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More than you probably want to know about npm configuration

npm gets its configuration values from the following sources, sorted by priority:

Putting --foo bar on the command line sets the foo configuration parameter to "bar". A -- argument tells the cli parser to stop reading flags. A --flag parameter that is at the end of the command will be given the value of true.

Any environment variables that start with npm_config_ will be interpreted as a configuration parameter. For example, putting npm_config_foo=bar in your environment will set the foo configuration parameter to bar. Any environment configurations that are not given a value will be given the value of true. Config values are case-insensitive, so NPM_CONFIG_FOO=bar will work the same.

The four relevant files are:

See npmrc(5) for more details.

A set of configuration parameters that are internal to npm, and are defaults if nothing else is specified.

The following shorthands are parsed on the command-line:

If the specified configuration param resolves unambiguously to a known configuration parameter, then it is expanded to that configuration parameter. For example:

npm ls --par
# same as:
npm ls --parseable

If multiple single-character shorthands are strung together, and the resulting combination is unambiguously not some other configuration param, then it is expanded to its various component pieces. For example:

npm ls -gpld
# same as:
npm ls --global --parseable --long --loglevel info

When running scripts (see npm-scripts(7)) the package.json "config" keys are overwritten in the environment if there is a config param of <name>[@<version>]:<key>. For example, if the package.json has this:

{ "name" : "foo"
, "config" : { "port" : "8080" }
, "scripts" : { "start" : "node server.js" } }

and the server.js is this:

http.createServer(...).listen(process.env.npm_package_config_port)

then the user could change the behavior by doing:

npm config set foo:port 80

See package.json(5) for more information.

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.

Force npm to always require authentication when accessing the registry, even for GET requests.

Tells npm to create symlinks (or .cmd shims on Windows) for package executables.

Set to false to have it not do this. This can be used to work around the fact that some file systems don't support symlinks, even on ostensibly Unix systems.

The browser that is called by the npm docs command to open websites.

The Certificate Authority signing certificate that is trusted for SSL connections to the registry. Values should be in PEM format with newlines replaced by the string "\n". For example:

ca="-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----\nXXXX\nXXXX\n-----END CERTIFICATE-----"

Set to null to only allow "known" registrars, or to a specific CA cert to trust only that specific signing authority.

Multiple CAs can be trusted by specifying an array of certificates:

ca[]="..."
ca[]="..."

See also the strict-ssl config.

A path to a file containing one or multiple Certificate Authority signing certificates. Similar to the ca setting, but allows for multiple CA's, as well as for the CA information to be stored in a file on disk.

The location of npm's cache directory. See npm-cache(1)

The number of ms before cache folder lockfiles are considered stale.

Number of times to retry to acquire a lock on cache folder lockfiles.

Number of ms to wait for cache lock files to expire.

The maximum time (in seconds) to keep items in the registry cache before re-checking against the registry.

Note that no purging is done unless the npm cache clean command is explicitly used, and that only GET requests use the cache.

The minimum time (in seconds) to keep items in the registry cache before re-checking against the registry.

Note that no purging is done unless the npm cache clean command is explicitly used, and that only GET requests use the cache.

A client certificate to pass when accessing the registry.

If false, never shows colors. If "always" then always shows colors. If true, then only prints color codes for tty file descriptors.

The depth to go when recursing directories for npm ls, npm cache ls, and npm outdated.

For npm outdated, a setting of Infinity will be treated as 0 since that gives more useful information. To show the outdated status of all packages and dependents, use a large integer value, e.g., npm outdated --depth 9999

Show the description in npm search

Install dev-dependencies along with packages.

Note that dev-dependencies are also installed if the npat flag is set.

The command to run for npm edit or npm config edit.

If set to true, then npm will stubbornly refuse to install (or even consider installing) any package that claims to not be compatible with the current Node.js version.

Makes various commands more forceful.

The "retries" config for the retry module to use when fetching packages from the registry.

The "factor" config for the retry module to use when fetching packages.

The "minTimeout" config for the retry module to use when fetching packages.

The "maxTimeout" config for the retry module to use when fetching packages.

The command to use for git commands. If git is installed on the computer, but is not in the PATH, then set this to the full path to the git binary.

Tag the commit when using the npm version command.

Operates in "global" mode, so that packages are installed into the prefix folder instead of the current working directory. See npm-folders(5) for more on the differences in behavior.

The config file to read for global config options.

The group to use when running package scripts in global mode as the root user.

The string that starts all the debugging log output.

A proxy to use for outgoing https requests. If the HTTPS_PROXY or https_proxy or HTTP_PROXY or http_proxy environment variables are set, proxy settings will be honored by the underlying request library.

If true, npm will not exit with an error code when run-script is invoked for a script that isn't defined in the scripts section of package.json. This option can be used when it's desirable to optionally run a script when it's present and fail if the script fails. This is useful, for example, when running scripts that may only apply for some builds in an otherwise generic CI setup.

If true, npm does not run scripts specified in package.json files.

A module that will be loaded by the npm init command. See the documentation for the init-package-json module for more information, or npm-init(1).

The value npm init should use by default for the package author's name.

The value npm init should use by default for the package author's email.

The value npm init should use by default for the package author's homepage.

The value npm init should use by default for the package license.

The value that npm init should use by default for the package version number, if not already set in package.json.

Whether or not to output JSON data, rather than the normal output.

This feature is currently experimental, and the output data structures for many commands is either not implemented in JSON yet, or subject to change. Only the output from npm ls --json is currently valid.

A client key to pass when accessing the registry.

If true, then local installs will link if there is a suitable globally installed package.

Note that this means that local installs can cause things to be installed into the global space at the same time. The link is only done if one of the two conditions are met:

The IP address of the local interface to use when making connections to the npm registry. Must be IPv4 in versions of Node prior to 0.12.

What level of logs to report. On failure, all logs are written to npm-debug.log in the current working directory.

Any logs of a higher level than the setting are shown. The default is "warn", which shows warn and error output.

This is the stream that is passed to the npmlog module at run time.

It cannot be set from the command line, but if you are using npm programmatically, you may wish to send logs to somewhere other than stderr.

If the color config is set to true, then this stream will receive colored output if it is a TTY.

Show extended information in npm ls and npm search.

Commit message which is used by npm version when creating version commit.

Any "%s" in the message will be replaced with the version number.

The node version to use when checking a package's engines map.

Run tests on installation.

A node module to require() when npm loads. Useful for programmatic usage.

Attempt to install packages in the optionalDependencies object. Note that if these packages fail to install, the overall installation process is not aborted.

Output parseable results from commands that write to standard output.

The location to install global items. If set on the command line, then it forces non-global commands to run in the specified folder.

Set to true to run in "production" mode.

  1. devDependencies are not installed at the topmost level when running local npm install without any arguments.
  2. Set the NODE_ENV="production" for lifecycle scripts.

Whether or not to include proprietary extended attributes in the tarballs created by npm.

Unless you are expecting to unpack package tarballs with something other than npm -- particularly a very outdated tar implementation -- leave this as true.

A proxy to use for outgoing http requests. If the HTTP_PROXY or http_proxy environment variables are set, proxy settings will be honored by the underlying request library.

Rebuild bundled dependencies after installation.

The base URL of the npm package registry.

Remove failed installs.

Save installed packages to a package.json file as dependencies.

When used with the npm rm command, it removes it from the dependencies object.

Only works if there is already a package.json file present.

If a package would be saved at install time by the use of --save, --save-dev, or --save-optional, then also put it in the bundleDependencies list.

When used with the npm rm command, it removes it from the bundledDependencies list.

Save installed packages to a package.json file as devDependencies.

When used with the npm rm command, it removes it from the devDependencies object.

Only works if there is already a package.json file present.

Dependencies saved to package.json using --save, --save-dev or --save-optional will be configured with an exact version rather than using npm's default semver range operator.

Save installed packages to a package.json file as optionalDependencies.

When used with the npm rm command, it removes it from the devDependencies object.

Only works if there is already a package.json file present.

Configure how versions of packages installed to a package.json file via --save or --save-dev get prefixed.

For example if a package has version 1.2.3, by default its version is set to ^1.2.3 which allows minor upgrades for that package, but after npm config set save-prefix='~' it would be set to ~1.2.3 which only allows patch upgrades.

Associate an operation with a scope for a scoped registry. Useful when logging in to a private registry for the first time: npm login --scope=@organization --registry=registry.organization.com, which will cause @organization to be mapped to the registry for future installation of packages specified according to the pattern @organization/package.

Space-separated options that are always passed to search.

Space-separated options that limit the results from search.

Indication of which field to sort search results by. Prefix with a - character to indicate reverse sort.

The shell to run for the npm explore command.

If set to false, then ignore npm-shrinkwrap.json files when installing.

If set to true, then the npm version command will tag the version using -s to add a signature.

Note that git requires you to have set up GPG keys in your git configs for this to work properly.

When set to true, npm will display an ascii spinner while it is doing things, if process.stderr is a TTY.

Set to false to suppress the spinner, or set to always to output the spinner even for non-TTY outputs.

Whether or not to do SSL key validation when making requests to the registry via https.

See also the ca config.

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.

If set, alters the prefix used when tagging a new version when performing a version increment using npm-version. To remove the prefix altogether, set it to the empty string: "".

Because other tools may rely on the convention that npm version tags look like v1.0.0, only use this property if it is absolutely necessary. In particular, use care when overriding this setting for public packages.

Where to store temporary files and folders. All temp files are deleted on success, but left behind on failure for forensic purposes.

When set to true, npm uses unicode characters in the tree output. When false, it uses ascii characters to draw trees.

Set to true to suppress the UID/GID switching when running package scripts. If set explicitly to false, then installing as a non-root user will fail.

Set to show short usage output (like the -H output) instead of complete help when doing npm-help(1).

The UID to set to when running package scripts as root.

The location of user-level configuration settings.

The "umask" value to use when setting the file creation mode on files and folders.

Folders and executables are given a mode which is 0777 masked against this value. Other files are given a mode which is 0666 masked against this value. Thus, the defaults are 0755 and 0644 respectively.

Sets a User-Agent to the request header

If true, output the npm version and exit successfully.

Only relevant when specified explicitly on the command line.

If true, output the npm version as well as node's process.versions map, and exit successfully.

Only relevant when specified explicitly on the command line.

The program to use to view help content.

Set to "browser" to view html help content in the default web browser.

Last modified August 26, 2015           Found a typo? Send a pull request!

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