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How to fix an npm install that is hung on addRemoteTarball

05/02/2017 • 2 minute read

I was trying to install a package today and npm just kept spinning and never finished. It is usually slow at work, but not this bad. I ran it with --verbose and got a line like the following:

> npm isntall -g gulp --verbose
npm verb addRemoteTarball   'xxxx' 

And then it wouldn’t continue.

The Problem

I had two paths set in my TMP variable on Windows. You can check your full npm config with npm config ls -l, but here is the line that was giving me trouble:

> npm config get tmp

Note the second path of C:\\ffmpeg\\bin separated by a ;.

Option 1: Specify the TMP dir

You can add the real TMP location to your user config:

> npm config set tmp %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp

To apply it globally, run the command with a -g flag at the end.

You can also set TMP dir on each npm command like so:

> npm install --tmp %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp -g gulp

This is fine temporarily, but annoying to remember to do.

Option 2: Change the TMP environment variable

Change your TMP path to only have 1 location like so:

  1. From the desktop, right click the Computer icon.
  2. Choose Properties from the context menu.
  3. Click the Advanced system settings link.
  4. Click Environment Variables.
  5. In the section User Variables, find the TMP environment variable and select it.
  6. Click Edit.
  7. Delete the second string after the ;
  8. Click OK.
  9. Restart your cmd prompt or program you are using to access npm

Now you can install packages like normal, but just remember to set the path of TMP back if you need it for a program like I do.

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