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Installing Node and StrongLoop on Windows presents some special challenges and requirements. 

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StrongLoop Process Manager does not run on Windows. Therefore, you cannot deploy an application to a Windows system. However, you can build and deploy on a Windows system and deploy from there to a Linux or MacOS system.

Prerequisites

Compiler tools

If you want features such as application profiling or monitoring, you must install compiler tools and Python before you start.  See Installing compiler tools for more information.

Git

The Node package manager tool, npm, uses Git to download packages from Github. 

To install Git:

  1. Go to http://git-scm.com/download,
  2. Download the version for Windows.  Currently this is version 1.9.4.
  3. Run installer:
    • Accept default install location
    • Accept or modify Components
    • Accept start menu folder
    • Modify "Adjusting your PATH environment" to "Use Git from Windows Command Prompt"
    • Accept default "Configuring the line ending conversions"

Configuration

By default, Git on Windows does not support paths longer than 260 characters; to avoid errors you must enable long paths with the following command:

Install Node.js

  1. Go to http://nodejs.org/download/
  2. Download the latest "Windows Installer (.msi)", 32 or 64-bit, as appropriate
  3. Run the installer.

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For best results, use the latest LTS (long-term support) release of Node.js.

Reinstall npm

The version of npm installed as part of the Node installation has known issues on Windows. To avoid these problems, reinstall npm, which actually installs npm2:

Install StrongLoop

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Node does not support Cygwin. You must use the Windows Command Prompt (shell).

Follow these steps:

  1. After installing the prerequisites as instructed above, restart your machine to ensure all configuration changes have taken effect.
  2. Open a Windows Command Prompt. 
  3. Install StrongLoop:

Troubleshooting

Try the following:

  1. Restart Windows, to ensure configuration has taken effect.

  2. Verify dependencies are installed:

    • python --version
      Should be 2.7.x
    • node --version
      Should be v0.10.x or v0.12.x.
    • npm --version
      Should be 1.x or 2.x.

REVIEW COMMENT from Rand
FIXME any way to determine what vs++ is installed? FIXME is there any way to determine what python and msbuild node-gyp has found?
If you continue to have problems installing StrongLoop:

In general, provide as much information as possible.  If npm install failed, attach the npm-debug.log file.

Confirm basic npm actions

Ensure you can install a simple npm package.  Enter this command in a Windows Command Prompt shell:

You should not see any error messages.  Then enter:

You should see a usage message displayed in the Command Prompt window.

Ensure you can install a simple Node compiled addon.  Enter this command in a Windows Command Prompt shell:

This command should compile and install without errors.

Tips and tricks

  1. If you have multiple versions of python installed, you can select which on is used by npm for building compiled addons:

    • npm config set python c:/Python2.7/python
  2. If you have multiple versions of Microsoft Visual Studio installed, you can select which one npm uses to build compiled add-ons like this:

    • set GYP_MSVS_VERSION=2012, or
    • Append npm --msvs_version=2012 or --msvs_version=2013 (as appropriate) to the end of npm install commands, for example: npm install -g strongloop --msvs_version=2012