How to Fix NPM Command Not Found on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS

How To Fix Npm Command Not Found

A path in operating system is a link to various programs installed in it. There are different path location, mainly general path and customized path. For general path, any operating system automatically install a program into centralized directory for example /usr/bin. If we are installing from source, there are options to put our program outside central directory. When this happen, we would find message like any-program command not found.

The ‘not found’ message always identic on any operating system. To fix this, we need to set environtment variable.

Setting Path in Windows OS

To set a path in Windows, open comand prompt and type the following command:

set PATH=%PATH%;D:\directory\program\program-name\

Setting Path in Linux and Mac OS

To set path in Linux OS, open terminal and type the following command:

export PATH=$PATH:/diretory/program/executable-file

NPM Installation

Npm Developer
Npm Developer

In any operating system, when a program has not been installed yet, it will return 'command not found' when we run it. Here is the example:

Command 'npm' not found

To install NPM, first we need to install NodeJS. Here, we shall install Node by using NVM. The steps are:

  • Install NVM
  • Install NodeJS & NPM

Install NVM

To install NVM in our system, first, open your terminal, move to /home/user directory by cd command without argument, and download the package by using wget:

wget -qO- | bash

Second, exporting path. Here, we want to define first, the variable for exporting, with the following command:

export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"

After defining variable NVM_DIR, then we can export the variable:

export NVM_DIR="$([ -z "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME-}" ] && printf %s "${HOME}/.nvm" || printf %s "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/nvm")"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/" # This loads nvm

Then, we check the NVM version by the following command:

nvm --version

Now, we want to install the latest stable version of Node. Simply run the following command:

nvm install node

The return of the command will be like this:

Downloading and installing node v19.1.0...

Now, we wil define to our system, that we are going to use the latest NODE, and the latest NPM. Simply run the following command:

nvm use node

The return will be like this:

Now using node v19.1.0 (npm v8.19.3)

Here is the final execution! We begin to use NPM to install. For example, we are going to install http-server globally. Here is the command:

npm install --global http-server

Now, we want to test the server. Create a directory for example www by using this command:

mkdir www

Create a file inside the www directory:

nano www/index.html

Fill the file with the following code:

<html><body><h1>NPM Works</h1></body></html>

Run http-server command:

http-server www

Now, open in your browser

If you find that it is working, then, congratulation!


To install NPM, the best way to do it is by using NVM. Here are the steps:

  • Install NVM
  • Install NODE and NPM
  • Use the NODE and this will automatically use the NPM
  • When installing package using NPM, we will be noticed if there is availability of the lastest available NPM

There will be no more ‘npm command not found’.

I used to be a pilot, but ended up being just a mediocre writer.