A command line tool to easily install prebuilt binaries for multiple version of node/iojs on a specific platform

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A command line tool to easily install prebuilt binaries for multiple version of node/iojs on a specific platform.

npm Node version Build Status Build status david js-standard-style
prebuild-install supports installing prebuilt binaries from GitHub by default.


Change your package.json install script to:
  "scripts": {
    "install": "prebuild-install || node-gyp rebuild"


You need to provide prebuilds made by prebuild.


prebuild-install [options]

  --download    -d  [url]       (download prebuilds, no url means github)
  --target      -t  version     (version to install for)
  --runtime     -r  runtime     (Node runtime [node, napi or electron] to build or install for, default is node)
  --path        -p  path        (make a prebuild-install here)
  --token       -T  gh-token    (github token for private repos)
  --arch            arch        (target CPU architecture, see Node OS module docs, default is current arch)
  --platform        platform    (target platform, see Node OS module docs, default is current platform)
  --tag-prefix <prefix>         (github tag prefix, default is "v")
  --build-from-source           (skip prebuild download)
  --verbose                     (log verbosely)
  --libc                        (use provided libc rather than system default)
  --debug                       (set Debug or Release configuration)
  --version                     (print prebuild-install version and exit)

When prebuild-install is run via an npm script, options --build-from-source, --debug, --download, --target, --runtime, --arch and --platform may be passed through via arguments given to the npm command. Alternatively you can set environment variables npm_config_build_from_source=true, npm_config_platform, npm_config_arch, npm_config_target and npm_config_runtime.

Private Repositories

prebuild-install supports downloading prebuilds from private GitHub repositories using the -T <github-token>:
$ prebuild-install -T <github-token>

If you don't want to use the token on cli you can put it in ~/.prebuild-installrc:

Alternatively you can specify it in the prebuild-install_token environment variable.
Note that using a GitHub token uses the API to resolve the correct release meaning that you are subject to the (GitHub Rate Limit).

Create GitHub Token

To create a token:
  • Go to this page
  • Click the Generate new token button
  • Give the token a name and click the Generate token button, see below

The default scopes should be fine.

Custom binaries

The end user can override binary download location through environment variables in their .npmrc file. The variable needs to meet the mask % your package name %_binary_host or % your package name %_binary_host_mirror. For example:

Note that the package version subpath and file name will still be appended. So if you are installing leveldown@1.2.3 the resulting url will be:


All prebuilt binaries are cached to minimize traffic. So first prebuild-install picks binaries from the cache and if no binary could be found, it will be downloaded. Depending on the environment, the cache folder is determined in the following order:
  • ${npm_config_cache}/_prebuilds
  • ${APP_DATA}/npm-cache/_prebuilds
  • ${HOME}/.npm/_prebuilds