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Table of contents
npm <command> [args]
It is extremely configurable to support a variety of use cases. Most commonly, you use it to publish, discover, install, and develop node programs.
npm help to get a list of available commands.
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.
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.
folders to learn about where npm puts stuff.
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
- global mode: npm installs packages into the install prefix at
$npm_config_prefix/lib/node_modulesand bins to
Local mode is the default. Use
--global on any command to run in global mode instead.
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 linkto 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
- adduser: Create an account or log in. When you do this, npm will store credentials in the user config file config file.
- publish: Use the
npm publishcommand 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
- Environment Variables: Set any config by prefixing the name in an environment variable with
npm_config_. For example,
- User Configs: The file at
$HOME/.npmrcis an ini-formatted list of configs. If present, it is parsed. If the
userconfigoption 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 prefixfor more info on the global prefix. If the
globalconfigoption 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.
config for much much more information.
If you would like to help, but don't know what to work on, read the contributing guidelines and check the issues list.
When you find issues, please report them: https://github.com/npm/cli/issues
Please be sure to follow the template and bug reporting guidelines.
Discuss new feature ideas on our discussion forum:
Or suggest formal RFC proposals: