I want to create a mirror of the npm repository to mitigate periods of npm outages and to speed things up a little bit, so here’s how I did it!

Installing CouchDB

 Install the required packages:

 sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake libtool erlang libicu-dev libmozjs-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev 

Download CouchDB 1.5:-

wget http://mirror.cc.columbia.edu/pub/software/apache/couchdb/source/1.5.0/apache-couchdb-1.5.0.tar.gz

Extracting :-

tar xfv apache-couchdb-1.5.0.tar.gz 


  cd apache-couchdb-1.2.0

`` ./configure

``  make

``  make install

To check:-

   $ couchdb
  Apache CouchDB 1.5.0 (LogLevel=info) is starting.
  Apache CouchDB has started. Time to relax.
  [info] [<0.32.0>] Apache CouchDB has started on

   $ curl -X GET http://localhost:5984
   [info] [<0.361.0>] - - GET / 200

Adding CouchDB to the init.d scripts

     $ sudo adduser –disabled-login –disabled-password –no-create-home couchdb

     Adding user couchdb' ...      Adding new groupcouchdb’ (1001) …
     Adding new user couchdb' (1001) with groupcouchdb’ …
     Not creating home directory `/home/couchdb’.
     Changing the user information for couchdb Enter the new value, or press ENTER for the default
     Full Name []: CouchDB Admin
     Room Number []:  
     Work Phone []:
     Home Phone []:
    Other []:
    Is the information correct? [Y/n] Y

User added, now permissions:

    sudo chown -R couchdb:couchdb /usr/local/var/{log,lib,run}/couchdb

    sudo chown -R couchdb:couchdb /usr/local/etc/couchdb/local.ini

    $ sudo vim /usr/local/etc/couchdb/default.ini
    secure_rewrites = false

    sudo ln -s /usr/local/etc/init.d/couchdb /etc/init.d
    sudo update-rc.d couchdb defaults
    sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb start


Replicating npmjs.org
Now to replicate the npm registry.

curl -X POST -d ‘{“source”:“http://isaacs.iriscouch.com/registry/", “target”:“registry”, “create_target”:true}’ -H “Content-Type: application/json”
What this means is that once this is completed your local replication will be an exact copy of the npm registry. However, to ensure we do indeed receive all updates we will add a “continuous”:true parameter to the JSON string in our POST request, this utilises CouchDB’s _changes API and will pull any new changes when this API is notified.

curl -X POST -d ‘{“source”:“http://isaacs.iriscouch.com/registry/", “target”:“registry”, “continuous”:true, “create_target”:true}’ -H “Content-Type: application/json”
We are now replicating continuously from npmjs.org to our private CouchDB instance! If you ever want to stop these replications you can easily do this by running the same command as before but add a “cancel”:true parameter to the JSON POST data.

curl -X POST -d ‘{“source”:“http://isaacs.iriscouch.com/registry/", “target”:“registry”, “continuous”:true, “create_target”:true, “cancel”:true}’ -H “Content-Type: application/json”
And we’re almost done! All we need to do now is to set up our own version of the npmjs.org registry 

Getting npm to work with our replicated CouchDB
Most of the steps can be found on isaacs github in the npmjs.org git repositories README

Of course we need to have nodejs and git installed for this:

git clone git://github.com/isaacs/npmjs.org.git
cd npmjs.org
sudo npm install -g couchapp
npm install couchapp
npm install semver
couchapp push registry/app.js http://localhost:5984/registry
couchapp push www/app.js http://localhost:5984/registry
Boom, we now have a working npm repository, to test this we can run the following command.

npm –registry http://localhost:5984/registry/_design/scratch/_rewrite login
npm –registry http://localhost:5984/registry/_design/scratch/_rewrite search
If you are getting results then everything is fine.

Running on your own subdomain is to modify the [vhosts] section in /usr/local/etc/couchdb/local.ini. Uncomment the example and restart CouchDB.

$ vim /usr/local/etc/couchdb/local.ini
example.com = /registry/_design/scratch/_rewrite
And while we are at it will lock down the application and prevent unauthorised users from deleting our data.

$ vim /usr/local/etc/couchdb/local.ini
admin = password
$ sudo /etc/init.d/couchdb restart
Start using your version of npm with the client!
Straight from the npmjs.org README, just replace with your registries url, for example:

You can point the npm client at the registry by putting this in your ~/.npmrc file:

registry =
You can also set the npm registry config property like:

npm config set
Or you can simple override the registry config on each call:

npm –registry install