A better `npm publish`

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import cognistreamerNp from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/@cognistreamer/np';


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
  • Pushes commits and tags to GitHub
  • Supports two-factor authentication


$ npm install --global np

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$ 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
    --yolo        Skips cleanup and testing
    --no-publish  Skips publishing
    --tag         Publish under a given dist-tag
    --no-yarn     Don't use Yarn

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

Interactive UI

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


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 compliment 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.

Prerequisite step runs forever on macOS Sierra

If you're running macOS Sierra or higher and previously stored your Git SSH-key in the keychain (So you don't have to enter your password on every single Git command), it happens that the prerequisite step runs forever. This is because macOS Sierra no longer stores the SSH-key in the keychain by default, so it prompts for a password during the prerequisite step, but you're not able to input it. The solution is to open ~/.ssh/config (if it doesn't exist create it), add or modify AddKeysToAgent yes, and save the file. To add your SSH-key to the keychain, you have to run a simple Git command like git fetch. Your credentials should now be stored in the keychain and you're able to use np again.

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