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Setting npm config key as root appears to nullify all default keys

I found this issue when attempting to hunt down another issue. As my standard user account, I don’t need any intervention when installing NPM packages with custom scripts (in this case benchpressjs. However, with sudo or as root, such install scripts fail whenever a directory change is required (see this issue on GitHub).

In an attempt to fix this, I changed to root and ran the command npm config set script-shell /bin/bash. After running this command, attempting to install the package produced the following error:

  if (npm.config.get('json')) {

TypeError: Cannot read property 'get' of undefined

(Here is the full debug log)

Is there a reason the root user would be having these issues while my standard user account doesn’t? The identical commands work perfectly when run as my default user.

System info:

Possibly related:

Note: You attached the wrong debug log, I think.

Can’t reproduce this myself, which is a shame because this looks fun to debug. Here’s probably the starting point, for anyone interested.