How do I install package.json dependencies in the current directory using npm


Question

I have a web app: fooapp. I have a package.json in the root. I want to install all the dependencies in a specific node_modules directory. How do I do this?

What I want

Lets say I have two widget dependencies. I want to end up with a directory structure like this:

node_modules/
  widgetA
  widgetB
fooapp/
  package.js
  lib
  ..

What I get

when I run npm install fooapp/ I get this:

node_modules/
  fooapp/
    node_modules/
      widgetA
      widgetB
    package.js
    lib/
    ..
fooapp/
  package.js
  lib/
  ..

npm makes a copy of my app directory in the node_modules dir and installs the packages inside another node_modules directory.

I understand this makes sense for installing a package. But I don't require() my web app inside of something else, I run it directly. I'm looking for a simple way to install my dependencies into a specific node_modules directory.

1
180
9/13/2012 12:51:01 AM

Accepted Answer

Running:

npm install

from inside your app directory (i.e. where package.json is located) will install the dependencies for your app, rather than install it as a module, as described here. These will be placed in ./node_modules relative to your package.json file (it's actually slightly more complex than this, so check the npm docs here).

You are free to move the node_modules dir to the parent dir of your app if you want, because node's 'require' mechanism understands this. However, if you want to update your app's dependencies with install/update, npm will not see the relocated 'node_modules' and will instead create a new dir, again relative to package.json.

To prevent this, just create a symlink to the relocated node_modules from your app dir:

ln -s ../node_modules node_modules
350
2/3/2015 1:53:08 PM

In my case I need to do

sudo npm install  

my project is inside /var/www so I also need to set proper permissions.


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