My question is similar to this question. I've installed node via nvm. (executable-find "node") returns .nvm/versions/node/v15.11.0/bin/node.

Entering node on eshell drops me into a node shell. But when I enter npm in an eshell, I'm fed

/usr/bin/env: ‘node’: No such file or directory

Similarly, the command nvm returns nvm: command not found.

On a zsh terminal, the above commands work as expected. I suspect this has to do with the following line in my .zshrc:

export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/nvm.sh" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/nvm.sh"  # This loads nvm

I can use (setenv "NVM_DIR" "~/.nvm") to set the env var, I'm at a loss per the second line.

including the line (setq exec-path (append exec-path '("~/.nvm/versions/node/v15.11.0/bin"))) does not solve my problem.

3 Answers 3


The problem is that nvm is actually a set of bash functions and doesn't work outside of bash. The following blog post has a detailed account of the issue and a work around using nvm-exec solution: https://jloubert.com/blog/eshell-nvm/

The author purposes adding an .nvmrc file to your projects that has the required nvm version number in it.

They then purpose adding an eshell alias that calls npm-exec and you prefix any node commands with that alias. The eshell alias code looks like where "foo" is the alias keyword

(defvar my/nvm-folder "/my/path/to/.nvm")
 (lambda ()
    (concat my/nvm-folder
            "/nvm-exec foo-server run"))))

Since you didn't necessarily clarify what you're using node/npm for, this is if you're a Python, etc. dev who might need npm/node in emacs for LSPs (as was my use case when I found this answer, and nvm was easiest AUR installation). If that is the case, you could theoretically just do something as simple as creating a script such as:


sudo rm -f /usr/bin/node
sudo rm -f /usr/bin/npm
sudo ln -s $(which node) /usr/bin/
sudo ln -s $(which npm) /usr/bin/

symlinking your default node/npm, allowing emacs to pick it up and rerunning the script on the off chance you switch defaults.


Have you tried using exec-path-from-shell package? It loads the environment variables that are used in your shell.

If you are using use-package then this should suffice:

(use-package exec-path-from-shell
   :config (exec-path-from-shell-initialize))
  • exec-path-from-shell only copies over environmental path values and does not handle the shell script execution of the 2nd line that op pointed out.
    – kevzettler
    Apr 19, 2022 at 12:52

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