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This package has been re-pubished as @hutson/npm-deploy-git-tag. Please consider removing the old package and installing the new package.


3.0.4 • Public • Published


Publish to an npm-compatible registry using the latest git tag from that package's repository.

Publishing a package to an npm-compatible registry may include:

  • Updating a package.json file with a new version number that matches a git tag.
  • Writing an authentication token to an .npmrc file.
  • Running npm publish.

By automating these steps npm-publish-git-tag alleviates some of the overhead in managing a project, allowing you to quickly and consistently publish enhancements that provide value to your consumers.

This idea, however, is not new. npm-publish-git-tag was heavily inspired by the work of ci-publish.

Table of Contents



To install the npm-publish-git-tag tool for use in your project's publish process please run the following command:

yarn add [--dev] npm-publish-git-tag


Setup the environment variable described in the Required Environment Variable section.

There are two ways to use npm-publish-git-tag, either as a CLI tool, or programtically.

To learn how npm-publish-git-tag can be used to automatically publish your project after you've pushed new changes to your repository, which we highly recommend, please see the Continuous Integration and Delivery (CID) Setup section below.

CLI Tool

Then call npm-publish-git-tag from within your project's top folder:

$(yarn bin)/npm-publish-git-tag


const npmPublishGitTag = require(`npm-publish-git-tag`);
const config = {
     * Options are the camelCase form of their respective CLI flag.
     * For example, the `--skip-token` option can be set like so:
    skipToken: true,
     * The `--access` option can be set like so:
    access: `restricted`,
  .then(output => { /* Package successfully published to an npm registry. */ })
  .catch(error => { /* Do any exception handling here. */ });

CLI Options

The following CLI options are supported and can be passed to npm-publish-git-tag:

[--access <public|restricted>] - Documentation available on npm website.

Publishing a scoped package as a public package requires that you set --access to public.

$(yarn bin)/npm-publish-git-tag --access public

If you attempt to publish a scoped package as restricted, but you do not have a paid account with Npm Inc., you will receive an error similar to the following:

npm ERR! publish Failed PUT 402
npm ERR! code E402
npm ERR! "You must sign up for private packages" : @scope/example-package


Allows you to publish an npm package without requiring you to set an NPM_TOKEN environment variable containing your npm authentication token.

$(yarn bin)/npm-publish-git-tag --skip-token

You may already have your .npmrc configuration file setup with the proper authentication for your npm registry, or your npm registry may not require authentication for publishing (such as local, offline, registries commonly used for testing).

How the Publish Happens

First step of npm-publish-git-tag is to get the latest git tag on the current branch for your project and treat it as a semantically valid version number. With the version number in hand, we write the version number to the version field within your project's package.json file. Writing the version number to your project's package.json allows us to publish your package regardless of how you tag, or otherwise, update, your project's version.

Once your project's package.json file has been updated, we take the NPM_TOKEN environment variable, which should be exposed within your environment as specified in the Required Environment Variable section, and write its value out to the user's global .npmrc file.

Lastly, npm-publish-git-tag publishes your package to either the authoritative npm registry, or an alternative npm-compatible registry (Please see Publishing Elsewhere Besides Public npm Registry to learn how to use an alternative registry).

Required Environment Variable

For npm-publish-git-tag to publish a package to an npm-compatible registry an npm token must be setup within your environment.

Environment variable name - NPM_TOKEN

The account associated with the npm token must own, or co-own, the package on the npm-compatible registry for the publishing task to succeed. It will also succeed if the package does not already exist on the npm-compatible registry.

Continuous Integration and Delivery (CID) Setup

Since npm-publish-git-tag relies on an npm authentication token, and a package published to the public npm registry, npm-publish-git-tag works on any Git-based continuous integration platforms; such as GitLab CI, Travis CI, CircleCI etc.

However, given the enormous number of CI providers available, we will only cover the CI system built into GitLab.

Configuring a GitLab CI job is facilitated through a .gitlab-ci.yml configuration file kept at the root of your project. To publish a package using npm-publish-git-tag you will need to create a dedicated job that executes only after a new git tag has been pushed to your repository.

That can be done with GitLab CI by creating a job called publish, though any name will work. Within the publish job install your project's dependencies, run any build required to transpile your code, and finally, call npm-publish-git-tag.

You can see a snippet of a .gitlab-ci.yml file below with this setup:

        - yarn install --frozen-lockfile
    image: node:8
        - tags
        - # build step, if any 
        - $(yarn bin)/npm-publish-git-tag

npm-publish-git-tag works well with tools like semantic-release-gitlab. semantic-release-gitlab creates a git tag based on unreleased commits and pushes that tag to GitLab. Assuming the setup above, once the tag has been pushed to GitLab, your project's publish job would execute, and npm-publish-git-tag would publish your package to your desired npm-compatible registry.

Full documentation for GitLab CI is available on the GitLab CI site.

You may also take a look at our .gitlab-ci.yml file as an example.

Publishing Elsewhere Besides Public npm Registry

It's possible to publish your package to any npm-compatible registry, not just the official public registry. When publishing a package npm-publish-git-tag uses the built-in publish command of npm. Any features supported by npm publish are available. For example, you may specify, on a per-project basis, which registry to publish your package to by setting the publishConfig property in your project's package.json file.

Alternative registries may include on-premise solutions such as Artifactory and npm enterprise.


To assist users of npm-publish-git-tag with debugging the behavior of this module we use the debug utility package to print information about the publish process to the console. To enable debug message printing, the environment variable DEBUG, which is the variable used by the debug package, must be set to a value configured by the package containing the debug messages to be printed.

To print debug messages on a unix system set the environment variable DEBUG with the name of this package prior to executing npm-publish-git-tag:

DEBUG=npm-publish-git-tag npm-publish-git-tag

On the Windows command line you may do:

set DEBUG=npm-publish-git-tag

Node Support Policy

We only support Long-Term Support versions of Node.

We specifically limit our support to LTS versions of Node, not because this package won't work on other versions, but because we have a limited amount of time, and supporting LTS offers the greatest return on that investment.

It's possible this package will work correctly on newer versions of Node. It may even be possible to use this package on older versions of Node, though that's more unlikely as we'll make every effort to take advantage of features available in the oldest LTS version we support.

As each Node LTS version reaches its end-of-life we will remove that version from the node engines property of our package's package.json file. Removing a Node version is considered a breaking change and will entail the publishing of a new major version of this package. We will not accept any requests to support an end-of-life version of Node. Any merge requests or issues supporting an end-of-life version of Node will be closed.

We will accept code that allows this package to run on newer, non-LTS, versions of Node. Furthermore, we will attempt to ensure our own changes work on the latest version of Node. To help in that commitment, our continuous integration setup runs against all LTS versions of Node in addition the most recent Node release; called current.

JavaScript package managers should allow you to install this package with any version of Node, with, at most, a warning if your version of Node does not fall within the range specified by our node engines property. If you encounter issues installing this package, please report the issue to your package manager.


Please read our contributing guide to see how you may contribute to this project.



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