Provided by: npm_3.5.2-0ubuntu4_all bug


       npm-faq - Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find these docs in HTML?, or run:

           npm config set viewer browser

       This command will set the npm docs to open in your default web browser rather than man.

It didn´t work.

       Please provide a little more detail, search for the error via Google or
       StackOverflow npm to see if  another  developer  has
       encountered a similar problem.

Why didn´t it work?

       I don´t know yet.

       Try  reading  the  error  output  first, ensure this is a true npm issue and not a package
       issue. If you are having an issue with a package dependency, please submit your  error  to
       that particular package maintainer.

       For  any  npm issues, try following the instructions, or even retracing your steps. If the
       issue continues to persist, submit a bug with the steps to reproduce, please  include  the
       operating system you are working on, along with the error you recieve.

Where does npm put stuff?

       See npm help 5 npm-folders


       ·   Use the npm root command to see where modules go, and the npm bin command to see where
           executables go

       ·   Global installs are different from local installs. If you install something  with  the
           -g flag, then its executables go in npm bin -g and its modules go in npm root -g.

How do I install something on my computer in a central location?

       Install  it  globally  by  tacking  -g  or  --global  to  the command. (This is especially
       important for command line utilities that need to add their  bins  to  the  global  system

I installed something globally, but I can´t <code>require()</code> it

       Install it locally.

       The global install location is a place for command-line utilities to put their bins in the
       system PATH. It´s not for use with require().

       If you require() a module in your code, then that means it´s a dependency, and a  part  of
       your program. You need to install it locally in your program.

Why can´t npm just put everything in one place, like other package managers?

       Not  every change is an improvement, but every improvement is a change. This would be like
       asking git to do network IO for every commit. It´s not going to  happen,  because  it´s  a
       terrible idea that causes more problems than it solves.

       It  is  much  harder  to  avoid dependency conflicts without nesting dependencies. This is
       fundamental to the way that npm works, and  has  proven  to  be  an  extremely  successful
       approach. See npm help 5 npm-folders for more details.

       If  you  want a package to be installed in one place, and have all your programs reference
       the same copy of it, then use the npm link command.  That´s  what  it´s  for.  Install  it
       globally, then link it into each program that uses it.

Whatever, I really want the old style ´everything global´ style.

       Write  your  own package manager. You could probably even wrap up npm in a shell script if
       you really wanted to.

       npm will not help you do something that is known to be a bad idea.

Should I check my <code>node_modules</code> folder into git?

       Usually, no. Allow npm to resolve dependencies for your packages.

       For packages you deploy, such as websites and apps, you should use npm shrinkwrap to  lock
       down your full dependency tree:

       If  you  are  paranoid  about depending on the npm ecosystem, you should run a private npm
       mirror or a private cache.

       If you want 100% confidence in being able to reproduce the specific bytes  included  in  a
       deployment,  you  should  use an additional mechanism that can verify contents rather than
       versions. For example, Amazon machine images, DigitalOcean  snapshots,  Heroku  slugs,  or
       simple tarballs.

Is it ´npm´ or ´NPM´ or ´Npm´?

       npm  should  never  be  capitalized  unless  it  is  being displayed in a location that is
       customarily all-caps (such as the title of man pages.)

If ´npm´ is an acronym, why is it never capitalized?

       Contrary to the belief of many, "npm" is not in fact an  abbreviation  for  "Node  Package
       Manager".  It  is  a recursive bacronymic abbreviation for "npm is not an acronym". (If it
       was "ninaa", then it would be an acronym, and thus incorrectly named.)

       "NPM", however, is an acronym (more precisely, a capitonym) for the  National  Association
       of Pastoral Musicians. You can learn more about them at

       In  software,  "NPM"  is a Non-Parametric Mapping utility written by Chris Rorden. You can
       analyze pictures of brains with it. Learn more about  the  (capitalized)  NPM  program  at

       The  first seed that eventually grew into this flower was a bash utility named "pm", which
       was a shortened descendent of "pkgmakeinst", a bash function  that  was  used  to  install
       various  different  things  on different platforms, most often using Yahoo´s yinst. If npm
       was ever an acronym for anything, it was node pm or maybe new pm.

       So, in all seriousness, the "npm" project is named after its command-line  utility,  which
       was organically selected to be easily typed by a right-handed programmer using a US QWERTY
       keyboard layout, ending with the right-ring-finger in a postition to type the  -  key  for
       flags  and  other  command-line arguments. That command-line utility is always lower-case,
       though it starts most sentences it is a part of.

How do I list installed packages?

       npm ls

How do I search for packages?

       npm search

       Arguments are greps. npm search jsdom shows jsdom packages.

How do I update npm?

       npm install npm -g

       You can also update all outdated local packages by doing npm update without any arguments,
       or global packages by doing npm update -g.

       Occasionally,  the  version  of  npm will progress such that the current version cannot be
       properly installed with the version that you have installed already. (Consider,  if  there
       is ever a bug in the update command.)

       In those cases, you can do this:

           curl | sh

What is a <code>package</code>?

       A package is any of:

       ·   a) a folder containing a program described by a package.json file

       ·   b) a gzipped tarball containing (a)

       ·   c) a url that resolves to (b)

       ·   d) a <name>@<version> that is published on the registry with (c)

       ·   e) a <name>@<tag> that points to (d)

       ·   f) a <name> that has a "latest" tag satisfying (e)

       ·   g) a git url that, when cloned, results in (a).

       Even  if  you never publish your package, you can still get a lot of benefits of using npm
       if you just want to write a node program (a), and perhaps if you also want to be  able  to
       easily install it elsewhere after packing it up into a tarball (b).

       Git urls can be of the form:


       The  commit-ish can be any tag, sha, or branch which can be supplied as an argument to git
       checkout. The default is master.

What is a <code>module</code>?

       A module is anything that can be loaded with require() in a Node.js program. The following
       things are all examples of things that can be loaded as modules:

       ·   A folder with a package.json file containing a main field.

       ·   A folder with an index.js file in it.

       ·   A JavaScript file.

       Most  npm  packages  are  modules,  because they are libraries that you load with require.
       However, there´s no requirement that an npm package be a  module!  Some  only  contain  an
       executable  command-line  interface,  and  don´t  provide  a  main  field  for use in Node

       Almost all npm packages (at least, those that are  Node  programs)  contain  many  modules
       within them (because every file they load with require() is a module).

       In  the  context  of  a  Node program, the module is also the thing that was loaded from a
       file. For example, in the following program:

           var req = require(´request´)

       we might say that "The variable req refers to the request module".

So, why is it the

       The package.json file defines the package. (See "What is a package?" above.)

       The node_modules folder is the place Node.js looks for modules. (See "What is  a  module?"

       For  example,  if you create a file at node_modules/foo.js and then had a program that did
       var f = require(´foo.js´) then it  would  load  the  module.  However,  foo.js  is  not  a
       "package" in this case, because it does not have a package.json.

       Alternatively,  if  you create a package which does not have an index.js or a "main" field
       in the package.json file, then it is not a module. Even if it´s installed in node_modules,
       it can´t be an argument to require().


       No.  This will never happen. This question comes up sometimes, because it seems silly from
       the outside that npm couldn´t just be configured to put stuff somewhere else, and then npm
       could load them from there. It´s an arbitrary spelling choice, right? What´s the big deal?

       At  the  time  of this writing, the string ´node_modules´ appears 151 times in 53 separate
       files in npm and node core (excluding tests and documentation).

       Some of these references are in node´s built-in module loader. Since npm is  not  involved
       at  all  at run-time, node itself would have to be configured to know where you´ve decided
       to stick stuff. Complexity hurdle #1. Since the Node module system is locked, this  cannot
       be  changed,  and  is enough to kill this request. But I´ll continue, in deference to your
       deity´s delicate feelings regarding spelling.

       Many of the others are in dependencies that npm uses, which are  not  necessarily  tightly
       coupled  to  npm (in the sense that they do not read npm´s configuration files, etc.) Each
       of these would have to be configured to take the name of  the  node_modules  folder  as  a
       parameter. Complexity hurdle #2.

       Furthermore,  npm  has the ability to "bundle" dependencies by adding the dep names to the
       "bundledDependencies" list in package.json, which causes the folder to be included in  the
       package  tarball.  What if the author of a module bundles its dependencies, and they use a
       different spelling for node_modules? npm would have to rename the folder at publish  time,
       and  then  be  smart  enough  to  unpack it using your locally configured name. Complexity
       hurdle #3.

       Furthermore, what happens when you change this name? Fine,  it´s  easy  enough  the  first
       time,  just rename the node_modules folders to ./blergyblerp/ or whatever name you choose.
       But what about when you change it again? npm doesn´t currently track any state about  past
       configuration settings, so this would be rather difficult to do properly. It would have to
       track every previous value for this config,  and  always  accept  any  of  them,  or  else
       yesterday´s install may be broken tomorrow. Complexity hurdle #4.

       Never  going  to  happen. The folder is named node_modules. It is written indelibly in the
       Node Way, handed down from the ancient times of Node 0.3.

How do I install node with npm?

       You don´t. Try one of these node version managers:










How can I use npm for development?

       See npm help 7 npm-developers and npm help 5 package.json.

       You´ll most likely want to npm link your development folder. That´s awesomely handy.

       To set up your own private registry, check out npm help 7 npm-registry.

Can I list a url as a dependency?

       Yes. It should be a url to a gzipped  tarball  containing  a  single  folder  that  has  a
       package.json in its root, or a git url. (See "what is a package?" above.)

How do I symlink to a dev folder so I don´t have to keep re-installing?

       See npm help npm-link

The package registry website. What is that exactly?

       See npm help 7 npm-registry.

I forgot my password, and can´t publish. How do I reset it?

       Go to

I get ECONNREFUSED a lot. What´s up?

       Either the registry is down, or node´s DNS isn´t able to reach out.

       To  check  if  the registry is down, open up in a web browser.
       This will also tell you if you are just unable to access the internet for some reason.

       If the registry IS down, let us know by emailing or posting an issue  at  If it´s down for the world (and not just on your local
       network) then we´re probably already being pinged about it.

       You can also often get a faster response by visiting the #npm channel on Freenode IRC.

Why no namespaces?

       npm has only one global namespace. If you want to namespace your own  packages,  you  may:
       simply  use  the - character to separate the names or use scoped packages. npm is a mostly
       anarchic system. There is not sufficient need to impose namespace rules on everyone.

       As of 2.0, npm supports scoped packages, which allow you to publish  a  group  of  related
       modules without worrying about name collisions.

       Every  npm user owns the scope associated with their username. For example, the user named
       npm owns the scope @npm. Scoped packages are published inside a scope by naming them as if
       they  were  files  under  the  scope  directory,  e.g., by setting name in package.json to

       Scoped  packages  are  supported  by  the  public  npm  registry.  The   npm   client   is
       backwards-compatible  with un-scoped registries, so it can be used to work with scoped and
       un-scoped registries at the same time.

       Unscoped packages can only depend on other unscoped packages. Scoped packages  can  depend
       on packages from their own scope, a different scope, or the public registry (unscoped).

       For the current documentation of scoped packages, see


       1.  For  the  reasoning  behind  the  "one  global namespace", please see this discussion:
  (TL;DR: It doesn´t actually make things  better,
           and can make them worse.)

       2.  For  the  pre-implementation  discussion  of  the  scoped  package  feature,  see this

Who does npm?

       npm was originally written by Isaac Z. Schlueter, and many others have contributed to  it,
       some of them quite substantially.

       The   npm   open   source   project,   The   npm   Registry,  and  the  community  website are  maintained  and  operated  by  the  good  folks  at  npm,  Inc.

I have a question or request not addressed here. Where should I put it?

       Post an issue on the github project:


Why does npm hate me?

       npm is not capable of hatred. It loves everyone, especially you.


       ·   npm help npm

       ·   npm help 7 developers

       ·   npm help 5 package.json

       ·   npm help config

       ·   npm help 7 config

       ·   npm help 5 npmrc

       ·   npm help 7 config

       ·   npm help 5 folders

                                          December 2015                                NPM-FAQ(7)