When installing a package with NPM, can you tell it to use a different version of one of its dependencies?


Say you want to install a library lib-a which has dependencies dep-1 and dep-2. If lib-a has declared in its package.json to use a version of dep-2 that is out of date (say it doesn't work on node 0.8.0 which just came out), but there is a branch of dep-2 that works with node 0.8.0 - branch name node0.8.0.

So the packages in the equation are:


Is there a way to tell NPM to install lib-a, but use dep-2#node0.8.0 instead of dep-2?

With NPM you can install a specific branch of a project like this:

npm install git://github.com/user-c/dep-2#node0.8.0

And if I were to customize the package.json of lib-a, you could tell it to use dep-2#node0.8.0 like this:

  "name": "lib-a",
  "dependencies": {
    "dep-1": ">= 1.5.0",
    "dep-2": "git://github.com/user-c/dep-2#node0.8.0"

By modifying the package.json you can then run

npm install lib-a

and it will install the node 0.8.0 compatible dep-2 branch. But, that requires I have access to modifying lib-a, which for my specific case I don't. Technically, I could fork lib-a and make the above change to package.json. But in my specific case, lib-a is a dependency of another library, so I'd have to fork the project it's referenced in, and on and on...

So the question is, is there a way to tell NPM to install lib-a, and tell it to use the node0.8.0 branch of dep-2? Something like this:

npm install lib-a --overrides dep-2:git://github.com/user-c/dep-2#node0.8.0

That would be awesome. If it's not possible, that would be good to know so I can prepare myself to have to fork/customize the chain of projects.

5/10/2017 8:50:33 AM

Accepted Answer

NPM install syntax:

npm install (with no args in a package dir)
npm install <tarball file>
npm install <tarball url>
npm install <folder>
npm install [@<scope>/]<name> [--save|--save-dev|--save-optional] [--save-exact]
npm install [@<scope>/]<name>@<tag>
npm install [@<scope>/]<name>@<version>
npm install [@<scope>/]<name>@<version range>
npm i (with any of the previous argument usage)

so you can choose one of these methods to install your modules.

The case of the simplest way to install a specific version is this one:

npm install module@0.0.2

more info: https://docs.npmjs.com/cli/install

1/26/2015 3:07:21 PM

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