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Error: EACCES: permission denied with npm – How to fix

by | Jun 5, 2021

Stuck with “Error: EACCES: permission denied with npm”? We can help you.

This error is typically seen while trying to install a new npm package globally in a system.

Here at Bobcares, we often handle requests from our customers to fix similar errors as a part of our Server Management Services.

Today we will see how our support engineers fix this for our customers.

How to fix “Error: EACCES: permission denied with npm”

A typical error looks like the one given below:

npm ERR! Error: EACCES, open '/Users/letscodepare/.npm/-/all/.cache.json'
npm ERR! { [Error: EACCES, open '/Users/letscodepare/.npm/-/all/.cache.json']
npm ERR! errno: 3,
npm ERR! code: 'EACCES',
npm ERR! path: '/Users/letscodepare/.npm/-/all/.cache.json' }
npm ERR! Please try running this command again as root/Administrator.

We can either reinstall npm with a node version manager or manually change npm’s default directory.

1. Reinstalling npm with a node version manager

To publish and install packages to and from the public npm registry we must install Node.js and the npm command-line interface.

We can do this either with a Node version manager or a Node installer.

Note: npm Enterprise requires npm 4.4.x or greater. To download the latest version of npm, on the command line, run the following command:

npm install -g npm

The steps to follow are given below:

1. Checking version of npm and Node.js

We can use the following commands for this:

node -v
npm -v

2. Using a Node version manager to install Node.js and npm

Node version managers allow us to install and switch between multiple versions of Node.js and npm.

Some of the OSX or Linux Node version managers are nvm and n. Likewise some of the Windows Node version managers are nodist and nvm-windows

3. Using a Node installer to install Node.js and npm

If we are unable to use a Node version manager, we can use a Node installer to install both Node.js and npm on our system.

OS X or Windows Node installers

We can use one of the installers from the Node.js download page. Also, we must ensure to install the version labeled LTS. Other versions have not yet been tested with npm.

Linux or other operating systems Node installers
If you’re using Linux or another operating system, use one of the following installers:

  • NodeSource installer.
  • One of the installers on the Node.js download page.

2. Manually change npm’s default directory (Linux)

To minimize the chance of permissions errors, we can configure npm to use a different directory.

In this example, we will create and use the hidden directory in the home directory.
Following are the steps to do:

1. Firstly, take a backup of the computer.

2. Then from the command line, in the home directory, we need to create a directory for global installations.

We can use  the following:

mkdir ~/.npm-global

3. For configuring npm to use the new directory path, we can use the following path:

npm config set prefix '~/.npm-global'

4. Then, In a text editor, open or create a ~/.profile file and add the following line:

export PATH=~/.npm-global/bin:$PATH

5. After that we have to update the system variables using the following:

source ~/.profile

6. Now, to test the new configuration, install a package globally without using sudo:

npm install -g jshint

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In short, we saw how our Support Techs fix “Error: EACCES: permission denied with npm” for our customers.


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