Common npm permission issue

The problem:

If you are using mac and install nodejs via pkg file downloaded from the official website, you are likely to encounter this error message when you try to install a npm module globally:

npm ERR! Please try running this command again as root/Administrator.

My solution

DO NOT use sudo command to install the package!

sudo npm install module -g

Some people suggest the above solution on Stack Overflow, but I strongly encourage you not to do package management with sudo. This hack may temporarily solve your problem, but you will encounter more problems later on.

Here is the recommanded way:

Step 1: Find out your username with this command:


For example, my username is victorleungtw

Step 2: Change ownership of the node modules folder:

sudo chown -R `whoami` /usr/local/lib/node_modules

Then you won’t ever have to use sudo when you install npm packages.

Originally published at on February 20, 2015.

By Victor Leung

Experience in software development, consulting services and technical product management. Understanding of business and technology with an MBA in Finance and a Master degree in Computer Science. AWS Certified Solution Architect with experience in building products from scratch and serving as a charismatic leader.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: