Installing NVM on macOS with Homebrew: A Step-by-Step Guide

Node Version Manager (NVM) is a powerful tool that allows you to manage multiple versions of Node.js on your system. It simplifies the process of installing, updating, and switching between different Node.js versions, making it easier to work with various projects that require different Node.js versions. In this article, we will guide you through the process of installing NVM on macOS using the Homebrew package manager.


To follow this tutorial, you should have:

  • A macOS computer
  • Homebrew installed on your system (if you don’t have it installed, you can follow the instructions at
  1. Installing NVM

To install NVM using Homebrew, open your terminal and run the following command:

brew install nvm

Homebrew will download and install NVM, as well as any required dependencies.

  1. Configuring NVM

After installing NVM, you need to create a new directory for it and update your shell configuration to load NVM whenever a new terminal session is started.

First, create a new directory for NVM:

mkdir ~/.nvm

Next, open your shell configuration file. If you’re using the default bash shell, this will be ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bashrc. If you’re using zsh, it will be ~/.zshrc.

For example, to open the .zshrc file using the nano text editor, run:

nano ~/.zshrc

Add the following lines to the end of the file:

export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
[ -s "/opt/homebrew/opt/nvm/" ] && . "/opt/homebrew/opt/nvm/"  # This loads nvm
[ -s "/opt/homebrew/opt/nvm/etc/bash_completion.d/nvm" ] && . "/opt/homebrew/opt/nvm/etc/bash_completion.d/nvm" # This loads nvm bash_completion

These lines set the NVM directory and load NVM and its bash completion when a new terminal session is started.

Save the changes and exit the text editor. For nano, press CTRL + X, then Y, and then Enter.

To apply the changes, restart your terminal or run the following command:

source ~/.zshrc

(Replace .zshrc with the appropriate shell configuration file if you’re using a different shell.)

  1. Verifying the Installation

To verify that NVM has been installed correctly, run the following command:

nvm --version

This command should display the installed NVM version, indicating that the installation was successful.

  1. Installing Node.js with NVM

With NVM installed, you can now easily install and manage multiple Node.js versions. To install the latest LTS (Long Term Support) version of Node.js, run:

nvm install --lts

To install a specific version of Node.js, use:

nvm install <version>

Replace <version> with the desired Node.js version (e.g., 16.13.0).

To switch between installed Node.js versions, use the nvm use command:

nvm use <version>
  1. Updating NVM

When a new version of NVM becomes available, you can update it using Homebrew:

brew upgrade nvm

This command will update NVM to the latest version, along with any dependencies that need updating.


In this article, we’ve demonstrated how to install NVM on macOS using Homebrew. By using NVM, you can manage multiple Node.js versions on your system, making it easier to work with different projects that require specific Node.js versions. This will help you maintain a more organized and efficient development environment.


Table of Contents

Related posts