Common Errors

This tutorial is dedicated to some of the common errors that you can encounter while working with npm.

Random Errors -one place to start

  • You can resolve some strange issues by running npm cache clean and trying again.
  • If you are experiencing issues with npm install, you will need to use the -verbose option to see more details.

No compatible version found.

If you run npm and you receive a no compatible version found error, it means you have an outdated npm.

Permission errors

Error: ENOENT, stat 'C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\npm' on Windows 7

This error is a consequence of joyent/node#8141, and is specific to the node installer for Windows. The workaround this, is to ensure that C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\npm exists and that it is writable with your normal user account.

No space

npm ERR! Error: ENOSPC, write

This occurred because you tried to install node on a drive that either has no space or a drive that you have no permission to write.

Here are some solutions:

  • Free up some disk space or
  • You can set the tmp folder somewhere with more space: npm config set tmp /path/to/big/drive/tmp or
  • You can build Node yourself and install it in a place that is writable, and that also has lots of space.

No git

npm ERR! not found: git```

You will need to install git. Or, you may have to add your git information to your npm profile. You can either do this from the command line or from the website.

running a Vagrant box on Windows fails because of path length issues

Here is a working solution to running a vagrant box on windows.

config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |v|```
   ``` v.customize ["sharedfolder", "add", :id, "--name", "www", "--hostpath", (("//?/" + File.dirname(__FILE__) + "/www").gsub("/","\\"))]```
config.vm.provision :shell, inline: "mkdir /home/vagrant/www"```
```config.vm.provision :shell, inline: "mount -t vboxsf -o uid=`id -u vagrant`,gid=`getent group vagrant | cut -d: -f3` > www /home/vagrant/www", run: "always"

in the code above the \\?\ appended to the current directory absolute path will force the Window API to allow an increase in the MAX_PATH variable (this is normally capped at 260).

This happens during the shared folder creation which is intentionally handled by VBoxManage and not Vagrant's "synced_folder" method.

For the last part, we are creating a new shared folder and then we will make sure it is mounted every time the machine is accessed or touched.

npm will only use git: and ssh+git: URLs for GitHub repos and breaking proxies

This issue can be solved by running the following two commands:

git config --global url."https://github.com/".insteadOf [email protected]:```
````git config --global url."https://".insteadOf git://

It should be noted that the .gitconfig used is not always the one expected so if you are on a machine that modified the home path to a shared drive, you will have to ensure that your .gitconfig is the same on both your shared drive and in c:\users\[your user]\

SSL Error

npm ERR! Error: 7684:error:140770FC:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:unknown protocol:openssl\ssl\s23_clnt.c:787:

This error occurs because you are trying to talk SSL to an unencrypted endpoint. More often than not, this is because of a proxy configuration error. In this case, you don't want to disable strict-ssl - you may have to set up a CA / CA file for use with your proxy, but it is usually better to take the time to figure that out than disabling SSL protection.



This problem happens if you're running Node 0.6. you should upgrade to node 0.8 or later.

You can try these workarounds as well:npm config set ca "" or npm config set strict-ssl false


npm no more supports self-signed certificates


  • You upgrade your version of npm npm install npm -g --ca=""
  • Or you tell your current version of npm to use known registrars npm config set ca=""

If the above does not fix the problem, it could be that you have an SSL-intercepting proxy. (For example, https://github.com/npm/npm/issues/7439#issuecomment-76024878)

SSL-intercepting proxy

Unsolved. See https://github.com/npm/npm/issues/9282

Not found / Server error

npm http 404 https://registry.npmjs.org/faye-websocket/-/faye-websocket-0.7.0.tgz```
```npm ERR! fetch failed https://registry.npmjs.org/faye-websocket/-/faye-websocket-0.7.0.tgz```
```npm ERR! Error: 404 Not Found```
```npm http 500 https://registry.npmjs.org/phonegap
  • It is most likely a temporary npm registry glitch. Check your npm server status and then try again.
  • If the error persists, then, most likely the published package is corrupt, you should contact the package owner.

Invalid JSON

Error: Invalid JSON

npm ERR! SyntaxError: Unexpected token <

npm ERR! registry error parsing json

This is most likely a temporary npm registry glitch, or a corrupted local server cache. You should run npm cache clean and/or try again later.

This error can be caused by corporate proxies that give HTML responses to package.json requests. Check npm's proxy configuration.

You should check that it's not a problem with a package you're trying to install (e.g. invalid package.json).

Many ENOENT / ENOTEMPTY errors in output

npm is written to efficiently use resources on install, and part of this is that it will try to do as many things concurrently as is practical. Sometimes this will result in race conditions and other synchronization issues. A large number of these issues were addressed as of [email protected]. If you see errors like, ENOENT lstat, ENOENT chmod, ENOTEMPTY unlink, or anything similar in your log output. You should try updating to the latest npm version. You should lookat npm/npm#6043 to see if somebody has already discussed your issue.

cb() never called! when using shrinkwrapped dependencies

You can take a look at issue #5920, to see the progress made on this issue. This issue has been fixed in versions of npm newer than [email protected], so will have to update to the latest version of npm.

npm login errors

if you are experiencing issues while using npm login, you should log in at https://www.npmjs.com/login to confirm that you are using the correct email.

If that is not the problem, or if you see the message "may not mix password_sha and pbkdf2", then,

  • You should log in at https://npmjs.com/
  • Change your password or change it is also possible to change it to the same password.
  • Clear the login-related fields from ~/.npmrc - e.g., using sed -ie '/registry.npmjs.org/d' ~/.npmrc
  • npm login

npm hangs on Windows at addRemoteTarball

You should check if you have two temp directories set in your .npmrc:

> npm config ls -l

Then, look for lines the lines that define the tmp config variable. If you there are more than one, leave one and remove the others.

Try clearing the npm cache

There are times when npm can get confused, whenever this happens, you can reset it using this command:

npm cache clean -force

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