Note: This answer has been updated since when it was first posted because there is now a better way of installing the latest version of npm which is built-in with the node snap package for installing Node.js. After running the below commands running
npm -v will show that the latest version of npm is installed and being used.
Node.js is available as a snap package in all currently supported versions of Ubuntu. Specific to Node.js, developers can choose from one or more of the currently supported releases and get regular automatic updates directly from NodeSource. Node.js versions 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 are currently available, with the Snap Store being updated within hours or minutes of a Node.js release.
Node can be installed with a single command, for example:
sudo snap install node --classic --channel 11/stable # also install snapd in 14.04
The node snap can be accessed by the command
node, for example:
$ node -v
An up-to-date version of npm will installed as part of the node snap. npm should be run outside of the node repl, in your normal shell. After installing the node snap run the following command to enable npm update checking:
sudo chown -R $USER:$(id -gn $USER) /home/your-username/.config
your-username in the above command with your own username. Then run
npm -v to check if the version of npm is up-to-date. As an example I checked that npm was up-to-date, checked the version of an already installed package named yarn with the command
npm list yarn and then updated the existing yarn package to the latest version with the command
npm update yarn
Users can switch between versions of Node.js at any time without needing to involve additional tools like nvm (Node Version Manager), for example:
sudo snap refresh node --channel=10/stable
Users can test bleeding-edge versions of Node.js that can be installed from the latest edge channel by switching with:
sudo snap switch node --edge
This approach is only recommended for those users who are willing to participate in testing and bug reporting upstream.
Node.js LTS schedule