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Cheat Sheet: npm vs Yarn Commands

Published on December 3, 2019 · Updated on October 27, 2020
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By William Le
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
Cheat Sheet: npm vs Yarn Commands

Introduction

This is a cheat sheet that you can use as a handy reference for npm & Yarn commands.

For a more comprehensive overview of npm, explore our tutorial How To Use Node.js Modules with npm and package.json .

npm vs. Yarn

There are many similarities between npm and Yarn. Yarn (released 2016) drew considerable inspiration from npm (2010).

On the flip-side, their similarities can lead to confusion and small mistakes when you find yourself using both package managers.

Here is a useful reference to keep the two CLIs straight:

Command npm yarn
Install dependencies npm install yarn
Install package npm install [package] yarn add [package]
Install dev package npm install --save-dev [package] yarn add --dev [package]
Uninstall package npm uninstall [package] yarn remove [package]
Uninstall dev package npm uninstall --save-dev [package] yarn remove [package]
Update npm update yarn upgrade
Update package npm update [package] yarn upgrade [package]
Global install package npm install --global [package] yarn global add [package]
Global uninstall package npm uninstall --global [package] yarn global remove [package]

Things that Haven’t Changed

Here are some commands that Yarn decided not to change:

npm yarn
npm init yarn init
npm run yarn run
npm test yarn test
npm login (and logout) yarn login (and logout)
npm link yarn link
npm publish yarn publish
npm cache clean yarn cache clean

Conclusion

For a more comprehensive overview of npm, explore our tutorial How To Use Node.js Modules with npm and package.json .


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About the authors
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Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

Default avatar
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

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