npm start error – TypeError: Path must be a string. Received undefined

This is a common generic error received whilst attempting to run older typescript based projects still using the now deprecated TSD package manager, on a system using TSD’s replacement Typings.

tl;dr  I just want to get this thing running quickly:
Installing (the deprecated) TSD package manager is often fastest way to get around these backward compatability issues:

$ npm install tsd -g

[disclaimer]using deprecated software is bad, see below for real fixes![/disclaimer]


Ok, now let’s look at actually fixing the problem.Unfortunately, the error’s output can be rather ambiguous, generic and difficult to get much helpful info from:

$ npm start

> node start.js
ts-loader: Using typescript@1.8
webpack built [...hash] in 1ms

ERROR in ./src/index.tsx
Module build failed: TypeError: Path must be a string. Received undefined
at assertPath (path.js:7:11)
at Object.dirname (path.js:1324:5)
at ensureTypeScriptInstance (/[...project src dir]/index.js:156:103)
at Object.loader (/[...project src dir]/node_modules/ts-loader/index.js:375:14)
@ multi main


Suspecting the error may be due to the project having been created using TSD rather than Typings, with the project having a tsd.json file rather than a typings.json file.

TSD has now been deprecated in favor of Typings, but the quickest way to get the project running is to install TSD, however this is obviously not ideal for anything but quickly checking out a project.

The Typings website provides info on how to upgrade from TSD to Typings, here:

The official deprecation notice on the TSD GitHub page provides some more useful info and background too:

A potential confusion is that the tsconfig.json remains the same name (although some parameters may need altering, moved file references updated/deleted), now the tsd.json is called typings.json with a similar config, but potentially also in need of manual editing after running the basic Typing’s upgrade process.

But hopefully, running npm start should work:

$ npm start
Compiled successfully!

The app is running at:



If this does not work, a couple of additional steps may be required, including (but not limited to):

  • If a webpack compile errors say “Module build failed: Error: ENOENT: no such file or directory,” you should check your tsconfig.json file is not referencing any old tsd files which no longer exist (usually in the project’s typings/ directory).
  • You may need to create a tsconfig.json file in your project root directory (i.e. usually same one as package.json etc) if you do not already have one, visit the Typescript language homepage for more info. (Courtesy of
  • You may need to upgrade one or more old npm dependencies in your package.json file. Tools like npm-check-upgrades can help (use npm-check-upgrades -u to actually install the newer package versions – warning: may break the application).
  • Try suggestions from the above links, (e.g. the TSD deprecation announcement).
  • If all else fails, undo everything so far (if a git repo type:
    $ git checkout — .
    ) and install the TSD package manager (deprecated and bad, but a potential short-term workaround):
    $ npm install tsd -g


These package upgrade errors do seem to happen with a regular frequency, but are usually solvable with a bit of work. If the above solutions did not work for you or you have succeeded using another, please let others know about it in the coments.


Programming Cheat Sheets

Great collection of programming language cheat sheets listed in this article.

Nice just to browse them all for fun.

As a follow-up question, what opinions do people have on cheat sheets in aid of teaching or learning new skills? I’ve always found them a great tool but many other teachers proclaim that they’re flawed.

Comments & opinions welcome.

Introduction to Angular 2 Components — Quantix

Introduction to Angular 2 Components A component is a main building block of an Angular 2 application, and an application may have any number of components. We can consider a component a particular view of the application with its own logic and data. In AngularJS 1.0, there was the concept of controllers, $Scope, and […]

via Introduction to Angular 2 Components — Quantix

Node-inspector console not working in latest version of Google Chrome

The latest version of Google Chrome doesn’t execute commands when the Enter button is pressed and instead just wraps to a new line. Instead of downgrading Chrome, a quick fix appears on the node-inspector issue list here.

Quick Fix

Edit node-inspector’s config file (below is global npm installation path, local in project’s node_modules directory):

$ nano /usr/local/lib/node_modules/node-inspector/front-end/platform/DOMExtension.js

Search for the isEnterKey function (line 779) and comment out the line:
return event.keyCode !== 229 && event.keyIdentifier === "Enter";
Replacing it with:
return (event.keyCode !== 229 && event.keyIdentifier === "Enter") || event.keyCode === 13;

So the function now looks like:

function isEnterKey(event) {
    return (event.keyCode !== 229 && event.keyIdentifier === "Enter") || event.keyCode === 13;

    // Check if in IME.
    // return event.keyCode !== 229 && event.keyIdentifier === "Enter";

Save, restart node-inspector and your node process manager (e.g. nodemon, pm2 etc) and node-inspector once again executes console commands via the Enter key.

Web programming language survey

Using Auth0 with Symfony

Auth0 provide a 3rd party authentication service, as they point out this can have a lot of benefits (along with a few drawbacks). They have written a great tutorial on integrating Auth0 with the PHP Symfony framework here:

Do many people have experience using Auth0 to handle their authentication? I’ve never used them and am naturally sceptical about tying my platform to a 3rd party supplier I will have to pay. However it’s so frequent seeing a lot of expensive developer time wasted on an inferior inhouse solutions so is this worth a try?