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Difference between LTS and Stable version of Node.js

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  • Last Updated : 09 Dec, 2022
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Node.js: Node.js is a popular and powerful platform for building web applications. It is built on the JavaScript language and allows developers to create scalable and high-performance server-side applications.

One aspect of Node.js that can be confusing for developers is the difference between the Long Term Support (LTS) and stable versions of the platform. In this article, we will explain the key differences between these two versions of Node.js and provide guidance on which one to use in different situations.

What is the LTS version of Node.js?

The LTS version of Node.js is a version of the platform that is actively maintained and supported by the Node.js community. This means that LTS versions of Node.js receive regular updates and bug fixes, it also provides support for a minimum of 18 months.

LTS versions of Node.js are intended for use in production environments and are the most stable versions of the platform. These versions are recommended for use in applications that are critical to your business, as they are less likely to contain bugs or other issues that could affect the performance of your application. Some key features of the LTS version of Node.js include:

  • Regular updates and bug fixes to ensure stability and reliability
  • Support for a minimum of 18 months
  • Compatibility with a wide range of libraries and tools
  • Robust security features to protect against vulnerabilities

To get the LTS version of Node.js, you can visit the official website and download the latest LTS version. Alternatively, you can use a package manager like npm to install the LTS version of Node.js.

What is the stable version of Node.js?

The stable version of Node.js is the latest version of the platform and includes the latest features and improvements. While the stable version is also considered to be production-ready, it may contain new or untested features, and as such may be less stable than the LTS version.

The stable version of Node.js is updated frequently, with a new version released every few months. This means that the stable version is always up-to-date with the latest features and improvements, but it may also contain new bugs or other issues that have not yet been discovered or resolved. Some key features of the stable version of Node.js include:

  • The latest features and improvements to the platform
  • Frequent updates to keep up with the latest developments in the Node.js community
  • Compatibility with a wide range of libraries and tools
  • Robust security features to protect against vulnerabilities

To get the stable version of Node.js, you can follow the same process as the LTS version. Simply visit the official website and download the latest stable version, or use a package manager like npm to install it.

How to check if your version is LTS or stable?

To check if your version of Node.js is LTS or stable, you can use the command line tool npm. Simply run the command ” node -pe process.release. lists” and check the value. If it returns a string, such as “Gallium” or “Fermium”, then it is LTS. Otherwise, it is a stable version. Mostly the even versions are LTS and odd versions are stable. For ex 14.x, 16.x, 18.x are LTS versions, and 15.x, 17.x are stable versions

 node -pe process.release.lts

 

Which version of Node.js should I use?

In general, it is recommended to use the LTS version of Node.js in production environments and to use the stable version for testing and development. This will ensure that your application is using a stable and well-supported version of the Node.js platform, while still allowing you to experiment with the latest features and improvements.

If you are working on a new application or experimenting with new features, the stable version of Node.js may be a good choice, as it will allow you to quickly take advantage of the latest improvements to the platform. However, if you are working on a mission-critical application or an application that is used by many people, it is recommended to use the LTS version of Node.js to ensure the stability and reliability of your application.

The table below summarizes the key differences between the LTS and stable versions of Node.js:

LTS Version Stable Version
Actively maintained and supported  Latest version with the latest features
Regular updates and bug fixes May contain new or untested features
Recommended for production environments Good for testing and development
Stable and reliable May be less stable than the LTS version

Conclusion: In summary, the LTS and stable versions of Node.js are two different versions of the platform that are intended for use in different situations. The LTS version is the most stable and well-supported version of Node.js and is recommended for use in production environments. The stable version is the latest version of the platform, and includes the latest features and improvements, but may be less stable than the LTS version.

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