A small module for installing local packages. Works for both npm >= 5 and older versions.

Downloads in past


103163.0.13 years ago6 years agoMinified + gzip package size for install-local in KB


Mutation testing badge CI
Install local
Installs npm/yarn packages locally without symlink, also in npm 5. Exactly the same as your production installation, no compromises.

Getting started

Install with
npm install -g install-local

or for occasional use, without installation
$ npx install-local

You can use install-local from command line or programmatically.

Command line:

$ install-local                                       # 1
$ install-local [options] <directory>[ <directory>]   # 2
$ install-local --target-siblings                     # 3

Installs a package from the filesystem into the current directory.
  • -h, --help: Output this help
  • -S, --save: Saved packages will appear in your package.json under "localDependencies"
  • -T, --target-siblings: Instead of installing into this package, this package gets installed into sibling packages
which depend on this package by putting it in the "localDependencies". Useful in a lerna style monorepo.
  • install-local
Install the "localDependencies" of your current package
  • install-local ..
Install the package located in the parent folder into the current directory.
  • install-local --save ../sibling ../sibling2
Install the packages in 2 sibling directories into the current directory.
  • install-local --help
Print this help
See Programmatically to see how use install-local from node.


Why installing packages locally? There are a number of use cases.
  1. You want to test if the installation of your package results in expected behavior (test your .npmignore file, etc)
  2. You want to install a package locally in a lernajs-style monorepo
  3. You just want to test a fork of a dependency, after building it locally.

What's wrong with npm-link?

Well... nothing is wrong with npm link. It's just not covering all use cases.
For example, if your using typescript and you npm link a dependency from a parent directory, you might end up with infinite ts source files, resulting in an out-of-memory error:
FATAL ERROR: CALL_AND_RETRY_LAST Allocation failed - JavaScript heap out of memory

An other reason is with npm link your not testing if your package actually installs correctly. You might have files in there that will not be there after installation.

Can't i use npm i file:?

You could use npm install file:.. versions of npm prior to version 5. It installed the package locally. Since version 5, the functionality changed to npm link instead. More info here:

How to guarantee a production-like install

To guarantee the production-like installation of your dependency, install-local uses npm pack and npm install <tarball file> under the hood. This is as close as production-like as it gets.


Typings are included for all your TypeScript programmers out there
const { cli, execute, Options, progress, LocalInstaller} = require('install-local');

Use the CLI programmatically

Execute the cli functions with the cli function. It returns a promise:
cli(['node', 'install-local', '--save', '../sibling-dependency', '../sibling-dependency2'])
    .then(() => console.log('done'))
    .catch(err => console.error('err'));

Or a slightly cleaner api:
    validate: () => true, 
    dependencies: ['../sibling-dependency', '../sibling-dependency2'], 
    save: true, 
    targetSiblings: false 

Install dependencies locally

Use the LocalInstaller to install local dependencies into multiple directories.
For example:
const localInstaller = new LocalInstaller({
   /*1*/ '.': ['../sibling1', '../sibling2'],
   /*2*/ '../dependant': ['.']
    .then(() => console.log('done'))
    .catch(err => console.error(err));

  1. This will install packages located in the directories "sibling1" and "sibling2" next to the current working directory into the package located in the current working directory ('.')
  2. This will install the package located in the current working directory ('.') into the package located in
the "dependant" directory located next to the current working directory.
Construct the LocalInstall by using an object. The properties of this object are the relative package locations to install into. The array values are the packages to be installed. Use the install() method to install, returns a promise.
If you want the progress reporting like the CLI has: use progress(localInstaller);
Passing npm env variables
In some cases it might be useful to control the env variables for npm. For example when you want npm to rebuild native node modules against Electron headers. You can do it by passing options to LocalInstaller's constructor.
const localInstaller = new LocalInstaller(
   { '.': ['../sibling'] },
   { npmEnv: { envVar: 'envValue' } }

Because the value provided for npmEnv will override the environment of the npm execution, you may want to extend the existing environment so that required values such as PATH are preserved:
const localInstaller = new LocalInstaller(
   { '.': ['../sibling'] },
   { npmEnv: Object.assign({}, process.env, { envVar: 'envValue' }) }