Updated: February 2021
npm <command> [args]
modules in place so that node can find them, and manages dependency
It is extremely configurable to support a wide variety of use cases.
Most commonly, it is used to publish, discover, install, and develop node
Run npm help to get a list of available commands.
npm is configured to use npm, Inc.'s public registry at
https://registry.npmjs.org by default. Use of the npm public registry is
You can configure npm to use any compatible registry you like, and even run
your own registry. Use of someone else's registry may be governed by their
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 search command to show everything that's available.
Use npm ls to show everything you've installed.
If a package references to another package with a git URL, npm depends
on a preinstalled git.
If one of the packages npm tries to install is a native node module and
requires compiling of C++ Code, npm will use
node-gyp https://github.com/nodejs/node-gyp for that task.
For a Unix system, node-gyp https://github.com/nodejs/node-gyp
needs Python, make and a buildchain like GCC. On Windows,
Python and Microsoft Visual Studio C++ are needed.
For more information visit
the node-gyp repository https://github.com/nodejs/node-gyp and
the node-gyp Wiki https://github.com/nodejs/node-gyp/wiki.
See npm help folders to learn about where npm puts stuff.
In particular, npm has two modes of operation:
npm installs packages into the install prefix at
prefix/lib/node_modules and bins are installed in prefix/bin.
npm installs packages into the current project directory, which
defaults to the current working directory. Packages are installed to
./node_modules, and bins are installed to ./node_modules/.bin.
Local mode is the default. Use -g or --global on any command to
operate in global mode instead.
If you're using npm to develop and publish your code, check out the
following help topics:
Make a package.json file. See npm help package.json.
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.
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
Create an account or log in. Credentials are stored in the
user config file.
Use the npm publish command to upload your code to the registry.
npm is extremely configurable. It reads its configuration options from
Command line switches:
Set a config with --key val. All keys take a value, even if they
are booleans (the config parser doesn't know what the options are at
the time of parsing). If no value is provided, then the option is set
to boolean true.
Set any config by prefixing the name in an environment variable with
npm_config_. For example, export npm_config_key=val.
The file at $HOME/.npmrc is an ini-formatted list of configs. If
present, it is parsed. If the userconfig option is set in the cli
or env, then that will be used instead.
The file found at ../etc/npmrc (from the node executable, by default
this resolves to /usr/local/etc/npmrc) will be parsed if it is found.
If the globalconfig option is set in the cli, env, or user config,
then that file is parsed instead.
npm's default configuration options are defined in
lib/utils/config-defs.js. These must not be changed.
See npm help config for much much more information.
If you would like to contribute, but don't know what to work on, read
the contributing guidelines and check the issues list.
Bug tracker https://github.com/npm/cli/issues
When you find issues, please report them:
Be sure to follow the template and bug reporting guidelines. You can also ask
for help in the support forum https://npm.community/c/support if you're
unsure if it's actually a bug or are having trouble coming up with a detailed
reproduction to report.
Isaac Z. Schlueter http://blog.izs.me/ ::
isaacs https://github.com/isaacs/ ::
@izs https://twitter.com/izs ::
npm help help
npm help package.json
npm help install
npm help config
npm help npmrc