Install node.js via APT on Debian Squeeze

Abstract: add SID APT source, configure APT Pinning to give squeeze packages priority over SID ones, rebuild the nodejs package under squeeze.

  • Add SID APT source by creating /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sid.list (use your nearest mirror):
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ sid main
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ sid main
  • Configure APT pinning by creating /etc/apt/preferences.d/sid:
Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 50
  • Install the latest version of libv8 manually, libv8-3.8.9.20 at the time of writing this:
apt-get install libv8-3.8.9.20
  • Download the nodejs package sources, dependencies and build them:
cd
apt-get source nodejs
apt-get build-dep nodejs
cd nodejs-*
debuild -nc -uc
  • If you encounter build-dependency errors, you should try first to lower the dependency in debian/control, both in Build-Depends and in Depends and re-run debuild. If the build fails (e.g. with undefined reference to `ev_run') the previous version is missing required functions. So, you must install the updated versions of the required dependencies (e.g. libev4) from sid, using apt-get install name=version e.g. libev4=1:4.11-1. I suggest this because you’ll have to manually update packages installed from sid, so the lesser, the best.
  • Install the generated package
dpkg -i nodejs_*.deb nodejs-dev*.deb
  • Profit :-)
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