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Locating and Viewing Node.js Modules in Ubuntu 18.04

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In this article, we will delve into the process of locating and viewing Node.js modules in Ubuntu 18.04. We’ll cover both globally and locally installed libraries and provide a clear guide on how to access the code of specific modules.

Quick Answer

To locate globally installed Node.js modules in Ubuntu 18.04, use the command npm root -g to find the path to the global node_modules folder, typically located at /usr/lib/node_modules. To locate locally installed modules, navigate to your project’s directory in the terminal and use the command npm root to find the path to the local node_modules folder within your project. To view the code of specific modules, navigate to the module’s folder within the node_modules directory.

Understanding Node.js Modules

Node.js modules are a set of functions encapsulated into a single or multiple JavaScript files which can be used throughout your application. They are essentially JavaScript libraries you can include in your project.

Locating Node.js Modules

Node.js modules can be installed globally, making them available for all projects, or locally, limiting their use to the project they were installed in. The location of these modules differs based on their installation type.

Global Libraries

Globally installed libraries are accessible to all projects on your system. To find the location of these libraries, you can use the Node Package Manager (npm) command npm root -g.

The -g flag stands for “global”. This command will return the path to the global node_modules folder, which is typically /usr/lib/node_modules.

Local Libraries

Local libraries are installed within the directory of a specific project. To find these libraries, navigate to your project’s directory in the terminal and run the command npm root.

This command will return the path to the local node_modules folder within your project’s directory.

Viewing Node.js Modules

Once you’ve located the node_modules folder, you can view the code of specific modules. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the Module Folder: Look for a folder with the name of the module you want to inspect (e.g., express, lodash). This folder will be located within the node_modules directory.
  2. Access the Module’s Code: Open the folder to view the module’s code. The main file is usually named index.js or is specified in the main field of the package.json file.

A Note on Built-in Node.js Modules

Built-in Node.js modules like http, fs, or path are part of the Node.js runtime and are not installed via npm. Therefore, their code is not directly accessible in the node_modules folder.

To view their code, you can refer to the Node.js documentation or explore the Node.js GitHub repository.

Conclusion

Understanding how to locate and view Node.js modules in Ubuntu 18.04 is crucial for any developer working with Node.js on this platform. By using the npm root -g and npm root commands, you can easily find the paths to your global and local node_modules folders. Remember, while you can directly access the code of most modules in these folders, built-in Node.js modules require you to refer to the Node.js documentation or GitHub repository.

What is the purpose of Node.js modules?

Node.js modules are JavaScript libraries that contain a set of functions encapsulated in one or multiple files. They are used to provide reusable code that can be included in your Node.js applications.

How can I locate globally installed Node.js modules in Ubuntu 18.04?

To locate globally installed Node.js modules in Ubuntu 18.04, you can use the npm root -g command in the terminal. This will return the path to the global node_modules folder, usually located at /usr/lib/node_modules.

Where can I find locally installed Node.js modules in Ubuntu 18.04?

Locally installed Node.js modules in Ubuntu 18.04 can be found within the node_modules folder of your project’s directory. You can navigate to your project’s directory in the terminal and run the command npm root to get the path to the local node_modules folder.

How can I view the code of a specific Node.js module?

To view the code of a specific Node.js module, first locate the module’s folder within the node_modules directory. Then, open the folder to access the module’s code. The main file is usually named index.js or is specified in the main field of the module’s package.json file.

Are built-in Node.js modules accessible in the `node_modules` folder?

No, built-in Node.js modules like http, fs, or path are part of the Node.js runtime and are not installed via npm. Therefore, their code is not directly accessible in the node_modules folder. To view their code, you can refer to the Node.js documentation or explore the Node.js GitHub repository.

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