Compute Services

Node.js version long-term support and the SDK for Node.js buildpack

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By the end of the year we will pass several significant dates on the Node.js long-term support (LTS) schedule:

  • v6 was promoted to LTS status on October 18, 2016
  • v0.10 will reach end of life on October 31, 2016
  • v0.12 will reach end of life on December 31, 2016.

What does this mean for Bluemix?

The default version for the SDK for Node.js, which is used when you do not specify a version in your app’s package.json file, will change from v4 to v6. Node.js v6 delivers many improvements over older releases over older releases, including better performance.

Additionally the buildpack will no longer bundle v0.10 and 0.12 of the SDK for Node.js binaries. While we recommend that you no longer use v0.10 or v0.12 after they reach end of life, if you request v0.10 or v.012 in your app’s package.json file, it will instead download the community version from nodejs.org/dist/ during staging. In addition to issues related to using a version at end of life (no security updates, etc.), the additional download will slow down staging and adds a dependency on an external site affecting reliability.

What you should do

If your app is still using v0.10 or v0.12, start thinking about migrating it to v4 or (preferably) v6. Specifying a Node.js major version in your app’s package.json file is also a great way to eliminate any surprises as the buildpack evolves. For example:

{
...
"engines": {
"node": "4.x"
}
}

Specifying the major version of 4 keeps your app on the v4 release where there will be minimal breaking changes, but allows it to pick up new minor versions every time the app is restaged.

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