Node.js – how to specify local modules as npm package dependencies


I have an application which has the usual set of dependencies on third party modules (e.g. 'express') specified in the package.json file under dependencies. E.g.

"express"     : "3.1.1"

I would like to structure my own code modularly and have a set of local (meaning on the file system i am currently in) modules be installed by the package.json. I know that i can install a local module by running:

npm install path/to/mymodule

However, I don't know how to make this happen via the package.json dependencies structure. Using the --save option in this command is simply putting "mymodule": "0.0.0" into my package.json (doesn't reference the filepath location). If i then remove the installed version from node_modules, and try to re-install from the package.json, it fails (because it looks for "mymodule" in the central registry, and doesn't look locally).

I'm sure the is a way of telling the "dependencies": {} structure that I want it to be installed from a file system path, but don't know how.

Anyone else had this problem?

Best Solution

npm install now supports this

npm install --save ../path/to/mymodule

For this to work mymodule must be configured as a module with its own package.json. See Creating NodeJS modules.

As of npm 2.0, local dependencies are supported natively. See danilopopeye's answer to a similar question. I've copied his response here as this question ranks very high in web search results.

This feature was implemented in the version 2.0.0 of npm. For example:

  "name": "baz",
  "dependencies": {
    "bar": "file:../foo/bar"

Any of the following paths are also valid:


syncing updates

Since npm install <folder> adds the package in the directory as a symlink in the current project any changes to the local package are automatically synced.