node package manager


Update notifications for your CLI app

update-notifier Build Status

Update notifications for your CLI app

Inform users of your package of updates in a non-intrusive way.

Table of Contents


Simple example

const updateNotifier = require('update-notifier');
const pkg = require('./package.json');

Comprehensive example

const updateNotifier = require('update-notifier');
const pkg = require('./package.json');
// Checks for available update and returns an instance 
const notifier = updateNotifier({pkg});
// Notify using the built-in convenience method 
// `notifier.update` contains some useful info about the update 
    latest: '1.0.1',
    current: '1.0.0',
    type: 'patch', // possible values: latest, major, minor, patch, prerelease, build
    name: 'pageres'

Example with settings and custom message

const notifier = updateNotifier({
    updateCheckInterval: 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24 * 7 // 1 week 
console.log(`Update available: ${notifier.update.latest}`);


Whenever you initiate the update notifier and it's not within the interval threshold, it will asynchronously check with npm in the background for available updates, then persist the result. The next time the notifier is initiated the result will be loaded into the .update property. This prevents any impact on your package startup performance. The check process is done in a unref'ed child process. This means that if you call process.exit, the check will still be performed in its own process.



Checks if there is an available update. Accepts settings defined below. Returns an object with update info if there is an available update, otherwise undefined.



Type: object


Type: string


Type: string


Type: number
Default: 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24 (1 day)

How often to check for updates.

callback(error, update)

Type: function

Passing a callback here will make it check for an update directly and report right away. Not recommended as you won't get the benefits explained in How.

update is equal to notifier.update


Convenience method to display a notification message (see screenshot).

Only notifies if there is an update and the process is TTY.


Type: boolean
Default: true

Defer showing the notification to after the process has exited.


Type: string
Default: See the screen shot above

The message that will be shown when an update is available.


Type: object
Default: { padding: 1, margin: 1, align: 'center', borderColor: 'yellow', borderStyle: 'round' } (See the screen shot above)

The object that will be passed to boxen.

User settings

Users of your module have the ability to opt-out of the update notifier by changing the optOut property to true in ~/.config/configstore/update-notifier-[your-module-name].yml. The path is available in notifier.config.path.

Users can also opt-out by setting the environment variable NO_UPDATE_NOTIFIER with any value or by using the --no-update-notifier flag on a per run basis.


The idea for this module came from the desire to apply the browser update strategy to CLI tools, where everyone is always on the latest version. We first tried automatic updating, which we discovered wasn't popular. This is the second iteration of that idea, but limited to just update notifications.

There are a bunch projects using it:

  • Yeoman - Modern workflows for modern webapps
  • AVA - Simple concurrent test runner
  • XO - JavaScript happiness style linter
  • Pageres - Capture website screenshots
  • Node GH - GitHub command line tool
  • Bower - A package manager for the web
  • Hoodie CLI - Hoodie command line tool
  • Roots - A toolkit for advanced front-end development

And 600+ more...


BSD license and copyright Google