[node.js] Where should my npm modules be installed on Mac OS X?

I was attempting to upgrade phonegap via npm when I started running into trouble. Long story short, there are two node_modules directories on my computer.


When I run npm upgrade -g phonegap, it appears that npm updates the copy of the package that resides in /usr/local/lib/node_modules. However, if I which phonegap I find that the symlink points to the older installation at /usr/local/share/npm/lib/node_modules.

Also, when I attempt to install a stand alone package such as express, the files are installed in the /usr/local/lib/node_modules directory, but no symlink to the executable is created in anywhere in my $PATH.

Two questions:

  • Which is the proper directory for node modules on Mac OS X?
  • How can I configure npm to link executables in my $PATH when it installs software?

Bonus points: Does the method of installing node affect the configuration? There are a lot of options.

EDIT: I figured out that symlinks were being created in my /usr/local/bin, but my .bash_profile was setup with /usr/local/share/npm/bin ahead of /usr/local/bin in my $PATH. I vaguely remember adding that path to my profile at some point, but I'm not sure why.

So the question now becomes: how did I end up with two different node_modules directories on my computer and why would I want to have my node_modules in the share/npm/lib subdirectory instead of right in /usr/local/lib?

This question is related to node.js macos npm

The answer is

/usr/local/lib/node_modules is the correct directory for globally installed node modules.

/usr/local/share/npm/lib/node_modules makes no sense to me. One issue here is that you're confused because there are two directories called node_modules:


The latter seems to be node modules that came with Node, e.g., lodash, when the former is Node modules that I installed using npm.

Similar questions with node.js tag:

Similar questions with macos tag:

Similar questions with npm tag: