|Original author(s)||Isaac Z. Schlueter.|
|Developer(s)||npm, Inc. (a subsidiary of GitHub, a subsidiary of Microsoft)|
|Initial release||12 January 2010|
8.1.0 / 14 October 2021
|License||Artistic License 2.0|
Contrary to popular belief,
npm is not in fact an acronym for "Node Package Manager". The precursor to
npm was actually a bash utility named "pm", which was the shortform name of "pkgmakeinst" - a bash function that installed various things on various platforms. If
npm were to ever have been considered an acronym, it would be as "node pm" or, potentially "new pm".
- In March 2016, npm attracted press attention after a package called
- In February 2018, an issue was discovered in version 5.7.0 in which running
sudo npmon Linux systems would change the ownership of system files, permanently breaking the operating system.
- In July 2018, the npm credentials of a maintainer of the popular
eslint-scopepackage were compromised resulting in a malicious release of
eslint-scope, version 3.7.2. The malicious code copied the npm credentials of the machine running
eslint-scopeand uploaded them to the attacker.
- In November 2018, it was discovered that a malicious package had been added as a dependency to version 3.3.6 of the popular package
event-stream. The malicious package, called
flatmap-stream, contained an encrypted payload that stole bitcoins from certain applications. npm administrators removed the offending package.
- In April 2020, a small package called
is-promiseresulted in outage in serverless applications and deployments worldwide by virtue of being a dependency of many big and important applications.
In npm version 6, the audit feature was introduced to help developers identify and fix security vulnerabilities in installed packages. The source of security vulnerabilities were taken from reports found on the Node Security Platform (NSP) and has been integrated with npm since npm's acquisition of NSP.
When used as a dependency manager for a local project, npm can install, in one command, all the dependencies of a project through the
package.json file, each dependency can specify a range of valid versions using the semantic versioning scheme, allowing developers to auto-update their packages while at the same time avoiding unwanted breaking changes.
npm also provides version-bumping tools for developers to tag their packages with a particular version. npm also provides the
package-lock.json file which has the entry of the exact version used by the project after evaluating semantic versioning in
npmd, and Yarn, the last of which was released by Facebook in October 2016. They are all compatible with the public npm registry and use it by default, but provide different client-side experiences, usually focused on improving performance and determinism compared to the npm client.
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