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How to Install NPM FS in Node JS – A Comprehensive Guide

Last updated:
19th Jun, 2023
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How to Install NPM FS in Node JS – A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction to NPM FS

Node.js includes the fs module, short for ‘File System’, to communicate with file systems. The NPM fs module offers several approaches for opening, closing, and changing files and folders. One of the methods for interacting with files most frequently used in Node.js is the fs.writeFile() function. Asynchronously, this function delivers the supplied data to a file.

Every fs method has both a synchronous and an asynchronous variant, with the name for the synchronous form only ending with ‘Sync’. Hence an asynchronous fs.writeFile() becomes fs.writeFileSync()

Understanding Node.js

JavaScript runtime environment Node.js enables developers to run JavaScript code outside a web browser. Because it establishes an interface with the computer’s file system, the File System module in Node.js is one of the most important and helpful modules.  It also uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O architecture to handle several requests simultaneously without interfering with other tasks.

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What Is NPM FS?

The NPM FS module includes all the functions necessary to read, write, and delete files on the local computer. It has numerous inherent methods for performing reads, writes, renames, deletes, and other actions on files by default. The most effective and helpful methods for handling the file system include fs.writeFile(), fs.readFile(), and fs.write()

To use the fs module in a Node.js application, one simply needs to put it in the code using the following line:

const fs = require('fs');

This will give access to all the functions the fs module provides.

Advantages of Using NPM FS

Here are some advantages of using the NPM fs module:

  • Every Node.js project has access to the built-in fs module without requiring installation.
  • Offers a simple and user-friendly API for file system operations depending on their use case; the fs module allows developers to choose between synchronous and asynchronous versions of their use case.
  • Offers a method for working with both binary and text files.
  • Provides a way to keep track of changes to a file or directory.
  • Data streams can be created, read, and written to and from files.
  • Allows access to file paths and directories with the fs module enabling communication with the computer’s file system.
  • Gives users a way to work with file descriptors.

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Prerequisites for Installing NPM FS

The primary prerequisite for using the fs module is having Node.js pre-installed on the system. In short, to use the fs module in a Node.js application, one needs to have Node.js installed on their system and require the fs module in the code.

Step-by-Step Guide To Install Node.js

Here is a step-by-step guide to installing Node.js:

  1. Download the installer: Visit the official Node.js website and download the Windows Installer.
  2. Install Node.js with NPM: Double-click the .msi binary files to begin installation. Choose the directory and click on the “Install” button. Follow the directions on the screen to complete the installation.
  3. Check Node.js and NPM version: Open the command prompt and run node -v to verify the Node.js version installed. Similarly, use npm -v to verify the version of NPM installed on the machine.

Check if Node.js is installed correctly with this code console.log(“Node.js is installed!”);

Installing NPM FS on Node.js

There is no need to install it individually since the fs module comes with the Node.js installation. Import it into the code using the need function to use the fs module. 

Installing Dependencies for NPM FS

If using a package.json file to manage dependencies, build one using npm init and install any NPM fs extra dependencies required with npm install. Run the command npm init in the project directory.

When one has a package.json file, one can add any extra dependencies using the npm install command followed by the name of the package you want to install. For example, to install the express package, run the following: 

npm install express

This will install the express package and add it to the package.json file as a dependency.

Testing the Installation of NPM FS

To check if the installation of fs is functioning, write a simple Node.js script that uses the fs module to read a file. Here’s an example:

const fs = require('fs');
fs.readFile('example.txt', 'utf8', function(err, data) {
  if (err) throw err;

Errors During Installation

Some common errors that can pop up:

  • npm ERR! code EPERM
  • npm WARN package.json mediawiki@0.0.0 No repository
  • npm ERR! command failed
  • npm install error – No compatible version found: fs@0.0.2
  • Uncaught, unspecified error event ” from fs-write-stream-atomic

To fix these issues, one needs to verify their operating system’s routing tables or firewall settings, ensure that the package.json file contains a repository field, try executing the command again, or install a different version of the fs module.

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Troubleshooting Tips for Installation Errors

If one is experiencing installation errors with NPM FS, there are several troubleshooting tips they can try to resolve the issue.

  • Check for the package.json file
  • Delete the lock file or clear the cache
  • Update dependencies
  • Check for compatibility
  • Use the correct directory
  • Use verbose option
  • Reinstall Node.js
  • Use the flag —unsafe-perm
  • Install the missing package

Uninstalling NPM FS

To uninstall an NPM package, type npm uninstall followed by the package name. The command removes the package’s entry from the package.json file and the node_modules directory.

To uninstall a package locally, navigate to the root directory of the project and run the following command:

npm uninstall <package_name>

To uninstall a global package, use the -g flag:

npm uninstall -g <package_name>

Why Uninstall NPM FS?

An NPM package may need to be uninstalled, especially if it creates problems or is no longer necessary. Here are a few reasons why one might wish to remove an NPM package:

  • The package is no longer needed.
  • The package is causing issues or conflicts with other packages.
  • The package is outdated and needs to be updated.

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Steps for Uninstalling NPM FS

There are various ways to uninstall an NPM package. 

First, the package files can be manually removed from the project’s node_modules directory. It isn’t encouraged because it might leave undesired dependencies behind, causing problems with the project.

The npm uninstall command provides an enhanced and alternate approach to uninstall an NPM package. This command removes the package from the node_modules directory and edits package.json file to remove it from dependencies.

Reinstalling NPM FS

If you want to reinstall NPM, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Uninstall Node.js software from the computer through the Control Panel if using Windows and the /usr/local/bin directory if using Mac. On Linux Ubuntu, one can use the apt-get command to delete Node.js.
  2. Delete all leftover Node.js installation directories.
  3. Reinstall Node.js and NPM using one of the following methods:
  • Download and install the newest version of Node.js from the official website.
  • Use a package manager such as Homebrew (Mac) or apt (Linux) to install Node.js.

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Latest Updates in NPM FS

The latest version of the fs package is 0.0.1-security. The fs-extra package contains methods not included in the vanilla Node.js fs package. The latest version of fs-extra is 11.1.1, published three months ago. Another version is the graceful-fs package, a drop-in replacement for fs with various improvements. The latest version of graceful-fs is 4.2.11, published three months ago.

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Comparing NPM FS With Other File Systems

Different file systems behave differently and have varying features, such as case sensitivity, Unicode form preservation, timestamp resolution, extended attributes, inodes, Unix permissions, alternate data streams, etc. The fs module has been aligned with POSIX file system standards, making it reasonably portable across many operating systems. However, several functions are not transferable owing to changes in file system capabilities between Unix and Linux.


The fs module comes with Node.js. One simply needs the fs module in the Node.js script to access its file system capabilities. Register for upGrad’s Executive Post Graduate Programme in Data Science from IIIT Bangalore to hone your knowledge and practical skills in data science. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1How can I use the fs module to write to a file?

One of the simplest ways to write to a file with the fs NPM module is to use fs.writeFile().

2How do I delete a file using the NPM install fs module?

The fs.unlink() function of the fs module can be used for asynchronous file operation, and unlinkSync() can be applied for synchronous file operation when deleting a file in Node.js.

3How do I use the fs-extra package?

To use the fs-extra package, you need to install it using npm install fs-extra. Once you have installed the package, you can require it in your code using the require() function, const fs = require('fs-extra');