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Resolves a node package tree with combined support for both npm@2 and npm@3
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Latest commit f682e42 Oct 2, 2019


This package will create a virtual tree representation of a node package's dependencies, supporting both npm@2 and npm@3 directory structures.

Note that the output differs from the npm ls output in that deduped packages are resolved to their owners.

Programatical usage

let resolveDeps = require('snyk-resolve-deps');
let asTree = require('snyk-tree');
let options = { dev: true };

resolveDeps(process.cwd(), options).then(function (tree) {
}).catch(function (error) {
  // error is usually limited to unknown directory


resolveDeps(root, options)

  • root: path to project root
  • options (optional)
    • dev: [default, false] report only development options
    • extraFields: [default, undefined] extract extra fields from dependencies' package.json files. example: ['files']
    • noFromArrays: [default, false] don't include from arrays with list of deps from root on every node
    • file: [default, 'package.json'] location of the package file

How it works

To fully support npm@2 and npm@3 two passes of the tree are required:

1. The physical pass on the directory structure

The module will start by reading the package.json from the target directory, capture the metadata and then read through each recursive node_modules directory.

This creates the physicalTree object. In npm@3 this will usually yield an object with the root metadata (name, version, etc) and then a dependencies object that contains every dependency across the entire code base. This is not the true representation of the package relationships so we need to make the second pass.

There are also edge cases that need to be handled, particularly when a dev or prod dependency hasn't been loaded into the physical tree because it has been missed. This can be either because the package is missing from the project, or (more likely) because the dependencies is much higher up and outside of the original directory that was scanned. So a second check is run to find those missing modules, using the snyk-resolve module.

Note: code found in lib/deps.js

2. The virtual pass using package metadata

The next pass uses the physicalTree as the starting point, but uses the dependencies and devDependencies properties from the package.json metadata. It will iterate through the dependencies and resolve the correct dependency package from the physical tree based on similar methods that the require module loading system will use (this is in lib/pluck.js).

Finally, once the virtual tree is constructed, a pass is made to check for unused packages from the original physicalTree, which are marked as extraneous: true, and if the optional dev flag is false, all devDependencies are stripped.

Note: code found in lib/logical.js


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