check for updated package.json dependencies

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import updated from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/updated';



license version super linter test release

check for updated package.json dependencies


While there are many package dependency checking tools, they all come with some gotchas:

  • cli dependencies:
    While having dependencies for a CLI package is not an issue in itself, the dependencies themselves often come with vulnerabilities, and will inevitably fall behind as maintainers are not able to keep up with upstream changes.

  • npm API dependency:
    This means figuring out which .npmrc to parse, how to parse it meaningfully, essentially repeating npm cli's own logic, this gets complicated when your .npmrc file mixes multiple registries and scopes!

  • exit codes & standard streams:
    some of the solutions do not use proper exit codes (e.g. 0 for success 1 for failure) and rely on console.log for all outputs instead of properly streaming results to stdout and stderr. This makes them incompatible for usage within a CI process.

  • npm outdated
    npm's outdated command seems to attempt to address some of the basics, however, it seems to only work for production dependencies (and devDependencies if you add the hidden -D flag!) and not at the same time! optionalDependencies, peerDependencies are not included.

This utility opposes those two key issues by using the npm cli directly to inspect each dependency in your package.json!

Hopefully, npm outdated will evolve and make this tool irrelevant!


The following types of packages are not supported:

  • <git-host>:<git-user>/<repo-name>
  • <git repo url>
  • <tarball file>
  • <tarball url>
  • <folder>


  • Asynchronous runs each package check asynchronously, with immediate feedback to stdout

  • ZERO dependencies
    keeping this package lean for use with CI.

  • uses npm
    uses the npm show cli command directly, which allows matching your actual npm environment and project config.

  • CI friendly
    through proper usage of standard streams (stdout, stderr) and exit codes.

  • configurable use simple arguments to control behaviour.

  • compares against package.json
    updated will ONLY look at package.json and query npm with the same version ranges you define, to better simulate what npm install will produce. and avoid pointless errors.

    e.g. updated@^1.0.0 is still valid if the latest is updated@^1.0.1 because npm install will grab the latter.


npm install updated


Run in your project's folder with package.json:

$ updated

DEPRECATED      connect: ^2.30.1                                        ^2.30.1 → 3.7.0
NOT-SUPPORTED   @ahmadnassri/node-create: ahmadnassri/node-create
NOT-SUPPORTED   nothingness: github:othiym23/nothingness#master
OUTDATED        once: ^1.3.1                                            ^1.3.1 → 1.4.0
DEPRECATED      @telusdigital/nightwatch-seo: *                         * → 1.2.2
OUTDATED        npm: ^3.5.1                                             ^3.5.1 → 6.14.7

Tip: You can check the last exit code by running echo $?

Tip: You don't need to install this package or add it to your dependencies, just run npx updated

CLI Options

Options are applied using --[option]=[value] syntax

Options Default Description
ignore comma-separated packages to be ignored, e.g. --ignore=tap,eslint
types see below comma-separated dependency types to check, e.g. --types=devDependencies,peerDependencies
scopes all comma-separated list of package @scopes to check, default checks all
update false force update package.json to latest versions
json false output JSON results to stdout
silent false do not output report on stderr
no-color false disable color output
help N/A display cli help

Dependency Types

By default updated will check for the following types in your package.json

  • dependencies
  • devDependencies
  • optionalDependencies
  • peerDependencies

Note: dependency types is an arbitrary string value, your package.json can contain additional types beyond the ones listed here, just include them using --types and updated will attempt to check their status.

Exit Codes

Code Description
0 success
1 failure