For those who, like me, are behind a corporate web proxy, setting up Node.js and using npm can be a real pain. I thought that the web proxy settings would be like the rest of the unix world and require me to set the HTTP_PROXY and HTTPS_PROXY environment variables. Although I just cloned the Node repository from Github so they are already setup. What gives?

A little searching and I discover that npm uses a configuration file and it can be added to via the command line npm config set .... The key to getting it right is the spelling of the settings. This has bit me so many times now! Getting npm to work behind a proxy requires setting the proxy and https-proxy settings. The key is noticing the - (dash) is not an _ (underscore).

So the full procedure is install Node.js via the installer or source. Open an command prompt or terminal session and run the following commands to configure npm to work with your web proxy. The commands use as the address and 8080 as the port.

npm config set proxy
npm config set https-proxy

Why the developers of npm choose to use a dash instead of an underscore like the rest of the unix work is beyond me. Maybe someone will add in an alias so setting https_proxy will have the same effect as https-proxy.