1.6.3 • Public • Published

Node Bridge

Node Bridge is a NodeJS Module and NPM Package dependency management. Node Bridge store the packages in one location, and well versioned.


Currently NPM installs each project packages on the project dir, which will (for me) consume more space on the disk. For example, when installing Express 4x I got 40 packages installed (incl dependencies). So when I have 10 express app on my system, I need to install 400 packages, whereas I can use the installed packages instead to re-install on each project.

Installing SailsJS will install about 304 packages. So when we have 10 SailsJS apps we'll need to install 3,040 packages (hoo crazy). That's why unified dependency location is might be useful.

With Node Bridge we don't need to re-install each project packages, and we don't need to see node_modules folder on our projects. The fact, when we do npm-bridge install on our project folder, Node Bridge will look through the package.json dependencies and check does they're installed or not, including the version number. And we don't need to change anything to makes it works.

Doing npm-bridge install will install the packages (if neccessary) to the one location, and node-bridge app.js will start the app, and the require is just works. Every packages is loaded from the one locations.

So when will we need to use Node Bridge?

  • When we don't want to re-install packages for every projects.
  • When we don't want to see node_modules folder anymore.
  • When we want to do quick update. Update one package, all projects will updated as well since they're using one dependency.
  • When we want to load sub-modules without pkgname/node_modules/sub-pkg-name
  • When ...

Doing npm install still will allow us to install the packages like usual, likewise the node app.js will work as usual.

Tested Apps

  • ExpressJS apps. node app.js works fine (with npm-bridge link), node-bridge app.js also works (without npm-bridge link).
  • SailsJS apps. node app.js works fine (with npm-bridge link), node-bridge app.js also works (with npm-bridge link grunt).

Installing Node Bridge

To install Node Bridge, simply run

$ npm install -g node-bridge

and done! Node Bridge is ready to use.

Installing Packages

npm-bridge install[-i, i] [packages...][options...]

Install one or more packages, from inside or outside project tree.

Doing npm-bridge install will check does the packages is using the latest version. If new updates is available, Node Bridge will inform you to install those packages.


  • --save | -s - Save installed packages to project package.json
  • --save-dev | -sd - Save installed pacakges to project package.json as dev-dependencies.
  • --force | -f - Force install packages, no matter its already installed or not.


// Install all project dependencies.
$ npm-bridge install
// Install specific packages.
$ npm-bridge install express
$ npm-bridge install sails@^0.11.0
// Install and save to project.json
$ npm-bridge install --save singclude@^1.0.0

Updating Packages

npm-bridge update[-u, u] [packages...] [options...]

Update one or more packages, from inside or outside project tree.


  • --save | -s - Save updated version to project package.json.
  • --save-dev | -sd - Save updated version to project package.json as dev-dependencies.


// Update all project dependencies.
$ npm-bridge update
// Update specific packages.
$ npm-bridge update express
$ npm-bridge update sails@^0.11.0
// Update and save to project.json
$ npm-bridge update --save singclude@^1.0.0

To check updates for all installed packages (outside project tree), use npm-bridge check-updates. Use npm-bridge check-updates --install to check the updates and install the available updates. Running this command on huge dependencies will take a time since it's check the each updates.


// Only check for available updates.
$ npm-bridge check-updates
// Check and install the updates.
$ npm-bridge check-updates --install

Removing Packages

npm-bridge remove[-r, rm] [packages...] [options...]

Remove one or more packages. Packages removal is secured. So, the packages that still have dependents wont removed, unless you add --force option to force remove packages, no matter still has dependents or not.


  • all - Remove all installed packages ( not only the project dependencies ).
  • --save | -s - Save removed packages to project package.json as dev-dependencies.
  • --save-dev | -sd - Save removed packages to project package.json.
  • --force - Force remove packages.
  • --auto - Auto remove the dependencies tree (recursively).


// Remove all packages from package.json
$ npm-bridge rm --auto --save
// Remove all packages
$ npm-bridge remove --auto
// Remove specific packages
$ npm-bridge remove express@^4.0.0 singclude --auto --save
// Just remove the package (without removing dependencies)
$ npm-bridge remove express@^4.0.0

Listing Packages

npm-bridge list[-l, ls] [packages...]


// List all installed packages
$ npm-bridge list
// List specific packages
$ npm-bridge ls express singclude

Linking Installed Packages

Link packages will create symlinks to installed packages, also registering the project as dependent of the packages.

npm-bridge link[ln] [packages...]


// Link all dependencies on package.json
$ npm-bridge link
// Link specific packages
$ npm-bridge ln express@^4.0.0 singclude

Unlinking Installed Packages

Unlink packages will remove links from packages, also remove thep project from packages dependents.

npm-bridge unlink[rln] [packages...]


// Unlink all dependencies on package.json
$ npm-bridge unlink
// Unlink specific packages. Don't use version when unlinking.
$ npm-bridge rln express singclude

Linking Installed Packages Binary

npm-bridge link-bin[lb] [packages...]

Link installed packages binary bin to /usr/local/bin to makes it executable gobally.


// Link single package binary with specific version
$ npm-bridge link-bin swig@^1.0.0
// Link multiple package binary.
$ npm-bridge lb swig@^1.0.0 semver pm2

Unlinking Installed Packages Binary

npm-bridge unlink-bin[ulb] [packages...]

Remove linked packages binary from /usr/local/bin to makes it not executable gobally.


// Unlink single package binary with specific version
$ npm-bridge unlink-bin swig@^1.0.0
// Unlink multiple package binary.
$ npm-bridge ulb swig@^1.0.0 semver pm2

Running App

We must use node-bridge [app] instead node [app] to run applications without linking (adding to local node_modules) dependencies, and makes the require works.

If we want to run the app as background process, we need to have PM2 installed globally.


// Simply run app
$ node-bridge app.js

// Run with arguments
$ node-bridge app.js --port=8000 --host=localhost --verbose

// Run as daemon with arguments
$ node-bridge --daemon app.js --port=8932

// Stop daemon
$ node-bridge stop app.js


  • Node Bridge requires NodeJS v4x (or ES6) to works.
  • Daemon Mode requires PM2 installed globally.
  • Be carefull when removing packages, since some packages also using that.
  • Node Bridge still need more work (e.g: performance). So use with your own risk if you want to use the module.

If you have packages installed with version < 1.6.0, we prefer to reinstall them (with --force or remove them first) to ensure everything works properly as v1.6.0 release.

Thanks To

Package Sidebar


npm i node-bridge

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  • mahdaen