Additional Instructions for macOS and Linux

Additional instructions on setting up the Ionic environment on macOS and Linux are provided in this lesson.

We'll cover the following

Node Version Manager

Now review another way to install Node on macOS and Linux. My preferred approach to anything relating to node and npm is to install a tool called the Node Version Manager, or nvm. It is a little more involved, but far more flexible overall.

What is nvm? It is an elegant set of shell script functions to enable the most flexible use of node imaginable.

The primary purpose of nvm is to enable you to install and switch between multiple versions of node and npm instantly. So, if you happen to have one project that requires Node 8, but another one that requires Node 4, for example, it is easy to keep them both installed, yet still independent from one another.

To me, the more notable features of nvm revolve around root, or administrator access. Many npm package installation instructions you will find on the web instruct you to use the sudo (or super-user do) command to install packages globally. It is possible that you may not have root access to your Mac, making those instructions worthless. There are workarounds, naturally, and they work fine. I used such workarounds for a few years before a colleague showed me nvm. Now I am convinced.

Once you commit to nvm, there is no reason ever to use sudo. In fact, you do not even need root access to install nvm. Everything gets installed under your own user account.

On macOS, install nvm with this command. It uses Homebrew, which you should now have.

brew install nvm 

If you are on Linux, use this command, as these tools should exist on a stock Linux system.

wget -qO- | bash 

One you have installed nvm, you can use it to install any version of node that you want. In this case, you will install the latest stable version. Simply execute the commands shown here.

Command Description
nvm install 'lts/*' Download and install the latest long-term-support, or LTS, version of Node.
node --version Determine which version of node is currently in use.
nvm ls Determine which versions of node you have installed
nvm ls-remote Determine what versions of node are available to you. Warning: It is a pretty long list.
nvm install v10.15 Install any available version of node (the v is optional).
nvm use v12.4 Switch to another version of nvm you have installed (the v is optional)

From this point forward, all of node and every npm package you install globally will be placed in the .nvm directory inside of your home directory. You should never have to use sudo to install an npm package globally. You’re welcome.

Install Ionic

Finally, you need to install Ionic. Fortunately, this step is identical no matter which OS you use. Simply open the terminal of your choice and enter the following command:

npm install -g @ionic/cli

This command will download and install the Ionic Framework tooling globally (that is what the -g flag does). Once installed, this tooling, known as the Ionic CLI, provides a variety of commands to help you in your Ionic development. Some of the important commands are shown here.

Command Description
ionic info Prints project, system, and environment information.
ionic docs Opens the Ionic documentation website.
ionic start Creates a new project
ionic generate Creates new project assets (pages, components, interfaces, services, etc.). Note, this command currently only supports Ionic-Angular projects.

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