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npm(1) -- node package manager


npm <command> [args]


npm is a package manager for the Node javascript library.

Run npm help to get a list of commands.

STATUS: Useful Beta

The core functionality is there. It works.

Please use this software. It will cut you occasionally. Let me know when you find a rough edge, and I'll sand it down for you.

I appreciate your sense of adventure.


You probably got npm because you want to install stuff.

Use npm install blerg to install the latest version of "blerg". Check out npm help install for more info. It can do a lot of stuff.

Use the npm ls command to show everything that's available. Looking for express-related modules? npm ls express. Looking for the latest express? npm ls express latest. (The arguments are just simple greps.) And of course, npm help ls will tell you more.

Use npm ls installed to show everything you've installed.


Use the npm config command to manage how npm does stuff and where it puts things. It stores your configs in the ~/.npmrc file. Check npm help config for more info on that, if you care.

You can override any config for just a single command by doing --configname value on the command line.


If you're using npm to develop and publish your code, check out the following topics:

  • json: Make a package.json file. The "json" help doc will tell you what to put in it.
  • link: For linking your current working code into Node's path, so that you don't have to reinstall every time you make a change. Use "npm link" to 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 "npm install".
  • adduser: Use the npm adduser command to add a user account for the npm registry, or to authorize yourself on a new machine. If you forget your password, send an email to and we'll delete your account so you can recreate it.
  • publish: Use the npm publish command to upload your code to the registry, so that other people can install it easily.


Patches welcome!

  • code: Read through npm help coding-style if you plan to submit code. You don't have to agree with it, but you do have to follow it.
  • docs: If you find an error in the documentation, edit the appropriate markdown file in the "doc" folder. (Don't worry about generating the man page.)

Contributors are listed in npm's package.json file.


Put the files where they need to be so that node can find them using the methods it already uses.

Be lazy, not clever.

The file system is the database.

Sync with habits that are already in use.

Packages should be maintained by their authors, not by the package manager author.

Steer clear of dependency hell.


Plenty. Luckily, npm is actively maintained as of this writing.

When you find issues, please report them:

Be sure to include all of the output from the npm command that didn't work as expected.

You can also look for isaacs in #node.js on irc://


  • 0.0.1: Lots of sketches and false starts. Abandoned a few times.

  • 0.0.2: Install worked mostly. Still promise-based.

  • 0.0.3: Converted to callbacks.
    Mikeal Rogers wrote a registry for it.

  • 0.0.4: version dependencies
    link packages
    lifecycle scripts
    bin linking

  • 0.0.5: fix a few bugs in uninstall wrt dependent packages
    fix relative require()for nodejs modules installed with the "bin" field.
    (issue #2)
    update to work with node 0.1.33 (aka net2)
    added publish and tag commands

  • 0.0.6: set up a public registry
    send content-length with registry PUTs
    adduser command (Mikeal Rogers)
    ini file stuff (Mikeal Rogers)
    env-specific package.json
    added more info to npm's the package.json (bugs, contributors, etc.)

  • 0.0.7: fixed a few bugs in semver
    refactor documentation
    add "help" command
    add install from registry
    everything else core
    push to beta

  • 0.1.0 - 0.1.2: push to beta, and announce
    clean up some bugs around lifecycle scripts
    reduce reliance on makefile
    documentation updates
    Fixed DOA bugs
    Removed dependence on ronn

  • 0.1.3: Changed a few details with configs (fix #5)
    Update adduser and publish to put author info in the data
    Use buffer api for file writes, hopefully fix #4

  • 0.1.4 - 0.1.5: Fixes for a few more bugs and fix some documentation.

  • 0.1.6 - 0.1.7: Add cache functionality
    Use couchdb attachments to host tarballs
    Handle odd require.paths more appropriately
    Don't break on install if the man path is missing
    Support publishing or installing a folder or local tarball

  • 0.1.8: Bugfixes
    Add start, stop, restart, and test commands

  • 0.1.9: npm list enhancements
    fix the install bug

  • 0.1.10: More errors found by Ryan Dahl and Kris Zyp
    Better uninstall and list behavior
    Docs for new developers.
    Better tracking of ownership on the registry.

  • 0.1.11: Martyn Smith found a whole lot of bugs.
    Make publish not die when the tarball is big.
    "make uninstall" support

  • 0.1.12 - 0.1.13: Fix the downloading bug that was breaking the tarballs
    Update some docs

  • 0.1.14 - 0.1.16: Fix to stay in sync with node changes
    Put a special tag on link installs
    Modify semver comparison slightly
    add unpublish command
    Use the "drain" event properly for uploads
    Handle thrown errors
    Handle .npmignore

  • 0.1.17: Stabilization.

  • 0.1.18: Change a few default configurations
    Add test harness
    Default publish, install, and link to "." if no arguments given

  • 0.1.19 - 0.1.20: Create a bunch of bugs
    Fix a bunch of bugs
    Some minor speed improvements

  • 0.1.21 - 0.1.22: Relative paths
    Support comments in package.json
    Add owner name to ls output
    Add "owner" command to manage package owners
    Support hook scripts in {root}/.npm/.hooks/
    Initial support for config file relative to node executable
    Support for http proxies
    Documentation updates

  • 0.1.23: update command - This is huge.
    Rollback for failed installations
    Install dependencies for link packages
    Silently read passwords for adduser
    Cascading configs: cli, env, user, global
    First pass at npm view command

  • 0.1.24, 0.1.25: Fix a bunch of things
    Cleanup, etc.
    help via --help, -h, or -?

  • 0.1.26: "modules" hash in package.json (Alex K. Wolfe)
    Better "restart" command (Alex K Wolfe)
    Work on Cygwin
    Remove link packages properly
    Make several commands more parallel

  • 0.1.27: Man pages handled with the "man" entry, or a "man" directory
    Install man pages in the "manroot" config dir
    Control log output with the "loglevel" config
    Support a "bin" directory of executables that get auto-linked
    Un-deprecate the "lib" directory.
    Bug killing
    Split up the tar usage so it works on Solaris
    bundle command
    rebuild command

  • 0.2.0: Lots more bug killing
    Various fixes found during the Node Knockout extravaganza
    Change all "name-version" things to be "name@version"
    First allegedly "stable" release.

  • 0.2.1: Minor updates and bugfixes

  • 0.2.2: Update "help" to work on Solaris
    Remove updated packages that don't have dependencies.
    Allow implied suffixes on .js bins
    Fix an "adduser" bug

  • 0.2.3: Lots of documentation tweaks and cleanup
    Support || in version ranges

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