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1.0.7 • Public • Published


Get the list of files installed in a package in node_modules, including bundled dependencies.

This is useful if you want to remove a package node from the tree without removing its child nodes, for example to extract a new version of the dependency into place safely.

It's sort of the reflection of npm-packlist, but for listing out the installed files rather than the files that will be installed. This is of course a much simpler operation, because we don't have to handle ignore files or package.json files lists.


// programmatic usage
const pkgContents = require('@npmcli/installed-package-contents')

pkgContents({ path: 'node_modules/foo', depth: 1 }).then(files => {
  // files is an array of items that need to be passed to
  // rimraf or moved out of the way to make the folder empty
  // if foo bundled dependencies, those will be included.
  // It will not traverse into child directories, because we set
  // depth:1 in the options.
  // If the folder doesn't exist, this returns an empty array.

pkgContents({ path: 'node_modules/foo', depth: Infinity }).then(files => {
  // setting depth:Infinity tells it to keep walking forever
  // until it hits something that isn't a directory, so we'll
  // just get the list of all files, but not their containing
  // directories.

As a CLI:

$ installed-package-contents node_modules/bundle-some -d1

CLI options:

  installed-package-contents <path> [-d<n> --depth=<n>]

Lists the files installed for a package specified by <path>.

  -d<n> --depth=<n>   Provide a numeric value ("Infinity" is allowed)
                      to specify how deep in the file tree to traverse.
  -h --help           Show this usage information


  • depth Number, default 1. How deep to traverse through folders to get contents. Typically you'd want to set this to either 1 (to get the surface files and folders) or Infinity (to get all files), but any other positive number is supported as well. If set to 0 or a negative number, returns the path provided and (if it is a package) its set of linked bins.
  • path Required. Path to the package in node_modules where traversal should begin.


A Promise that resolves to an array of fully-resolved files and folders matching the criteria. This includes all bundled dependencies in node_modules, and any linked executables in node_modules/.bin that the package caused to be installed.

An empty or missing package folder will return an empty array. Empty directories within package contents are listed, even if the depth argument would cause them to be traversed into.


If using this module to generate a list of files that should be recursively removed to clear away the package, note that this will leave empty directories behind in certain cases:

  • If all child packages are bundled dependencies, then the node_modules folder will remain.
  • If all child packages within a given scope were bundled dependencies, then the node_modules/@scope folder will remain.
  • If all linked bin scripts were removed, then an empty node_modules/.bin folder will remain.

In the interest of speed and algorithmic complexity, this module does not do a subsequent readdir to see if it would remove all directory entries, though it would be easier to look at if it returned node_modules or .bin in that case rather than the contents. However, if the intent is to pass these arguments to rimraf, it hardly makes sense to do two readdir calls just so that we can have the luxury of having to make a third.

Since the primary use case is to delete a package's contents so that they can be re-filled with a new version of that package, this caveat does not pose a problem. Empty directories are already ignored by both npm and git.




npm i @npmcli/installed-package-contents

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