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npm-registry(1) -- The JavaScript Package Registry


To resolve packages by name and version, npm talks to a registry website that implements the CommonJS Package Registry specification for reading package info.

Additionally, npm's package registry implementation supports several write APIs as well, to allow for publishing packages and managing user account information.

The official public npm registry is at It is powered by a CouchDB database at The code for the couchapp is available at npm user accounts are CouchDB users, stored in the database.

The registry URL is supplied by the registry config parameter. See npm help config for more on managing npm's configuration.

Can I run my own private registry?


The easiest way is to replicate the couch database, and use the same (or similar) design doc to implement the APIs.

If you set up continuous replication from the official CouchDB, and then set your internal CouchDB as the registry config, then you'll be able to read any published packages, in addition to your private ones, and by default will only publish internally. If you then want to publish a package for the whole world to see, you can simply override the --registry config for that command.

Will you replicate from my registry into the public one?

No. If you want things to be public, then publish them into the public registry using npm. What little security there is would be for nought otherwise.

Do I have to use couchdb to build a registry that npm can talk to?

No, but it's way easier.

I published something elsewhere, and want to tell the npm registry about it.

That is supported, but not using the npm client. You'll have to get your hands dirty and do some HTTP. The request looks something like this:

PUT /my-foreign-package
authorization:Basic $base_64_encoded

{ "name":"my-foreign-package"
, "maintainers":["owner","usernames"]
, "description":"A package that is hosted elsewhere"
, "keywords":["nih","my cheese smells the best"]
, "url":""

(Keywords and description are optional, but recommended. Name, maintainers, and url are required.)

Then, when a user tries to install "my-foreign-package", it'll redirect to your registry. If that doesn't resolve to a valid package entry, then it'll fail, so please make sure that you understand the spec, and ask for help on the mailing list.

Is there a website or something to see package docs and such?

No, but such a thing is planned, and a tiny bit developed.

Stay tuned!




The base URL of the npm package registry.


A base-64 encoded "user:pass" pair. This is created by npm-adduser(1).

If your config file is ever corrupted, you can set this manually by doing:

npm adduser

username, _password

Once the configuration is parsed, the _auth config is split into username and _password. This is the part before the ":"


If proxy is available, then npm will access the registry via the proxy server.


proxy = http://user:password@proxy-server:8080


Default: env.TAR or "tar"

The name of a GNU-compatible tar program on your system.


Default: env.GZIPBIN or "gzip"

The name of a GNU-compatible gzip program on your system.

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