Solve - babel: command not found error

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: Mar 22, 2022

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'Solve - babel: command not found error' #

Use npx to solve the error "babel: command not found", e.g. npx --package @babel/cli babel --version or install the package globally by running npm install -g @babel/cli to be able to use the command without the npx prefix.

command not found babel version

The fastest way to solve the error is to use the npx command with the --package flag.

shell
npx --package @babel/cli babel script.js npx --package @babel/cli babel --version

Notice that we used the --package flag to specify the correct @babel/cli package in the commands above.

It's very important to have @babel/cli and @babel/core in your project's development dependencies.

Open your terminal in your project's root directory (where your package.json file is) and run the following command:

shell
# 👇️ with npm npm install --save-dev @babel/core @babel/cli # --------------------------------------------- # 👇️ with yarn yarn add @babel/core @babel/cli --dev
The benefit of installing @babel/cli locally to your project is - it enables you to control and share the versions through your package.json file.

Now you can wrap your babel commands in the scripts object of your package.json file.

package.json
{ "scripts": { "babel-cli": "babel --version" } }

Now you would run the command as npm run babel-cli and not use babel directly.

As an alternative to using the npx prefix, you can install @babel/cli globally.

shell
# 👇️ uninstall old CLI npm uninstall -g babel-cli # 👇️ install new CLI globally npm install -g @babel/cli babel --version

If the babel --version command outputs a version number, then babel is installed successfully.

If the global installation of babel fails, you might have to run the command prefixed with sudo.
shell
# 👇️ if you get permissions error sudo npm uninstall -g babel-cli sudo npm install -g @babel/cli babel --version
If the "babel: command not found" error is not resolved, try restarting your terminal.

If that doesn't help, run the following command:

shell
npm config get prefix

The command will show you the path where npm puts your globally installed packages. The global packages will be in the bin directory at the specified path.

Look at the PATH environment variable on your operating system and add the path that the npm config get prefix command outputs, if it's not already there.

If you add the output from the command to your PATH environment variable, you have to restart any open command prompts before it takes effect.

If that didn't work, try to add the path to the bin folder (from npm config get prefix) to your PATH environment variable and restart your terminal.

For example, on macOS, you can update your path with the following command:

shell
# make sure path matches with npm config get prefix export PATH=/usr/local/share/npm/bin:$PATH

And on Windows, the output of the npm config get prefix command will look something like: C:\Users\Your_User_Name\AppData\Roaming\npm.

Edit the environment variable on your machine and add the specified path (replacing the placeholder with your username).

If you are on linux, you can add the output from the npm config get prefix command to your .bashrc file.

~/.bashrc
# 👇️ make sure to update the path with the output # from the command export PATH="/usr/local/share/npm/bin:$PATH"
If you add the output from the command to your PATH environment variable, you have to restart any open command prompts before it takes effect.

If that doesn't help try to reinstall Node.js on your machine and then install babel globally by running npm install -g @babel/cli.

During the installation you might get a prompt for whether you want to automatically update the PATH environment variable on your system, make sure to tick the option.
shell
# 👇️ installs @babel/cli globally (can run from any directory) npm install -g @babel/cli babel --version
If the global installation of @babel/cli fails, you might have to run the command prefixed with sudo.
shell
# 👇️ if you get permissions error sudo npm install -g @babel/cli babel --version

Alternatively, you can see how you can fix the permissions error on this page in the official npm docs.

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