Erik's blog

Code, notes, recipes, general musings

getting started with Node.js

with 5 comments

I found what appears to be a nice tutorial for installing Node on Ubuntu 10.4, so I’ll start with that.

To keep things simple, I’m going to skip the dependencies, grab the tgz file, and just try running it. Why not? Thing’s could’ve changed w/ Node and/or Ubuntu since that post was written, and I love it when packages are designed well enough to provide irrational users with informative feedback, so let’s see.

  1. wget
  2. tar -xf node-v0.2.3.tar.gz
  3. cd node
  4. ./configure
  5. make
  6. sudo make install
/home/erik/node-v0.2.3/wscript:132: error: could not configure a cxx compiler!

Nice! I need g++:
sudo apt-get install g++

/home/erik/node-v0.2.3/wscript:188: error: Could not autodetect OpenSSL support. Make sure OpenSSL development packages are installed. Use configure --without-ssl to disable this message.

Looks like I need ssl too:
sudo apt-get install libssl-dev

Configuration now passes, but I see this in the output:

Checking for openssl                     : not found
Checking for function SSL_library_init   : yes
Checking for header openssl/crypto.h     : yes
Checking for library rt                  : yes
--- libeio ---
Checking for library pthread             : yes
Checking for function pthread_create     : yes
Checking for function pthread_atfork     : yes
Checking for futimes(2)                  : yes
Checking for readahead(2)                : yes
Checking for fdatasync(2)                : yes
Checking for pread(2) and pwrite(2)      : yes
Checking for sendfile(2)                 : yes
Checking for sync_file_range(2)          : yes
--- libev ---
Checking for header sys/inotify.h        : yes
Checking for function inotify_init       : yes
Checking for header sys/epoll.h          : yes
Checking for function epoll_ctl          : yes
Checking for header port.h               : not found
Checking for header poll.h               : yes
Checking for function poll               : yes
Checking for header sys/event.h          : not found
Checking for header sys/queue.h          : yes
Checking for function kqueue             : not found

Rather than run into mysterious errors later, I’ll go ahead and install all the dependencies mentioned in the post:
sudo apt-get install g++ curl libssl-dev apache2-utils

But it doesn’t correct the problem. Doh! Oh, well. I’ll deal with any errors later.

Continuing on, I run make (it’s been a while since I watched C compile), and then sudo make install:

'install' finished successfully (0.239s)


Rather than starting with the tutorial’s translation example, I opt for the hello world example on the Node site:

var http = require('http');
http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
  res.end('Hello World\n');
}).listen(8124, "");
console.log('Server running at');

I tried loading this, but no response. However, I grappled with my vm’s firewall recently enough to remember that I hadn’t opened port 8124, so I update the code to use port 80, and re-launch, but still get no response. Undaunted, I tell ufw to take a break:
sudo ufw disable && sudo shutdown -r now

Upon trying again, I noticed that I had the address wrong earlier – pilot error – but before enabling ufw, let’s see if we can get a response.

Curling returns “hello world”, but I’m not able to see this server from my laptop, i.e., curl doesn’t work.

Update (11/22/10): check out Padraig’s comment below about binding to

It’s getting late, so this is a race against mental mutiny. Desparate, I stumble across another node.js + Ubuntu tutorial, and blindly install everything. I launch as per the instructions, bounce over to the browser, and … it works. Awesome. To the author of that post, nice job.

Ok. That’s enough for tonight. I’ll revisit this again later and try to understand what just happened.

In parting: Cats! In 3D! Don’t think. Just stare.

Cats Anaglyph 3D اناگلیف

Photo credit: Shahrokh Dabiri


Written by Erik

October 21, 2010 at 12:27 am

Posted in notes

Tagged with ,

5 Responses

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  1. […] I think I’ll play around with the real reason I wanted to get an OS up and running, to install node.js. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Installing Oracle 10g Express on Ubuntu Server […]

  2. The example binds to This means that it’s only accessible from the machine that node is running on. If you edit the example code to bind to then it will bind on all interfaces and be accessible from your laptop.

    Padraig Farrell

    November 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    • Thanks for the tip, Padraig. I’ll add a note to the post pointing to your comment.


      November 22, 2010 at 11:26 am

  3. I’m just getting started with node.js and this blog post really helped me. Thank you!


    December 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    • Hi Jeff. I’m glad it was helpful. Thanks for letting me know 🙂


      December 10, 2010 at 10:44 pm

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