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npm-config(1) -- Manage the npm configuration file


npm config set <key> <value> [--global]
npm config get <key>
npm config delete <key>
npm config list


npm gets its configuration values from 5 sources, in this priority:

  • cli: The command line flags. 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.
  • env: 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.
  • $HOME/.npmrc (or the userconfig param, if set above): This file is an ini-file formatted list of key = value parameters.
  • $PREFIX/etc/npmrc (or the globalconfig param, if set above): This file is an ini-file formatted list of key = value parameters
  • default configs: This is a set of configuration parameters that are internal to npm, and are defaults if nothing else is specified.


Config supports the following sub-commands:


npm config set key value

Sets the config key to the value.


npm config get key

Echo the config value to stdout. (NOTE: All the other npm logging is done to stderr, so pipes should work properly, and you can do npm get key 2>/dev/null to print out JUST the config value.)


npm config list

Show all the config settings.


npm config delete key

Deletes the key from all configuration files.

Config Settings

npm supports a very basic argument parser. For any of the settings in npm-config(1), you can set them explicitly for a single command by doing:

npm --key val <command>

Configurations defined on the command line are not saved to the .npmrc file.


Default: true

Automatically activate a package after installation, if there is not an active version already. Set to "always" to always activate when installing.


Default: true

Automatically update a package's dependencies after installation, if it is the newest version installed. Set to "always" to update dependents when a new version is installed, even if it's not the newest.


Default: $INSTALL_PREFIX/lib/node

The root folder where packages are installed and npm keeps its data.


Default: $INSTALL_PREFIX/bin

The folder where executable programs are installed.



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


If crypto.Cipher is available, and you have some private keys in $HOME/.ssh, then npm will encrypt your "_auth" config before saving to the .npmrc file, and will decrypt the "_authCrypt" config when it reads the .npmrc file.


Default: latest

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

Note: this has no effect on the npm-tag(1) command.


If proxy is available, then npm will fetch the modules from the registry via the proxy server.


proxy = http://proxy-server:8080


The default user configuration file is process.env.HOME+"/.npmrc".

Note that this must be provided either in the cli or env settings. Once the userconfig is read, it is irrelevant.


The default global configuration file is resolved based on the location of the node executable. It is process.execPath+"/../../etc/npmrc". In the canonical NodeJS installation with make install, this is /usr/local/etc/npmrc. If you put the node binary somewhere else (for instance, if you are using nvm or nave), then it would be resolved relative to that location.

Note that this must be provided in the cli, env, or userconfig settings. Once the globalconfig is read, this parameter is irrelevant.


If set to some truish value (for instance, by being the last cli flag or being passed a literal true or 1), and the npm config set param is being called, then the new configuration paramater is written global config file. Otherwise, they are saved to the user config file.

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