0.2.2 • Public • Published


A tool for managing a monorepo via Lerna and Yarn workspaces.

Lerna is a fantastic tool for managing monorepos at a high level, but things go more smoothly when allowing Yarn workspaces to handle the core logic of package resolution and linking at a low level. These two tools are also intended to work together, so Unorepo assumes that you're using both. Because why wouldn't you be? 😄

The purpose of Unorepo is to marry the functionality of Lerna and Yarn workspaces into one easy to use (and easier to remember!) place. Additionally, it adds some extra functionality that isn't present in either tool.

Some of the commands in this utility will merely be aliases to other commands in order to document their use and utility in a single place.

Getting started

# Install with yarn
yarn global add unorepo

# Or install with npm
npm i -g unorepo

# Display the Unorepo commands
uno --help

A note on language

Lerna and Yarn workspaces have some conflicting language. Given a monorepo of the following structure:

├── packages
│   ├── foo
│   │    └──  package.json
│   └── bar
│   │    └──  package.json
├── lerna.json
└── package.json

Lerna refers to root as the "lerna workspace" or "lerna repo", and to foo and bar as "packages".

Yarn workspaces refers to root as the "project", and to foo and bar as "workspaces".

The overlapping terminology is very confusing, so in attempt to be as clear as possible, Unorepo will avoid the word "workspace". We will refer to root as the "project", and foo and bar as "packages".


uno watch

Watch all packages, running a script inside each modified package.

# Watch all file types for all changes, run 'yarn build' on change
uno watch

# Run 'yarn local' on change
uno watch --script local

# Watch only .ts and .scss files for change
uno watch --files ts,scss

# Run a custom CLI command on change
uno watch --execute 'yarn build && yalc push --no-sig'
Option Default Description
--script, -s build The script from package.json Unorepo will run to build each package
--files, -f ALL FILES The file extensions to watch within the packages. To pass multiple extensions, separate with commas; e.g. ts,scss
--execute, -x - Instead of running a predefined script on change, run an arbitrary CLI command
--ignore, -i node_modules,dist,build,bld Files to ignore when watching. This should be a comma separated list of anymatch compatible values. This defaults to a list of common build directories. If specifying a custom value, as applicable make sure to include your own build directory
--include-private, -p false Also watch private packages

uno execute '<command>' [pkg]

Execute an arbitrary CLI command in one or all packages.

This can be any command that specifies a file (e.g. yarn, npm, echo, etc), followed by arguments. Shell-specific features will not work.

For best results, the command should be surrounded with quotes.

If the file or an argument contains spaces, they must be escaped with backslashes. This matters especially if command is not a constant but a variable, for example with __dirname or process.cwd(). Except for spaces, no escaping/quoting is needed.

uno execute 'echo cat'
uno execute --parallel 'pwd'
uno execute 'yarn build' my-package

The pkg parameter can be any string that is contained in the package name. For example, if you want to run the command in both @namespace/login-page and @namespace/login-form, you could run:

uno execute '<command>' login
Parameter Required? Default Description
command true - The CLI command to run. Must be quoted, and in the form file arguments.
pkg false ALL PACKAGES The name (or partial name) of the package(s) to run command in. Optionally a list.
Option Default Description
--parallel, -p false Run the command in every package simultaneously.

uno run <script> [pkg]

Run an NPM script (defined in package.json) in one or all packages.

If the second pkg argument is omitted, the script will be run in all packages. If pkg is provided, the script will only be run in packages that include that string.

This command is similar to uno execute, but limited to predefined scripts in the package.json of each package.

# Run the 'build' NPM script in all packages
uno run build

# Run the 'test' NPM script in packages whose name contain 'login'
uno run test login
Parameter Required? Default Description
script true - The name of a script defined in the package.json of the package(s).
pkg false ALL PACKAGES A name (or partial name) of the package(s) to run script in. Optionally a list.
Option Default Description
--parallel, -p false Run the script in every package simultaneously

uno list

Show information about each package, including the package's name, its version, and its relative file location within the project. An alias for lerna list --long.

uno dependencies

List each package in the project and the other packages that it depends on. An alias for yarn workspaces info.

If all your packages are set up correctly, all the dependencies should be listed in the workspaceDependencies array, and the mismatchedWorkspaceDependencies arrays should all be empty.

If you have a dependency in mismatchedWorkspaceDependencies for a particular parent-package, this means that a non-local (probably from NPM or the like) version of that dependency-package will be used when the parent-package is run. So when you then make a local update to the dependency-package, that change will not be reflected in the running parent-package.

The usual cause of this problem is mismatched version numbers. Ensure that the version number listed in the package.json#version field of the dependency-package matches the version listed in the package.json#dependencies section of the parent-package.

uno bootstrap

Link packages together via symlinks, and install missing dependencies. An alias for lerna bootstrap, which is an alias for yarn install.

This linking is what allows your local packages to depend on each other directly in your file system, rather then depending on files copied into node_modules via a typical (and at times painful) publish and pull method (e.g. using yalc).

Yarn workspaces is really doing all the hard work here of resolving your dependencies and linking them together.

Building the project locally

# Clone the project
git clone
cd unorepo

# Install dependencies

# Run tests
yarn test

# Allow running "uno" in the terminal to run this project
yarn link

# Display the options for this CLI
uno --help

Note: If you get "permission denied" when running the uno command, run yarn postbuild. This can happen if the yarn build command exits with errors.


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