Node.js – What’s the difference between tilde(~) and caret(^) in package.json

node.jsnpmpackage.jsonsemantic-versioning

After I upgraded to the latest stable node and npm, I tried npm install moment --save. It saves the entry in the package.json with the caret ^ prefix. Previously, it was a tilde ~ prefix.

  1. Why are these changes made in npm?
  2. What is the difference between tilde ~ and caret ^?
  3. What are the advantages over others?

Best Solution

See the NPM docs and semver docs:

  • ~version “Approximately equivalent to version”, will update you to all future patch versions, without incrementing the minor version. ~1.2.3 will use releases from 1.2.3 to <1.3.0.

  • ^version “Compatible with version”, will update you to all future minor/patch versions, without incrementing the major version. ^2.3.4 will use releases from 2.3.4 to <3.0.0.

See Comments below for exceptions, in particular for pre-one versions, such as ^0.2.3