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npm-init - create a package.json file


npm init [--force|-f|--yes|-y|--scope]
npm init <@scope> (same as `npx <@scope>/create`)
npm init [<@scope>/]<name> (same as `npx [<@scope>/]create-<name>`)


npm init <initializer> can be used to set up a new or existing npm package.

initializer in this case is an npm package named create-<initializer>, which will be installed by npx, and then have its main bin executed -- presumably creating or updating package.json and running any other initialization-related operations.

The init command is transformed to a corresponding npx operation as follows:

  • npm init foo -> npx create-foo
  • npm init @usr/foo -> npx @usr/create-foo
  • npm init @usr -> npx @usr/create

Any additional options will be passed directly to the command, so npm init foo -- --hello will map to npx create-foo --hello.

If the initializer is omitted (by just calling npm init), init will fall back to legacy init behavior. It will ask you a bunch of questions, and then write a package.json for you. It will attempt to make reasonable guesses based on existing fields, dependencies, and options selected. It is strictly additive, so it will keep any fields and values that were already set. You can also use -y/--yes to skip the questionnaire altogether. If you pass --scope, it will create a scoped package.


Create a new React-based project using create-react-app

$ npm init react-app ./my-react-app

Create a new esm-compatible package using create-esm

$ mkdir my-esm-lib && cd my-esm-lib
$ npm init esm --yes

Generate a plain old package.json using legacy init:

$ mkdir my-npm-pkg && cd my-npm-pkg
$ git init
$ npm init

Generate it without having it ask any questions:

$ npm init -y

A note on caching

The npm cli utilizes its internal package cache when using the package name specified. You can use the following to change how and when the cli uses this cache. See npm help cache for more on how the cache works.


Forces staleness checks for packages, making the cli look for updates immediately even if the package is already in the cache.


Bypasses staleness checks for packages. Missing data will still be requested from the server. To force full offline mode, use offline.


Forces full offline mode. Any packages not locally cached will result in an error.

See Also

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