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Manual Reference Pages  -  NPM (1)


npm - javascript package manager


Developer Usage
See Also


npm <command> [args]




npm is the package manager for the Node JavaScript platform. It puts modules in place so that node can find them, and manages dependency conflicts intelligently.

It is extremely configurable to support a wide variety of use cases. Most commonly, it is used to publish, discover, install, and develop node programs.

Run npm help to get a list of available commands.


You probably got npm because you want to install stuff.

Use npm install blerg to install the latest version of "blerg". Check out npm help npm-install for more info. It can do a lot of stuff.

Use the npm search command to show everything that’s available. Use npm ls to show everything you’ve installed.


If a package references to another package with a git URL, npm depends on a preinstalled git.

If one of the packages npm tries to install is a native node module and requires compiling of C++ Code, npm will use node-gyp for that task. For a Unix system, node-gyp needs Python, make and a buildchain like GCC. On Windows, Python and Microsoft Visual Studio C++ is needed. Python 3 is not supported by node-gyp For more information visit the node-gyp repository and the node-gyp Wiki


See npm help 5 npm-folders to learn about where npm puts stuff.

In particular, npm has two modes of operation:

o global mode:
npm installs packages into the install prefix at prefix/lib/node_modules and bins are installed in prefix/bin.
o local mode:
npm installs packages into the current project directory, which defaults to the current working directory. Packages are installed to ./node_modules, and bins are installed to ./node_modules/.bin.

Local mode is the default. Use --global or -g on any command to operate in global mode instead.


If you’re using npm to develop and publish your code, check out the following help topics:

o json: Make a package.json file. See npm help 5 package.json.
o link: For linking your current working code into Node’s path, so that you don’t have to reinstall every time you make a change. Use npm link to do this.
o install: It’s a good idea to install things if you don’t need the symbolic link. Especially, installing other peoples code from the registry is done via npm install
o adduser: Create an account or log in. Credentials are stored in the user config file.
o publish: Use the npm publish command to upload your code to the registry.


npm is extremely configurable. It reads its configuration options from 5 places.

o Command line switches:
Set a config with --key val. All keys take a value, even if they are booleans (the config parser doesn’t know what the options are at the time of parsing.) If no value is provided, then the option is set to boolean true.
o Environment Variables:
Set any config by prefixing the name in an environment variable with npm_config_. For example, export npm_config_key=val.
o User Configs:
The file at $HOME/.npmrc is an ini-formatted list of configs. If present, it is parsed. If the userconfig option is set in the cli or env, then that will be used instead.
o Global Configs:
The file found at ../etc/npmrc (from the node executable, by default this resolves to /usr/local/etc/npmrc) will be parsed if it is found. If the globalconfig option is set in the cli, env, or user config, then that file is parsed instead.
o Defaults:
npm’s default configuration options are defined in lib/utils/config-defs.js. These must not be changed.

See npm help 7 npm-config for much much more information.


Patches welcome!

o code: Read through npm help 7 npm-coding-style if you plan to submit code. You don’t have to agree with it, but you do have to follow it.
o docs: If you find an error in the documentation, edit the appropriate markdown file in the "doc" folder. (Don’t worry about generating the man page.)

Contributors are listed in npm’s package.json file. You can view them easily by doing npm view npm contributors.

If you would like to contribute, but don’t know what to work on, check the issues list or ask on the mailing list.



When you find issues, please report them:

o web:
o email:

Be sure to include all of the output from the npm command that didn’t work as expected. The npm-debug.log file is also helpful to provide.

You can also look for isaacs in #node.js on irc:// He will no doubt tell you to put the output in a gist or email.


Isaac Z. Schlueter :: isaacs :: @izs ::


o npm help help
o npm help 7 faq
o npm help 5 package.json
o npm help install
o npm help config
o npm help 7 config
o npm help 5 npmrc
o npm help 7 index
o npm apihelp npm

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NPM (1) October 2015

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