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NPM-LS(1) General Commands Manual NPM-LS(1)






This command will print to stdout all the versions of packages that are
installed, as well as their dependencies when --all is specified, in a
tree structure.

Note: to get a "bottoms up" view of why a given package is included in the
tree at all, use npm explain.

Positional arguments are name@version-range identifiers, which will limit
the results to only the paths to the packages named. Note that nested
packages will also show the paths to the specified packages. For
example, running npm ls promzard in npm's source tree will show:

npm@@VERSION@ /path/to/npm
└─┬ init-package-json@0.0.4

└── promzard@0.1.5

It will print out extraneous, missing, and invalid packages.

If a project specifies git urls for dependencies these are shown
in parentheses after the name@version to make it easier for users to
recognize potential forks of a project.

The tree shown is the logical dependency tree, based on package
dependencies, not the physical layout of your node_modules folder.

When run as ll or la, it shows extended information by default.

Note: Design Changes Pending

The npm ls command's output and behavior made a ton of sense when npm
created a node_modules folder that naively nested every dependency. In
such a case, the logical dependency graph and physical tree of packages on
disk would be roughly identical.

With the advent of automatic install-time deduplication of dependencies in
npm v3, the ls output was modified to display the logical dependency
graph as a tree structure, since this was more useful to most users.
However, without using npm ls -l, it became impossible to show where a
package was actually installed much of the time!

With the advent of automatic installation of peerDependencies in npm v7,
this gets even more curious, as peerDependencies are logically
"underneath" their dependents in the dependency graph, but are always
physically at or above their location on disk.

Also, in the years since npm got an ls command (in version 0.0.2!),
dependency graphs have gotten much larger as a general rule. Therefore, in
order to avoid dumping an excessive amount of content to the terminal, npm ls now only shows the top level dependencies, unless --all is

A thorough re-examination of the use cases, intention, behavior, and output
of this command, is currently underway. Expect significant changes to at
least the default human-readable npm ls output in npm v8.



See Also

  • package spec
  • npm explain
  • npm config
  • npmrc
  • npm folders
  • npm explain
  • npm install
  • npm link
  • npm prune
  • npm outdated
  • npm update

December 2022 9.2.0