No, that was a typo.
I got it working, finally.
I had to uninstall everything, including a manual uninstall of node & npm.
Then get the latest of everything (node.js v10.13.0 & npm v6.4.1)
Installing Homebridge again node-gyp complains:
$ sudo npm i -g homebridge /usr/local/bin/homebridge -> /usr/local/lib/node_modules/homebridge/bin/homebridge > firstname.lastname@example.org install /usr/local/lib/node_modules/homebridge/node_modules/curve25519-n > node-gyp rebuild gyp WARN EACCES user "root" does not have permission to access the dev dir "/Users/john/.node-gyp/10.13.0" gyp WARN EACCES attempting to reinstall using temporary dev dir "/usr/local/lib/node_modules/homebridge/node_modules/curve25519-n/.node-gyp"
I changed to:
sudo npm i -g --unsafe-perm homebridge
and after a thousand warnings, it compiled node-gyp and completed the install.
$ homebridge [11/23/2018, 12:57:36 PM] config.json (.homebridge/config.json) not found. [11/23/2018, 12:57:36 PM] No plugins found. See the README for information on installing plugins. Setup Payload: X-HM://0023ISYWYCBIK Scan this code with your HomeKit app on your iOS device to pair with Homebridge:
I copied back my saved persist and accessories directory/files and the saved config.json and a restart of Homebridge worked. All my devices were back, but not in their assigned rooms.
I used "Controller" (the $5 app that does backups of HomeKit) and restored it BUT that is not ideal. It put everything back in the rooms BUT 1) left everything in Favorites too. So I had to go into each tile and turn that off. Would have been just as easy to correct the room at the same time. 2) Automations didn't restore fully. The invite to my wife's phone is gone, so I'll have to do that a 23rd time.
I shut the RPi and it's back to running on my Mac again.