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3.0.5 • Public • Published


Remove unwanted files and directories from your node_modules folder

Diarrhea is a fork of ModClean with some optimizations.

Build Status npm version NPM Dependencies NPM Downloads GitHub license GitHub issues Package Quality

This documentation is for diarrhea 3.x which requires Node v8+, if you need to support older versions, use ModClean instead.

If you need to support versions older then v6.9+, use ModClean 1.3.0 instead.

Diarrhea is a utility that finds and removes unnecessary files and folders from your node_modules directory based on predefined and custom glob patterns. This utility comes with both a CLI and a programmatic API to provide customization for your environment. Diarrhea is used and tested in an Enterprise environment on a daily basis.


There are a few different reasons why you would want to use Diarrhea:

  • Commiting Modules. Some environments (especially Enterprise), it's required to commit the node_modules directory with your application into version control. This is due to compatibility, vetting and vunerability scanning rules for open source software. This can lead to issues with project size, checking out/pulling changes and the infamous 255 character path limit if you're unlucky enough to be on Windows or SVN.
  • Wasted space on your server. Why waste space on your server with files not needed by you or the modules?
  • Packaged applications. If you're required to package your application, you can reduce the size of the package quickly by removing unneeded files.
  • Compiled applications. Other tools like, NW.js and Electron make it easy to create cross-platform desktop apps, but depending on the modules, your app can become huge. Reduce down the size of the compiled application before shipping and make it faster for users to download.
  • Save space on your machine. Depending on the amount of global modules you have installed, you can reduce their space by removing those gremlin files.
  • and much more!

The 🍰 is a lie, but the Benchmarks are not.


Diarrhea scans the node_modules directory of your choosing, finding all files and folders that match the defined patterns and deleting them. Both the CLI and the programmatic API provides all the options needed to customize this process to your requirements. Depending on the number of modules your app requires, files can be reduced anywhere from hundreds to thousands and disk space can be reduced considerably.

(File and disk space reduction can also be different between the version of NPM and Operating System)

IMPORTANT This module has been heavily tested in an enterprise environment used for large enterprise applications. The provided patterns in modclean-patterns-default have worked very well when cleaning up useless files in many popular modules. There are hundreds of thousands of modules in NPM and I cannot simply cover them all. If you are using Diarrhea for the first time on your application, you should create a copy of the application so you can ensure it still runs properly after running Diarrhea. The patterns are set in a way to ensure no crutial module files are removed, although there could be one-off cases where a module could be affected and that's why I am stressing that testing and backups are important. If you find any files that should be removed, please create a pull request to modclean-patterns-default or create your own patterns plugin to share with the community.

Removal Benchmark

So how well does this module work? If we npm install sails and run Diarrhea on it, here are the results:

All tests ran on macOS 10.12.3 with Node v6.9.1 and NPM v4.0.5

Using Default Safe Patterns

diarrhea -n default:safe or diarrhea

Total Files Total Folders Total Size
Before Diarrhea 16,179 1,941 71.24 MB
After Diarrhea 12,192 1,503 59.35 MB
Reduced 3,987 438 11.88 MB

Using Safe and Caution Patterns

diarrhea -n default:safe,default:caution

Total Files Total Folders Total Size
Before Diarrhea 16,179 1,941 71.24 MB
After Diarrhea 11,941 1,473 55.28 MB
Reduced 4,238 468 15.95 MB

Using Safe, Caution and Danger Patterns

diarrhea --patterns="default:*"

Total Files Total Folders Total Size
Before Diarrhea 16,179 1,941 71.24 MB
After Diarrhea 11,684 1,444 51.76 MB
Reduced 4,495 497 19.47 MB

That makes a huge difference in the amount of files and disk space.

View additional benchmarks on the Wiki: Benchmarks. If you would like to run some of your own benchmarks, you can use modclean-benchmark.


Install locally

npm install diarrhea --save

Install globally (CLI)

npm install diarrhea -g

Read the CLI Documentation

Read the API Documentation

Read the Custom Patterns Plugin Documentation


If you find any bugs with either Diarrhea or the CLI Utility, please feel free to open an issue. Any feature requests may also be posted in the issues.


Diarrhea and ModClean are licensed under the MIT license. Please see LICENSE in the repository for the full text.


npm i diarrhea

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