This module lets you share files between projects, e.g. configuration files.

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import installFiles from '';



This module lets you share files between projects, e.g. configuration files.

Why not Git submodules?

install-files lets you install files at the root directory of a project, whereas submodules can only install files in subdirectories.

install-files also merges files into existing directories, and lets you customize those directories thereafter, whereas you'd have to fork a submodule to make custom modifications.

Lastly, install-files lets you share files between Node projects the same way you would share code, using npm and declarative package names/versions.


Let's say you want to share some .ebextensions files between several Node microservices. To do that with install-files, you'd make a package with those files, let's call it my-ebextensions, with the following directory structure and package.json:

  "name": "my-ebextensions",
  "scripts": {
    "install": "install-files source"
  "dependencies": {
    "install-files": "^1.0.0"

Then, when you install my-ebextensions into my-microservice, it will copy the contents of my-ebextensions/source/ into my-microservice/, where you can commit them as appropriate.

Before installing my-ebextensions:


After installing my-ebextensions:



npm install install-files --save

You install install-files into the package with the files to install, as per the example.

You should recommend that the package with the files to install is installed as a dev dependency (npm install my-ebextensions --save-dev, for example) so that it does not try to install the files in a production environment. The files should have been installed and committed prior to then (when the package was installed locally), so this work should be redundant.

It is recommended that you set the CI environment variable when npm installing in CI if your CI environment is a development environment where you don't want to run install-files.

(in project where this module is a transitive dependency; in your CI configuration)

CI=true npm install

Usage details

For a quick run-down, see the example. More details:

install-files source will recursively merge source/ into the host package's directory (my-microservice/ in the example), creating subdirectories if necessary. It will not replace pre-existing files, including in subdirectories, unless source/ contains files with the same name.

For instance, if my-microservice/.ebextensions/ already contained bar.config, install-files source would not overwrite that. However, install-files source would overwrite foo.config.

This overwriting behavior lets the file-installing package interoperate with other, project-specific files, yet control its "own" files.

Updating the installed files

Modifications to the files should be made by updating the file-installing package, not by editing the copies.

Update the originals in the file-installing package, then push a new version of the package. When npm update is run in the dependent package, the changes will be copied over.

install-files will not prune files that have been removed from source/. If you feel that it should and have ideas about how to do it, please open an issue!


We welcome pull requests! Please lint your code.

Running tests

To run the Node tests: npm test.

Release History

  • 1.1.5 Fix non-flattened npm invocation to support multiple installed versions
  • 1.1.4 Add yarn support (#11)
  • 1.1.3 Ensure install doesn't run on self (#9 - @GoGoCarl)
  • 1.1.2 Skip double-installation in CI
  • 1.1.1 Fix unnecessary guard that disabled module (#6)
  • 1.1.0 Support npm 3 (#5 - @GoGoCarl)
  • 1.0.1 Properly determine the host package's directory even if its Node modules are cached elsewhere
  • 1.0.0 Initial release.