0.1.0 • Public • Published

Unlock 🔓 indirect yarn dependencies 🧶


yarn (of course) installs "indirect" or "transitive" dependencies for packages it installs, and it also writes these dependencies to the yarn.lock file.

However, a later yarn upgrade will only check direct dependencies. Only when a direct dependency is upgraded to another version, its transitive dependencies are evaluated and upgraded as well.

This means, for example, that

  • when you install a package A that has a dependency on some other package B,
  • and B fixes a security issue and creates a new version for the fix,
  • yarn upgrade is not going to update B for you
  • until A releases a newer version and you upgrade to it.

As of writing, there is no direct way to make yarn upgrade indirect dependencies as well. This is discussed as a feature request in yarnpkg/yarn#4986 (opened 11/2017).

The script in this repository tries to provide an easy-to-use workaround.

The Workaround

The script in this repository it will remove all packages from the yarn.lock file that are not specified as direct dependencies, i. e. in dependencies, devDependencies, peerDependencies or optionalDependencies of your package.json file.

The idea is that for packages that you don't specify as your own (direct) dependencies, you generally don't care what version gets installed. So, it should not make a difference for your own code to upgrade those dependencies in the background. Of course, there is a risk things breaking inside your dependencies. In a perfect world, where everyone specified and tagged their versions correctly, however, this should rarely happen.


In the directory containing your yarn.lock file, run via npx

npx yarn-unlock-indirect-dependencies
(... prints unlocked packages ...)

or globally install and run

npm install -g yarn-unlock-indirect-dependencies
# or
yarn global add yarn-unlock-indirect-dependencies

(... prints unlocked packages ...)

then run install to finish the process

yarn install

The first step will remove indirect dependencies from the yarn.lock file, and the subsequent yarn install will take care of resolving and updating the indirect dependencies again.

You can optionally provide a path to your project's directory if the command is run outside of the the project.

yarn-unlock-indirect-dependencies path/to/your/project

Don't forget to commit the updated yarn.lock file to version control.

Credits, Copyright and License

This script was initially suggested by @dacioromero in this comment.

This repository is provided by webfactory GmbH, Bonn, Germany. We're a software development agency with a focus on PHP (mostly Symfony). If you're a developer looking for new challenges, we'd like to hear from you!

Copyright 2021 webfactory GmbH, Bonn. Code released under the MIT license.




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