How to update Node.js in Fedora

Determine the Node.js version

Monitor the Node.js Blog to be notified of available updates.

For simplicity and copy-and-paste of instructions below, set some variables here:


Clone the Fedora package repository

These steps assume that you are a comaintainer of Node.js or a provenpackager in Fedora.

fedpkg clone nodejs nodejs-fedora

Next, switch to the major version branch you are going to update. We'll use Node.js 12.9.0 in this document. Adjust the versions appropriately for the version you are working on.

pushd nodejs-fedora
fedpkg switch-branch $NODEJS_MAJOR

Clone the Fedora Module repository

fedpkg clone modules/nodejs nodejs-fedora-module

Clone the upstream Node.js repository

git clone -o upstream git:// nodejs-upstream

Rebase the Fedora patches atop the latest release

pushd nodejs-upstream
git checkout -b fedora-v$NODEJS_VERSION v$NODEJS_VERSION
git am -3 ../nodejs-fedora/*.patch

If the patches do not apply cleanly, resolve the merges appropriately. Once they have all been applied, output them again:

git format-patch -M --patience --full-index -o ../nodejs-fedora v$NODEJS_VERSION..HEAD

Update the Node.js tarball and specfile

pushd nodejs-fedora

Note that this command will also output all of the versions for the software bundled with Node.js. You will need to edit nodejs.spec and update the %global values near the top of that file to include the appropriate values matching the dependencies. Make sure to also update the Node.js versions too!

Note that if libuv is updated, you need to ensure that the libuv in each buildroot is of a sufficient version. If not, you may need to update that package first and submit a buildroot override.

Update the RPM spec %changelog appropriately.

(Preferred) Perform a scratch-build on at least one architecture

fedpkg scratch-build [--arch x86_64] --srpm

Verify that it built successfully.

Push the changes up to Fedora

fedpkg commit -cs
fedpkg push

(Optional) Build for Fedora releases

If this major version is the default for one or more Fedora releases, build it for them. (Note: this step will go away in the future, once module default streams are available in the non-modular buildroot.)

In the case of Node.js 12.x, this is the default version for Fedora 31 and 32.

pushd nodejs-fedora
fedpkg switch-branch [master|31]
git merge $NODEJS_MAJOR
fedpkg push
fedpkg build

Build module stream

pushd nodejs-fedora-module
fedpkg switch-branch $NODEJS_MAJOR

If the module has changed any package dependencies (such as added a dep on a new shared library), you may need to modify nodejs.yaml here. If not, you can simply run:

git commit --allow-empty -sm "Update to $NODEJS_VERSION"
fedpkg push
fedpkg module-build

Submit built packages to Bodhi

Follow the usual processes for stable/branched releases to submit builds for testing.

How to bundle nodejs libraries in Fedora

The upstream Node.js stance on global library packages is that they are ".. best avoided if not needed." In Fedora, we take the same stance with our nodejs packages. You can provide a package that uses nodejs, but you should bundle all the nodejs libraries that are needed.

We are providing a sample spec file and bundling script here.
For more detailed packaging information go to the Fedora Node.js Packaging Guildelines

Bundling Script

nodejs-packaging-bundler <npm_name> [version] [tarball]

nodejs-packaging-bundler is it's own package, nodejs-packaging-bundler and must be installed before use.
nodejs-packaging-bundler gets the latest npm version available, if no version is given, or uses the existing tarball if one is given. Using npm is preferred for to ease reproducibility. If a local tarball is required (e.g. because the package is missing from npm or its version is too old), please ensure to document how the tarball was created. It produces four files and puts them in ${HOME}/rpmbuild/SOURCES

  • <npm_name>-<version>.tgz - This is the tarball from
  • <npm_name>-<version>-nm-prod.tgz - This is the tarball that contains all the bundled nodejs modules <npm_name> needs to run
  • <npm_name>-<version>-nm-dev.tgz - This is the tarball that contains all the bundled nodejs modules <npm_name> needs to test
  • <npm_name>-<version>-bundled-licenses.txt - This lists the bundled licenses in <npm_name>-<version>-nm-prod.tgz

Sample Spec File

%global npm_name my_nodejs_application
License:  <license1> and <license2> and <license3>
Source1:  %{npm_name}-%{version}-nm-prod.tgz
Source2:  %{npm_name}-%{version}-nm-dev.tgz
Source3:  %{npm_name}-%{version}-bundled-licenses.txt
BuildRequires: nodejs-devel
%setup -q -n package
cp %{SOURCE3} .
# Setup bundled node modules
tar xfz %{SOURCE1}
mkdir -p node_modules
pushd node_modules
ln -s ../node_modules_prod/* .
ln -s ../node_modules_prod/.bin .
mkdir -p %{buildroot}%{nodejs_sitelib}/%{npm_name}
cp -pr index.js lib package.json %{buildroot}%{nodejs_sitelib}/%{npm_name}
# Copy over bundled nodejs modules
cp -pr node_modules node_modules_prod %{buildroot}%{nodejs_sitelib}/%{npm_name}
%nodejs_symlink_deps --check
# Setup bundled dev node_modules for testing
tar xfz %{SOURCE2}
pushd node_modules
ln -s ../node_modules_dev/* .
pushd node_modules/.bin
ln -s ../../node_modules_dev/.bin/* .
# Example test run using the binary in ./node_modules/.bin/
./node_modules/.bin/vows --spec --isolate
%license %{npm_name}-%{version}-bundled-licenses.txt