devs: please install NodeJS; it will be required by default on Thurs, Aug 17th

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devs: please install NodeJS; it will be required by default on Thurs, Aug 17th

Dan Mosedale

This Thursday, August 17th, we’ll be turning on —enable-nodejs in the mozilla-central build system by default.  This means that, for developers who haven't yet run `mach bootstrap --no-system-changes`, the build may stop working until that happens.

For those on Mac, Windows, and many recent versions of Linux, executing “mach bootstrap --no-system-changes” command should install the right Node version in your ~/.mozbuild directory and Just Work and should generally take 5 minutes or less.

For more details, including what developers on other platforms need to do, see the [announcement posting](

1. Make sure you’ve updated your copy of mozilla-central since Monday, August 13th, 3:01 pm Pacific (Tues, Aug 14 00:00:01 CET).

2. From the command line, in your mozilla-central tree:


./mach bootstrap --no-system-changes && ./mach configure && ( ./mach configure |  grep -i "checking for node")

3. The last couple of output lines should look something like this:


0:01.65 checking for nodejs... /Users/dmose/.mozbuild/node/bin/node

0:01.66 checking for node.js version… 8.11.3


0:12.93 checking for nodejs... 'c:/Users/DANMOS~1/MOZBUI~1/node/node.exe'

0:12.99 checking for node.js version… 8.11.3

If something fails, or if the version is something other than 8.11.3, or if the path doesn’t contain either "MOZBUI" or ".mozbuild", please [file a bug](

For extra bonus points, we’d love it if you would update the [compatibility spreadsheet](, so that we can have a good sense of whether we’re ready to throw the switch on Thursday.

Once --enable-nodejs is on by default, if you do have any problems, it will be very easy to delay dealing with this until early in the Firefox 64 cycle by simply adding `ac_add_options --disable-nodejs` to your .mozconfig file.

If you have any questions/problems/concerns/issues, here are some first-line options:

  • For technical/process questions, feel free to respond to the mailing list where you saw this question, email me directly, or ask in #go-node in slack.

  • For bigger issues (eg “I don’t think this should land yet”, “there’s a big problem that’s likely to affect one or more groups of people”), feel free to reach out to one of: Dan Mosedale (me) <>, Greg Szorc (build module owner -, or Kim Moir (engineering manager, build and vcs -



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