2.0.0 • Public • Published

npm(1) -- node package manager


This is just enough info to get you up and running.

Much more info available via npm help once it's installed.


You need node v0.8 or higher to run this program.

To install an old and unsupported version of npm that works on node 0.3 and prior, clone the git repo and dig through the old tags and branches.

Super Easy Install

npm comes with node now.

Windows Computers

Get the MSI. npm is in it.

Apple Macintosh Computers

Get the pkg. npm is in it.

Other Sorts of Unices

Run make install. npm will be installed with node.

If you want a more fancy pants install (a different version, customized paths, etc.) then read on.

Fancy Install (Unix)

There's a pretty robust install script at You can download that and run it.

Slightly Fancier

You can set any npm configuration params with that script:

npm_config_prefix=/some/path sh

Or, you can run it in uber-debuggery mode:

npm_debug=1 sh

Even Fancier

Get the code with git. Use make to build the docs and do other stuff. If you plan on hacking on npm, make link is your friend.

If you've got the npm source code, you can also semi-permanently set arbitrary config keys using the ./configure --key=val ..., and then run npm commands by doing node cli.js <cmd> <args>. (This is helpful for testing, or running stuff without actually installing npm itself.)

Fancy Windows Install

You can download a zip file from, and unpack it in the same folder where node.exe lives.

If that's not fancy enough for you, then you can fetch the code with git, and mess with it directly.

Installing on Cygwin


Permissions when Using npm to Install Other Stuff


  • Use sudo for greater safety. Or don't, if you prefer not to.
  • npm will downgrade permissions if it's root before running any build scripts that package authors specified.

More details...

As of version 0.3, it is recommended to run npm as root. This allows npm to change the user identifier to the nobody user prior to running any package build or test commands.

If you are not the root user, or if you are on a platform that does not support uid switching, then npm will not attempt to change the userid.

If you would like to ensure that npm always runs scripts as the "nobody" user, and have it fail if it cannot downgrade permissions, then set the following configuration param:

npm config set unsafe-perm false

This will prevent running in unsafe mode, even as non-root users.


So sad to see you go.

sudo npm uninstall npm -g

Or, if that fails,

sudo make uninstall

More Severe Uninstalling

Usually, the above instructions are sufficient. That will remove npm, but leave behind anything you've installed.

If you would like to remove all the packages that you have installed, then you can use the npm ls command to find them, and then npm rm to remove them.

To remove cruft left behind by npm 0.x, you can use the included script file. You can run it conveniently like this:

npm explore npm -g -- sh scripts/

npm uses two configuration files, one for per-user configs, and another for global (every-user) configs. You can view them by doing:

npm config get userconfig   # defaults to ~/.npmrc
npm config get globalconfig # defaults to /usr/local/etc/npmrc

Uninstalling npm does not remove configuration files by default. You must remove them yourself manually if you want them gone. Note that this means that future npm installs will not remember the settings that you have chosen.

Using npm Programmatically

If you would like to use npm programmatically, you can do that. It's not very well documented, but it is rather simple.

Most of the time, unless you actually want to do all the things that npm does, you should try using one of npm's dependencies rather than using npm itself, if possible.

Eventually, npm will be just a thin cli wrapper around the modules that it depends on, but for now, there are some things that you must use npm itself to do.

var npm = require("npm")
npm.load(myConfigObject, function (er) {
  if (er) return handlError(er)
  npm.commands.install(["some", "args"], function (er, data) {
    if (er) return commandFailed(er)
    // command succeeded, and data might have some info
  npm.on("log", function (message) { .... })

The load function takes an object hash of the command-line configs. The various npm.commands.<cmd> functions take an array of positional argument strings. The last argument to any npm.commands.<cmd> function is a callback. Some commands take other optional arguments. Read the source.

You cannot set configs individually for any single npm function at this time. Since npm is a singleton, any call to npm.config.set will change the value for all npm commands in that process.

See ./bin/npm-cli.js for an example of pulling config values off of the command line arguments using nopt. You may also want to check out npm help config to learn about all the options you can set there.

More Docs

Check out the docs, especially the faq.

You can use the npm help command to read any of them.

If you're a developer, and you want to use npm to publish your program, you should read this

Legal Stuff

"npm" and "The npm Registry" are owned by npm, Inc. All rights reserved. See the included LICENSE file for more details.

"Node.js" and "node" are trademarks owned by Joyent, Inc.

Modules published on the npm registry are not officially endorsed by npm, Inc. or the Node.js project.

Data published to the npm registry is not part of npm itself, and is the sole property of the publisher. While every effort is made to ensure accountability, there is absolutely no guarantee, warrantee, or assertion expressed or implied as to the quality, fitness for a specific purpose, or lack of malice in any given npm package.

If you have a complaint about a package in the public npm registry, and cannot resolve it with the package owner, please email and explain the situation.

Any data published to The npm Registry (including user account information) may be removed or modified at the sole discretion of the npm server administrators.

In plainer english

npm is the property of npm, Inc.

If you publish something, it's yours, and you are solely accountable for it.

If other people publish something, it's theirs.

Users can publish Bad Stuff. It will be removed promptly if reported. But there is no vetting process for published modules, and you use them at your own risk. Please inspect the source.

If you publish Bad Stuff, we may delete it from the registry, or even ban your account in extreme cases. So don't do that.


When you find issues, please report them:

Be sure to include all of the output from the npm command that didn't work as expected. The npm-debug.log file is also helpful to provide.

You can also look for isaacs in #node.js on irc:// He will no doubt tell you to put the output in a gist or email.


  • npm(1)
  • npm-faq(7)
  • npm-help(1)
  • npm-index(7)

Package Sidebar


npm i npm2

Weekly Downloads






Last publish


  • betterpm