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NPM(1) General Commands Manual NPM(1)








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 variety of use cases. Most
commonly, you use it to publish, discover, install, and develop node

Run npm help to get a list of available commands.


npm comes preconfigured to use npm's public registry at
https://registry.npmjs.orgby default. Use of the npm public registry is
subject to terms of use available at

You can configure npm to use any compatible registry you like, and even
run your own registry. Use of someone else's registry is governed by
their terms of use.


You probably got npm because you want to install stuff.

The very first thing you will most likely want to run in any node
program is npm install to install its dependencies.

You can also run npm install blerg to install the latest version of
"blerg". Check out npm install for more
info. It can do a lot of stuff.

Use the npm search command to show everything that's available in the
public registry. Use npm ls to show everything you've installed.


If a package lists a dependency using a git URL, npm will install that
dependency using the git
command and will generate an error if it is not installed.

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++ are needed. For more information
visit the node-gyp repository and
the node-gyp Wiki.


See folders to learn about where npm puts

In particular, npm has two modes of operation:

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

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

Developer Usage

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

  • json:
    Make a package.json file. See
  • link:
    Links 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.
  • 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
  • adduser:
    Create an account or log in. When you do this, npm will store
    credentials in the user config file.
  • 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.

  • 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 you do not provide a value (--key) then
    the option is set to boolean true.
  • Environment Variables:
    Set any config by prefixing the name in an environment variable with
    npm_config_. For example, export npm_config_key=val.
  • 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, that file will be used instead.
  • Global Configs:
    The file found at ./etc/npmrc (relative to the global prefix will be
    parsed if it is found. See npm prefix for
    more info on the global prefix. If the globalconfig option is set
    in the cli, env, or user config, then that file is parsed instead.
  • Defaults:
    npm's default configuration options are defined in
    lib/utils/config-defs.js. These must not be changed.

See config for much much more information.


Patches welcome!

If you would like to help, but don't know what to work on, read the
guidelines and
check the issues list.


When you find issues, please report them:

Please be sure to follow the template and bug reporting guidelines.

Feature Requests

Discuss new feature ideas on our discussion forum:

Or suggest formal RFC proposals:

See Also

  • npm help
  • package.json
  • npmrc
  • npm config
  • npm install
  • npm prefix
  • npm publish

December 2022 9.2.0