I really just wanted a server to play around with crontab and have it run node.js scripts. c9.io was not cutting it anymore so I signed up for the free tier on AWS. Their basic linux box is called "Ec2" in the dashboard (here's a guide for creating a new Ec2 linux instance on Amazon AWS). Once you create the server, you'll need to download the keyfile (and usually change the keyfile's permissions). Once you've ssh'ed into the box, you're ready to get node and npm!
When I'm setting up a box with node I also like to reference this excellent guide for installing npm and node.js on a linux instance. The last command for npm "sudo make install" was not working for me, but thankfully someone in the comments pointed out that you need to do this instead: sudo env PATH=$HOME/local/node/bin:$PATH make install.
If you need more details reference that awesome post above. If you're trying to just fly through it below is the important stuff- just the linux commands you'll want to run (tested on AWS Free tier Linux Red Hat):
Update the Linux OS
Install git and Node.js
Build Latest Version of Node.js from Github Project
Note: use git tag -l to list all versions. You usually want to choose the latest version.
Add /usr/local/bin to the secure_path
Scroll down and find "Defaults secure_path". Add this to the end of the value: :/usr/local/bin
The posts on this site are written and maintained by Jim Lynch. About Jim...