How to Install Local Packages

There are two ways to install npm packages: locally or globally. Choose which kind of installation to use based on how you want to use the package.

To learn more about the install command, check out the CLI doc page.

Installing a Package

A package can be downloaded with the command:

> npm install <package_name>

This will create the node_modules directory in your current directory (if one doesn't exist yet) and will download the package to that directory.


To confirm that npm install worked correctly, check to see that a node_modules directory exists and that it contains a directory for the package(s) you installed.


Install a package called lodash. Confirm that it ran successfully by listing the contents of the node_modules directory, where you should see a directory called lodash.

Microsoft Windows:

C:\ npm install lodash
C:\ dir node_modules

#=> lodash

macOS, Ubuntu, Debian

> npm install lodash
> ls node_modules             

#=> lodash

Which Version of the Package is Installed?

If there is no package.json file in the local directory, the latest version of the package is installed.

If there is a package.json file, npm installs the latest version that satisfies the semver rule declared in package.json.

Using the Installed Package in Your Code

Once the package is in node_modules, you can use it in your code. For example, if you are creating a Node.js module, you can require it.


Create a file named index.js, with the following code:

// index.js
var lodash = require('lodash');
var output = lodash.without([1, 2, 3], 1);

Run the code using node index.js. It should output [2, 3].

If you had not properly installed lodash, you would receive this error:

    throw err;
Error: Cannot find module 'lodash'

To fix this, run npm install lodash in the same directory as your index.js.

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