How to Install Next.js on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Next.js, an open-source JavaScript framework developed by Vercel, has become a cornerstone in modern web development. It’s particularly well-suited for creating high-performance static websites and server-rendered applications, all while leveraging the React.js library. This guide focuses on how to install Next.js on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, providing a stable foundation for your web development projects.

Key Features of Next.js

  • Hybrid Rendering: Next.js supports both Server-Side Rendering (SSR) and Static Site Generation (SSG), offering unparalleled flexibility in choosing the right rendering method for your project.
  • Zero Configuration: The framework is designed for ease of use, requiring minimal setup. This feature is a time-saver for developers.
  • Automatic Code Splitting: This performance-oriented feature breaks down the application code into manageable chunks, reducing load time.
  • API Routes: Next.js simplifies API creation by allowing developers to build APIs within the same project as the front end.
  • Image Optimization: The framework automatically adjusts images based on the user’s device and connection speed, improving application performance.
  • Fast Refresh: This feature enables immediate updates in the code, enhancing the development workflow.
  • TypeScript Support: Next.js is TypeScript-compatible, adding an extra layer of reliability to your development process.

Given its robust features and ease of use, Next.js has garnered a strong following in the developer community. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a beginner, this guide aims to simplify the process of installing Next.js on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04. Stay tuned for a step-by-step installation guide that aims to make the setup process as straightforward as possible.

Install Node.js Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 For Next.js

Node.js is the foundation for Next.js, enabling server-side execution of JavaScript code. In this section, we will walk through configuring Node.js on your Ubuntu system, offering a detailed breakdown of each step to ensure a clear understanding of the underlying actions.

Step 1: Updating Your Ubuntu System

Before installing new software on an Ubuntu system, ensuring your system is up-to-date is crucial. By refreshing your system’s packages, you ensure you’re working with the latest versions of all installed software, thus minimizing the risk of software conflicts.

To accomplish this, execute the command below:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command is split into two parts: sudo apt update fetches the list of available updates, while sudo apt upgrade applies these updates to all the updatable packages on your system.

Step 2: Installing Initial Packages

The setup process for Node.js necessitates the installation of a few additional packages to ensure a seamless installation journey. These include curl for URL-based data transfer, git for version control, and wget for network downlinking.

You can install these packages using the following command:

sudo apt install curl git wget -y

Appending -y at the end of the command will automatically respond ‘yes’ to any prompts, which allows the installation to carry on without any manual interventions.

Step 3: Adding the NodeSource APT Repository for Node.js on Ubuntu

The NodeSource repository is our preferred choice for installing Node.js due to its regular updates to Node.js versions.

To start, we must import the NodeSource repository using a script provided by NodeSource. The command below fetches this script and runs it:

curl -fsSL | sudo bash -

In this command, curl -fsSL retrieves the script from the given URL. | sudo bash - pipes this script to bash, which then runs the script with superuser privileges.

Next, we should update the system’s package lists to incorporate the newly added packages from the NodeSource repository:

sudo apt update

Step 4: Install Node.js for Next.js on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Having taken care of the preliminary setup, we can now install Node.js. The command below will initiate the installation from the NodeSource repository:

sudo apt install nodejs

Step 5: Verifying the Node.js Installation on Ubuntu

Following the installation, it’s good practice to validate the Node.js installation to confirm its functioning as expected.

To validate your Node.js installation, use the command below:

node --version

This command will return the installed version of Node.js, thereby confirming the successful installation of Node.js on your system.

Install Next.js on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

With Node.js correctly installed and updated on your Ubuntu system, our next move is to install Next.js. Next.js is a highly performant, feature-rich framework for building web and mobile applications. It offers a minimalist yet versatile approach that complements the robust Node.js platform.

Step 1: Updating NPM to the Latest Version on Ubuntu Before Next.js Setup

Before proceeding with the Next.js installation, ensuring that npm (Node Package Manager) is up-to-date is essential. npm, the default package manager for Node.js, is crucial in managing Node.js packages. Keeping npm updated guarantees that you have access to the newest features, performance improvements, and security patches.

To upgrade npm to its latest version, execute the command below:

sudo npm install npm@latest -g

This command performs two primary actions: npm install npm@latest fetches the latest version of npm, and the -g flag instructs the system to install it globally, ensuring its availability system-wide.

Step 2: Creating a New Next.js Project on Ubuntu

Commencing a new Next.js project involves creating a new directory and initiating the project within this directory. This isolation aids in maintaining a clean and organized project structure.

First, navigate to the location where you want to create the project directory and use the mkdir command to create a new directory. Replace my-nextjs-app with the name of your choice:

mkdir my-nextjs-app

Once the directory is created, navigate inside it:

cd my-nextjs-app

In this newly created directory, initialize a new Next.js project using the create-next-app setup script. This command generates a new Next.js application with a default setup.

npx create-next-app .

Here, npx is a package runner tool that comes with npm. In this case, it executes packages that scaffold a new Next.js application. The . specifies that the new application should be created in the current directory.

Step 2: Validating the Next.js Installation on Ubuntu

It’s good practice to ensure the Next.js application was created successfully. Navigate to your project’s directory if you’re not already in it:

cd my-nextjs-app

Next, start the Next.js development server:

npm run dev

This command will start the development server, making your Next.js application available locally for development. By default, your application will be available http://localhost:3000 in your web browser.

Screenshot showing Next.js running in development mode on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 Linux.
This screenshot demonstrates how to run Next.js in development mode on a Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 Linux system.

Seeing your Next.js application running successfully validates that Next.js was installed and set up correctly. This marks the end of the installation process, and you are now ready to start developing with Next.js.

Getting started with a test Next.js application on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 Linux.
Screenshot illustrating the initial setup of a Next.js test application on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 Linux.

In Closing

Next.js is a potent and intuitive framework for building scalable and robust web applications, employing the power of JavaScript, React, and Node.js. In this comprehensive guide, we laid the groundwork by installing Node.js, ensuring a stable environment for our Next.js application. We then proceeded to set up a new Next.js application using the convenience of the create-next-app package. This guide takes you through the essentials to get a Next.js application up and running on Ubuntu, version 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish), or the long-term support 20.04 (Focal Fossa).

Mastering Next.js will inevitably require ongoing effort and practice. The key is to remain curious and hands-on, continuously exploring the capabilities of Next.js and how it can transform how you develop web applications.

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