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15 npm Commands that Every Node.js Developer Should Know

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NPM stands for Node Package Manager and it is the package manager for the Node JavaScript platform. It put modules in place so that node can find them, and manages dependency conflicts intelligently. Most commonly, it is used to publish, discover, install, and develop node programs.

Some Important npm commands every developer should know are:

  • NPM Install Command: Installs a package in the package.json file in the local node_modules folder.
    npm install


    Image shows the use of “npm install” that install package.json and package-lock.json

  • NPM Uninstall Command: Remove a package from the package.json file and removes the module from the local node_modules folder.
    npm uninstall 


    Image shows a package ‘lodash’ which is an npm package being un-installed using npm uninstall command

  • NPM Update Command: This command updates the specified package. If no package is specified then it updates all the packages in the specified location.
    npm update 


    the original lodash version 4.17.20 -> updated to 4.17.21 using npm update command

  • NPM Global Update Command: This command will apply the update action to each globally installed package.
    npm update -g


    npm update -g updates all of the packages if it’s available.

  • NPM Deprecate Command: This command will deprecate the npm registry for a package, providing a deprecation warning to all who attempt to install it.
    npm deprecate
  • NPM Outdated Command: Checks the registry if any (or specified) package is outdated. It prints a list of all packages which are outdated.
    npm outdated


    lodash package as indicated in the terminal is outdated that can be updated

  • NPM Doctor Command: Checks our environment so that our npm installation has what it needs to manage our JavaScript packages.
    npm doctor


  • NPM Initialize Command Creates a package.json file in our directory. It basically asks some questions and finally creates a package.json file in the current project directory.
    npm init

    image shows the steps involved in npm init command.

  • NPM Start Command Runs a command that is defined in the start property in the scripts. If not defined it will run the node server.js command.
    npm start
  • NPM Build Command: It is used to build a package.
    npm build


    Shows that there is a major update is available and can be updated using the command given after the changelog.

  • NPM List Command: Lists all the packages as well as their dependencies installed.
    npm ls


    npm ls lists all of the npm packages installed in the package.json file.

  • NPM Version Command: Bumps a package version.
    npm version


    Lists out all packages version installed or used in the project.

  • NPM Search Command: Searches the npm registry for packages matching the search terms.
    npm search

    shows the description of the package lodash and all commits and author who made the changes.

  • NPM Help Command: Searches npm help documentation for a specified topic. It is used whenever the user needs help to get some reference.
    npm help


  • NPM Owner Command: Manages ownership of published packages. It is used to manage package owners.
    npm owner

Last Updated : 07 Oct, 2021
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