A better `npm publish`

License: MIT

Language: JavaScript

Keywords: cli, cli-app, javascript, nodejs, npm, npm-package, npm-publish, publish, yarn

np Build Status XO code style

A better npm publish


  • Interactive UI
  • Ensures you are publishing from the master branch
  • Ensures the working directory is clean and that there are no unpulled changes
  • Reinstalls dependencies to ensure your project works with the latest dependency tree
  • Runs the tests
  • Bumps the version in package.json and npm-shrinkwrap.json (if present) and creates a git tag
  • Prevents accidental publishing of pre-release versions under the latest dist-tag
  • Publishes the new version to npm, optionally under a dist-tag
  • Rolls back the project to its previous state in case publishing fails
  • Pushes commits and tags (newly & previously created) to GitHub/GitLab
  • Supports two-factor authentication
  • Enables two-factor authentication on new repositories
    (does not apply to external registries)
  • Opens a prefilled GitHub Releases draft after publish
  • Warns about the possibility of extraneous files being published


  • Node.js 8 or later
  • npm 6.8.0 or later
  • Git 2.11 or later


$ npm install --global np


$ np --help

    $ np <version>

    Version can be:
      patch | minor | major | prepatch | preminor | premajor | prerelease | 1.2.3

    --any-branch        Allow publishing from any branch
    --no-cleanup        Skips cleanup of node_modules
    --no-tests          Skips tests
    --yolo              Skips cleanup and testing
    --no-publish        Skips publishing
    --tag               Publish under a given dist-tag
    --no-yarn           Don't use Yarn
    --contents          Subdirectory to publish
    --no-release-draft  Skips opening a GitHub release draft

    $ np
    $ np patch
    $ np 1.0.2
    $ np 1.0.2-beta.3 --tag=beta
    $ np 1.0.2-beta.3 --tag=beta --contents=dist

Interactive UI

Run np without arguments to launch the interactive UI that guides you through publishing a new version.


np can be configured both locally and globally. When using the global np binary, you can configure any of the CLI flags in either a .np-config.js or .np-config.json file in the home directory. When using the local np binary, for example, in a npm run script, you can configure np by setting the flags in either a top-level np field in package.json or in a .np-config.js or .np-config.json file in the project directory.

Currently, these are the flags you can configure:

  • anyBranch - Allow publishing from any branch (false by default).
  • cleanup - Cleanup node_modules (true by default).
  • tests - Run npm test (true by default).
  • yolo - Skip cleanup and testing (false by default).
  • publish - Publish (true by default).
  • tag - Publish under a given dist-tag (latest by default).
  • yarn - Use yarn if possible (true by default).
  • contents - Subdirectory to publish (. by default).
  • releaseDraft - Open a GitHub release draft after releasing (true by default).

For example, this configures np to never use Yarn and to use dist as the subdirectory to publish:


	"name": "superb-package",
	"np": {
		"yarn": false,
		"contents": "dist"


	"yarn": false,
	"contents": "dist"


module.exports = {
	yarn: false,
	contents: 'dist'

Note: The global config only applies when using the global np binary, and is never inherited when using a local binary.


npm hooks

You can use any of the test/version/publish related npm lifecycle hooks in your package.json to add extra behavior.

For example, here we build the documentation before tagging the release:

	"name": "my-awesome-package",
	"scripts": {
		"version": "./build-docs && git add docs"

Release script

You can also add np to a custom script in package.json. This can be useful if you want all maintainers of a package to release the same way (Not forgetting to push Git tags, for example). However, you can't use publish as name of your script because it's an npm defined lifecycle hook.

	"name": "my-awesome-package",
	"scripts": {
		"release": "np"
	"devDependencies": {
		"np": "*"

Signed Git tag

Set the sign-git-tag npm config to have the Git tag signed:

$ npm config set sign-git-tag true

Or set the version-sign-git-tag Yarn config:

$ yarn config set version-sign-git-tag true

Private packages

You can use np for packages that aren't publicly published to npm (perhaps installed from a private git repo).

Set "private": true in your package.json and the publish step will be skipped. All other steps including versioning and pushing tags will still be completed.

Public scoped packages

To publish scoped packages to the public registry, you need to set the access level to public. You can do that by adding the following to your package.json:

"publishConfig": {
	"access": "public"

Publish to a custom registry

Set the registry option in package.json to the URL of your registry:

	"registry": "http://my-internal-registry.local"

Publish with a CI

If you use a Continuous Integration server to publish your tagged commits, use the --no-publish flag to skip the publishing step of np.

Publish to gh-pages

To publish to gh-pages (or any other branch that serves your static assets), install branchsite, an np-like CLI tool aimed to complement np, and create an npm "post" hook that runs after np.

$ npm install --save-dev branchsite
	"deploy": "np",
	"postdeploy": "bs"

Initial version

For new packages, start the version field in package.json at 0.0.0 and let np bump it to 1.0.0 or 0.1.0 when publishing.

Release an update to an old major version

To release a minor/patch version for an old major version, create a branch from the major version's git tag and run np:

$ git checkout -b fix-old-bug v1.0.0 # Where 1.0.0 is the previous major version
# Create some commits…
$ git push --set-upstream origin HEAD
$ np patch --any-branch --tag=v1

Prerequisite step runs forever on macOS

If you're using macOS Sierra 10.12.2 or later, your SSH key passphrase is no longer stored into the keychain by default. This may cause the prerequisite step to run forever because it prompts for your passphrase in the background. To fix this, add the following lines to your ~/.ssh/config and run a simple Git command like git fetch.

Host *
 AddKeysToAgent yes
 UseKeychain yes

If you're running into other issues when using SSH, please consult GitHub's support article.


Project Statistics

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