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Specify target node version while building node extension

Rahul Shukla

Specify target node version while building node extension

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Node.JS is marvellous when it comes to extending its functionality using modules. There are thousands of addon modules available for Node easing the development. Apart from that, Node.JS allows us to write C++ (yes! C++) addons to extend its functionality beyond pure JS. In case we need to perform some CPU intensive task and want to leverage the full power of underlying CPU, C++ is the obvious choice. Node.JS had thus made it feasible for a JS code to utilize this using C++ Addons.

While compiling C++ Addon (or extension/native addon) using the node-gyp build system, sometimes we need to specify the exact node version, else the build fails since the extension we are building needs header files specific to a particular version. This issue occurs when we have a node.js version installed on the system which differs from the target node version. Even though the fix is relatively very simple, this causes an unnecessary head-ache while debugging the build issue.

All we need to do to solve this is to specify the node version in the node-gyp configure command as follows:

node-gyp --arch=<WHATEVER> --target=<TargetVersion> configure

e.g:    node-gyp –arch=x86 –target=v0.8.20 configure


That’s all you need to tell the build system that which node.js version you want to build the extension with!

I hope this helps!


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