Node.js Image v1.4.0 Released

October 12, 2012 - by Christopher Horrell

We have just released a new Node.js Image (v1.4.0), and it is currently available for provisioning in all data centers from the customer portal. There are some important updates and changes from the previous version (v1.3.3), which is still currently available if needed.

One great feature of the new image is you are now able to update Node.js via the pkgsrc repos. This provides an easy way to keep your Node.js version relatively current on your SmartMachine. We’ll be making sure our pkgsrc repos tracks fairly closely with the Node.js releases so that customers who want a newer version of Node.js can do so via pkgsrc. To install a newer version of Node.js via pkgsrc, you need to make sure to update the pkgsrc database:

pkgin update

Once updated, do a search to see what versions of Node.js are available

pkgin search nodejs

From there, you can then install the latest version you want (like 0.8.11)

pkgin install nodejs-0.8.11

With this new release we decided to start over. The older dataset had not been updated in too long and was far behind when it came to the version of Node.js it offered (node v0.6.8, yikes!) and because, honestly, Joyent has moved more towards an infrastructure company than a PaaS. So we scrapped some legacy code and started over. The downside of this is that the new dataset no longer includes the git-deploy hooks or the “node” user (home/node). We know this can be disruptive, but there are a couple of options available. The older version is still available via the portal -- just select 1.3.3 as the image version when you provision a new machine. However, you will need to manage updates to Node.js on your own.

If you were a big fan of the git deploy functionality from the 1.3.3 image you may want to use a PaaS. Nodejitsu has an awesome command line tool (jitsu) to deploy fast and it’s super easy. Let Nodejitsu manage the infrastructure so you can focus on your code. (Nodejitsu runs their PaaS on Joyent’s IaaS by the way.)

More key changes include (you can also view the recent changes in the Release Notes):

  • Rather than being installed in /opt/nodejs, Node.js is now available via pkgsrc in /opt/local/bin
  • The current version of Node.js installed with the image is 0.8.11. Our plan is to keep Node.js up to date in the package repository, and users will be able to update/install Node.js via pkgsrc.
  • The git deploy and supporting services have been removed, including the node user (/home/node) and other services that were found in /opt/nodejs Other changes include:
  • This image is built using the SmartOS Base-1.8.1 image and based off of pkgsrc 2012Q2
  • MongoDB 2.2.0 is installed and running by default
  • Quickbackup 2.6 (for MongoDB) is installed
  • Other useful tools installed including htop, sdctools , dtracetools, smtools, git, gcc, and smartdc (for accessing the Joyent API)

If you have any questions, please contact Sales or Support at