Publish a package

Select CLI Version:


npm publish [<tarball>|<folder>] [--tag <tag>] [--access <public|restricted>] [--otp otpcode] [--dry-run]
Publishes '.' if no argument supplied
Sets tag 'latest' if no --tag specified


Publishes a package to the registry so that it can be installed by name.

By default npm will publish to the public registry. This can be overridden by specifying a different default registry or using a scope in the name (see package.json).

  • <folder>: A folder containing a package.json file

  • <tarball>: A url or file path to a gzipped tar archive containing a single folder with a package.json file inside.

  • [--tag <tag>]: Registers the published package with the given tag, such that npm install <name>@<tag> will install this version. By default, npm publish updates and npm install installs the latest tag. See npm-dist-tag for details about tags.

  • [--access <public|restricted>]: Tells the registry whether this package should be published as public or restricted. Only applies to scoped packages, which default to restricted. If you don't have a paid account, you must publish with --access public to publish scoped packages.

  • [--otp <otpcode>]: If you have two-factor authentication enabled in auth-and-writes mode then you can provide a code from your authenticator with this. If you don't include this and you're running from a TTY then you'll be prompted.

  • [--dry-run]: As of npm@6, does everything publish would do except actually publishing to the registry. Reports the details of what would have been published.

  • [--workspaces]: Enables workspace context while publishing. All workspace packages will be published.

  • [--workspace]: Enables workspaces context and limits results to only those specified by this config item. Only the packages in the workspaces given will be published.

The publish will fail if the package name and version combination already exists in the specified registry.

Once a package is published with a given name and version, that specific name and version combination can never be used again, even if it is removed with npm unpublish.

As of npm@5, both a sha1sum and an integrity field with a sha512sum of the tarball will be submitted to the registry during publication. Subsequent installs will use the strongest supported algorithm to verify downloads.

Similar to --dry-run see npm pack, which figures out the files to be included and packs them into a tarball to be uploaded to the registry.

Files included in package

To see what will be included in your package, run npx npm-packlist. All files are included by default, with the following exceptions:

  • Certain files that are relevant to package installation and distribution are always included. For example, package.json,, LICENSE, and so on.

  • If there is a "files" list in package.json, then only the files specified will be included. (If directories are specified, then they will be walked recursively and their contents included, subject to the same ignore rules.)

  • If there is a .gitignore or .npmignore file, then ignored files in that and all child directories will be excluded from the package. If both files exist, then the .gitignore is ignored, and only the .npmignore is used.

    .npmignore files follow the same pattern rules as .gitignore files

  • If the file matches certain patterns, then it will never be included, unless explicitly added to the "files" list in package.json, or un-ignored with a ! rule in a .npmignore or .gitignore file.

  • Symbolic links are never included in npm packages.

See developers for full details on what's included in the published package, as well as details on how the package is built.



  • Default: "latest"
  • Type: String

If you ask npm to install a package and don't tell it a specific version, then it will install the specified tag.

Also the tag that is added to the package@version specified by the npm tag command, if no explicit tag is given.

When used by the npm diff command, this is the tag used to fetch the tarball that will be compared with the local files by default.


  • Default: 'restricted' for scoped packages, 'public' for unscoped packages
  • Type: null, "restricted", or "public"

When publishing scoped packages, the access level defaults to restricted. If you want your scoped package to be publicly viewable (and installable) set --access=public. The only valid values for access are public and restricted. Unscoped packages always have an access level of public.

Note: Using the --access flag on the npm publish command will only set the package access level on the initial publish of the package. Any subsequent npm publish commands using the --access flag will not have an effect to the access level. To make changes to the access level after the initial publish use npm access.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Indicates that you don't want npm to make any changes and that it should only report what it would have done. This can be passed into any of the commands that modify your local installation, eg, install, update, dedupe, uninstall, as well as pack and publish.

Note: This is NOT honored by other network related commands, eg dist-tags, owner, etc.


  • Default: null
  • Type: null or String

This is a one-time password from a two-factor authenticator. It's needed when publishing or changing package permissions with npm access.

If not set, and a registry response fails with a challenge for a one-time password, npm will prompt on the command line for one.


  • Default:
  • Type: String (can be set multiple times)

Enable running a command in the context of the configured workspaces of the current project while filtering by running only the workspaces defined by this configuration option.

Valid values for the workspace config are either:

  • Workspace names
  • Path to a workspace directory
  • Path to a parent workspace directory (will result to selecting all of the nested workspaces)

When set for the npm init command, this may be set to the folder of a workspace which does not yet exist, to create the folder and set it up as a brand new workspace within the project.

This value is not exported to the environment for child processes.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Enable running a command in the context of all the configured workspaces.

This value is not exported to the environment for child processes.

See Also