A little while ago, I installed Node.js version 0.2.1 using these commands on Mac OSX:

sudo make install 

I recently installed Homebrew, so now my preference is to use it to manage my installs. I installed Node.js version 0.4.5 today with the following command:

brew node

But I noticed that I've still got the old version of Node.js lying around in these directories:


What is the proper way to uninstall Node.js that was installed using the sudo make technque?

Thanks in advance

4 Answers 4


There is no "proper" way. The make install just puts the files directly in place and there's no manifest to track what was installed as of that. You just need to find the relevant files and delete them.

One thing you can do is find the files created within a couple of minutes of the binary you know is part of the package, since that will give you a starting point for you to filter down.

  • Thanks Phil. I manually deleted the folders I listed above. But can you please elaborate on your recommendation above? How can I narrow down the starting point for finding other outdated node folders?
    – JohnnyO
    Apr 10, 2011 at 22:46
  • 1
    You start with ls -l on the file which you know was installed at that time. I was hoping to give you a method using mdfind with a query based on kMDItemFSCreationDate and $time.iso(...) parsing, but I couldn't get such a method to return results (only for "newer than T" queries, for recent T). So you're down to old school find(1) usage. It's highly likely that the files installed by the package haven't been modified, so a find with two -mtime parameters, bounding the interval, might help. Some arithmetic required to get the +val1 and -val2 values for those params though.
    – Phil P
    Apr 10, 2011 at 23:28

Go to the folder from where you installed node using make install and type

make uninstall
  • 1
    For properly designed packages, they will have several functions in the make file. If you want to be well-loved by the community, you will always have make uninstall as one of them. Nov 13, 2011 at 20:41

If you happened to have used brew to install it initially (https://github.com/mxcl/homebrew), you can use the command:

brew uninstall node

In my case, this worked for me.


Method 1

From the source folder:

#make uninstall

Method 2

If there is no uninstall procedure:

  1. open install_manifest.txt (created by #make install)

  2. remove all the directories/files listed

  3. remove any remaining files you missed: #xargs rm < install_manifest.txt

  4. remove any hidden directories/files: $rm -rf ~/.packagename

Remove the source folder.

Method 3

If none of the above options work, view the install procedure:

#make -n install

and reverse the install procedure:

  1. Uninstall all software packages installed, by e.g. #yum remove packagename
  2. #rm -rf all directories/files created


For example, this is how to uninstall nodejs, npm, and nvm from source:


which you can apply the above methods to.

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