node package manager


A simple npm bash wrapper, to use GitHub as a light-weight npm registry for publishing.


A simple npm bash wrapper, to use GitHub as a light-weight npm registry for publishing.


I wanted:

  • A private NPM registry,
  • which was easily accessible by GitHub teams and users,
  • who already had access to my private GitHub repos,
  • but did not necessarily have access to my corporate intranet / vpn.

I did not want:

  • To have to maintain a private NPM registry on a public / hosted server.
  • To have individual GitHub repos for each npm package.
  • To spend the time to modify an npm fork to do what I want.

I don't care about:

  • Having a web-based search-able, browse-able interface; GitHub is good enough for me.
  • The unsightly progress & output from npm-gh. I might fix it one day, when I care more.

Release history

  • Current release: 0.0.5

New in 0.0.5

  • No longer pulls a potentially pre-existing branch from the registry repo, just force pushes the new release.
    • Speeds the process up, though you loose the record of multiple releases for the same version number.

New in 0.0.4

  • Exposed getJsonValue as a command-line executable. Use: getJsonValue .

New in 0.0.3

  • Fixed bug where when installed locally, npm-gh would not correctly resolve the symlink to itself in node_modules
  • Removed dependency with a node.js-based JSON parser.

New in 0.0.2

  • Added support for command-line specified package directories


First of all, you'll need npm.

Then at a command-line:

npm install -g  git://

Yep, that's right, npm-gh uses its own repo as a GitHub-backed public npm registry for itself.

You can also get it from the public npm registry at, so this should also work:

npm install -g npm-gh


In your package.json you need the following:

"name": "$myPackage",
"version": "$myVersion",
"registry": {
  "type": "git",
  "url": "$GitHubAccount/$RegistryRepo.git"

If any of the above properties do not exist, or if you invoked npm-gh in any other way, npm is called instead.

Working directory

Once your package.json is ready, you can run npm-gh publish, and it will publish version $myVersion of $myPackage to $RegistryRepo on $GitHubAccount, assuming you have the correct GitHub permissions to do so.

Specified directories

You can optionally specify one or more directories on the command line:

npm-gh publish [path1] [path2] ...

It will check to see if the path is a directory, if it contains a package.json and if the package.json contains the required additional properties for npm-gh; if any of these fail, it skips that path and moves on.

Specifying the dependency in other packages

In another package which depends on $myPackage you should add the following to your package.json dependency list:

"$myPackage": "git+ssh://$GitHubAccount/$RegistryRepo.git#$myPackage/$myVersion"

git+ssh://$GitHubAccount... is necessary for $RegistryRepos which are private.

git://$GitHubAccount.. should be sufficient for $RegistryRepos which are public.


Differences from npm

npm publish allows you to specify tarballs and / or directories to publish.

npm-gh currently only allows you to publish your current working directory and / or directories. Tarballs are not supported in 0.0.3, and are unlikely to be any-time soon, unless someone specifically asks for it.

Private packages

npm-gh ignores the private property of your package.json, as the whole point was to be able to publish private packages to a potentially private GitHub repo, instead of the public npm registry.

Updating published packages

npm-gh will allow you to update an existing published version.

While this is bad practice for released versions, the script allows it, to keep it simple, and also to allow for pre-release versions to change during the R&D lifecycle, without bumping version numbers in the package.json.

Registry Maintenance

Removal and pruning of obsolete versions of packages is currently only possible by deleting the appropriate branches in the $RegistryRepo via git.


This package is made available under the MIT License.