In principle, we recommend that you always use the LTS version of Node.js for applications running in production mode. The same is true if your application is still under development, but will be ready in a few weeks or months. Speaking from experience we can say that updates within the LTS line are possible without any problems.
However, if you are just starting the development of a new application, we recommend that you use the current version of Node.js. Since Node.js's main version number is increased every six months, you can regularly take new features with you before committing yourself to the current LTS version at a later point in time.
Which features are available in what version of Node.js can be figured out at node.green. So, to cut a long story short: If you are running an application in production mode now or in the near future, use Node.js
Staying up to date
Either way you should apply any updates to the selected line at an early stage, to get security updates and bug fixes from time to time. Usually, updates that affect the minor or the patch version can be done without further ado, although you may have to take minor issues into account when using the non-LTS line.
To be able to easily switch between different versions of Node.js, we recommend using a version manager for Node.js such as nvm (or nvm-windows if you are running Windows). The installation of nvm is done by a single command-line call:
curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.33.6/install.sh | bash
After that you can install the desired Node.js version and select it using the following commands:
nvm install 8.9.0 nvm use 8.9.0
Selecting a default version
It is often desirable to set a specific version as the default, which is automatically selected in newly opened terminal windows, until a different version is selected by hand. To do this, use the
default alias, which you can set using the
nvm alias default 8.9.0
Switching between different versions of Node.js not only changes the version of the platform itself. At the same time, a separate area is created for each installed version that contains the globally installed modules.