section on the NVM GitHub Repo.

Unfortunately, my issue wasn't on the troubleshooting section so I had to do some digging. Here's how I solved it.

After retracing my steps, I found that the original install script hadn't added the below code to my ~/.zshrc.

export NVM_DIR="$([ -z "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME-}" ] && printf %s "${HOME}/.nvm" || printf %s "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/nvm")"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/" # This loads nvm

After I opened my ~/.zshrc file and dropped in that code at the bottom, NVM started to work. If you're getting the nvm: command not found error try the troubleshooting guide first. If that doesn't help, check it was installed correctly.

If neither of these work I would recommend opening an issue on GitHub for some support.


That's it! NVM should now be installed and you should be able to install and use as many NodeJS versions as you please.

I hope you found this post helpful. If you did I would greatly appreciate you sharing it with others so they can find it helpful too. If you would like to see more content like this, please consider following me on Twitter.

Until next time, thank you for reading. 😃