Node.js is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient. Node.js' package ecosystem, npm, is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world.

Node.js was originally written in 2009 by Ryan Dahl. He was inspired by an article about Google’s Chrome browser and its V8 JavaScript engine. He wanted to create a platform that would allow developers to write applications in JavaScript that would run outside the browser.

Dahl chose to use the same language for both the front-end and back-end of applications. This would allow for a more seamless development experience and make it easier for developers to move between different parts of the codebase.

Node.js was designed to be a low-level platform that could be used as a foundation for building other applications and frameworks. It is not meant to be a complete web application stack like LAMP or MEAN.

The Node.js core team has worked hard to keep the platform stable and backward compatible. This has made it possible for the Node community to build a large ecosystem of modules that can be used in any Node application.

There are two main ways to get started with Node.js: using a pre-built package or installing from source.

Pre-built packages are available for all major operating systems and can be found on the Node.js website ( https://nodejs.org ). These packages include everything you need to run a Node application out of the box.

Installing from source is a more advanced option that gives you more control over how Node is installed on your system. Source installs are also useful if you want to contribute to the development of Node itself.