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NPMRC(5) File Formats Manual NPMRC(5)




npm gets its config settings from the command line, environment variables,
and npmrc files.

The npm config command can be used to update and edit the contents of the
user and global npmrc files.

For a list of available configuration options, see


The four relevant files are:

  • per-project config file (/path/to/my/project/.npmrc)
  • per-user config file (~/.npmrc)
  • global config file ($PREFIX/etc/npmrc)
  • npm builtin config file (/path/to/npm/npmrc)

All npm config files are an ini-formatted list of key = value parameters.
Environment variables can be replaced using ${VARIABLE_NAME}. For

prefix = ${HOME}/.npm-packages

Each of these files is loaded, and config options are resolved in priority
order. For example, a setting in the userconfig file would override the
setting in the globalconfig file.

Array values are specified by adding "[]" after the key name. For example:

key[] = "first value"
key[] = "second value"


Lines in .npmrc files are interpreted as comments when they begin with a
; or # character. .npmrc files are parsed by
npm/ini, which specifies this comment syntax.

For example:

# last modified: 01 Jan 2016
; Set a new registry for a scoped package

Per-project config file

When working locally in a project, a .npmrc file in the root of the
project (ie, a sibling of node_modules and package.json) will set
config values specific to this project.

Note that this only applies to the root of the project that you're running
npm in. It has no effect when your module is published. For example, you
can't publish a module that forces itself to install globally, or in a
different location.

Additionally, this file is not read in global mode, such as when running
npm install -g.

Per-user config file

$HOME/.npmrc (or the userconfig param, if set in the environment or on
the command line)

Global config file

$PREFIX/etc/npmrc (or the globalconfig param, if set above): This file
is an ini-file formatted list of key = value parameters. Environment
variables can be replaced as above.

Built-in config file


This is an unchangeable "builtin" configuration file that npm keeps
consistent across updates. Set fields in here using the ./configure
script that comes with npm. This is primarily for distribution maintainers
to override default configs in a standard and consistent manner.

Auth related configuration

The settings _auth, _authToken, username and _password must all be
scoped to a specific registry. This ensures that npm will never send
credentials to the wrong host.

The full list is:

  • _auth (base64 authentication string)
  • _authToken (authentication token)
  • username
  • _password
  • email
  • certfile (path to certificate file)
  • keyfile (path to key file)

In order to scope these values, they must be prefixed by a URI fragment.
If the credential is meant for any request to a registry on a single host,
the scope may look like // If it must be scoped to a
specific path on the host that path may also be provided, such as

; bad config
; good config
; would apply to both @myorg and @another
; //
; would apply only to @myorg
; would apply only to @another

See also

  • npm folders
  • npm config
  • config
  • package.json
  • npm

December 2022 9.2.0