Common npm Permission Issues

February 20, 2015

The Problem:

2015 02 20

If you are using a Mac and have installed Node.js via a pkg file downloaded from the official website, you are likely to encounter the following error message when you try to install an npm module globally:

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

My Solution:

DO NOT use the sudo command to install the package!

sudo npm install module -g

Some people recommend the above solution on Stack Overflow, but I strongly advise against managing packages with sudo. This workaround may temporarily solve your problem, but you'll likely encounter more issues later on.

Here is the recommended approach:

Step 1: Determine your username with the following command:


For example, my username is victorleungtw.

Step 2: Change the ownership of the node modules folder:

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

After performing these steps, you won't have to use sudo when installing npm packages in the future.

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Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn