Specifying npm Version in Dockerfile
August 21, 2017
RUN npm i npm RUN mv node_modules/npm /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm RUN rm -rf /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm
Each Node.js version ships with npm. Currently the LTS Node version (v6.11.2) ships with npm v3.10.10. But what if you want to use the latest features of npm 5.x.x with an older version of Node?
Outside of a container, this is simple. You install the Node version that you want (use nvm to easily swap between them) and then specify npm version.
npm i -g email@example.com //specific version npm i -g npm //for latest
Doing this inside a container, while possible, is a little bit trickier. You declare the version of Node you want to use with the “FROM” command.
But this comes with an old version of npm. If you try to upgrade as you normally would, you’ll run into an issue where the package “semver” can’t be found. The npm installation is bad. The solution:
RUN npm install firstname.lastname@example.org RUN rm -rf /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm RUN mv node_modules/npm /usr/local/lib/node_modules/npm
Install npm in the project, remove the global package, then move the local package to your global location. Now you have the Node version specified at the top, but the npm version you want, not the one bundled with Node.