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Parse the things that can be arguments to `npm install`


Version published
Weekly downloads
decreased by-5.07%

Weekly downloads



10.0.0 (2022-10-18)


  • x and [email protected] now return the same spec as [email protected]*
  • npm-package-arg is now compatible with the following semver range for node: ^14.17.0 || ^16.13.0 || >=18.0.0


  • 749ccad #104 postinstall for dependabot template-oss PR (@lukekarrys)

Bug Fixes





Build Status

Parses package name and specifier passed to commands like npm install or npm cache add, or as found in package.json dependency sections.


var assert = require("assert") var npa = require("npm-package-arg") // Pass in the descriptor, and it'll return an object try { var parsed = npa("@bar/[email protected]") } catch (ex) { … }


var npa = require('npm-package-arg')

var result = npa(arg[, where])

  • arg - a string that you might pass to npm install, like: [email protected], @bar/[email protected], [email protected]/foo,, git+, bitbucket:user/foo, foo.tar.gz, ../foo/bar/ or bar. If the arg you provide doesn't have a specifier part, eg foo then the specifier will default to latest.
  • where - Optionally the path to resolve file paths relative to. Defaults to process.cwd()

Throws if the package name is invalid, a dist-tag is invalid or a URL's protocol is not supported.

var result = npa.resolve(name, spec[, where])

  • name - The name of the module you want to install. For example: foo or @bar/foo.
  • spec - The specifier indicating where and how you can get this module. Something like: 1.2, ^1.7.17,, git+, bitbucket:user/foo, file:foo.tar.gz or file:../foo/bar/. If not included then the default is latest.
  • where - Optionally the path to resolve file paths relative to. Defaults to process.cwd()

Throws if the package name is invalid, a dist-tag is invalid or a URL's protocol is not supported.


The objects that are returned by npm-package-arg contain the following keys:

  • type - One of the following strings:
  • registry - If true this specifier refers to a resource hosted on a registry. This is true for tag, version and range types.
  • name - If known, the name field expected in the resulting pkg.
  • scope - If a name is something like @org/module then the scope field will be set to @org. If it doesn't have a scoped name, then scope is null.
  • escapedName - A version of name escaped to match the npm scoped packages specification. Mostly used when making requests against a registry. When name is null, escapedName will also be null.
  • rawSpec - The specifier part that was parsed out in calls to npa(arg), or the value of spec in calls to `npa.resolve(name, spec).
  • saveSpec - The normalized specifier, for saving to package.json files. null for registry dependencies.
  • fetchSpec - The version of the specifier to be used to fetch this resource. null for shortcuts to hosted git dependencies as there isn't just one URL to try with them.
  • gitRange - If set, this is a semver specifier to match against git tags with
  • gitCommittish - If set, this is the specific committish to use with a git dependency.
  • hosted - If from === 'hosted' then this will be a hosted-git-info object. This property is not included when serializing the object as JSON.
  • raw - The original un-modified string that was provided. If called as npa.resolve(name, spec) then this will be name + '@' + spec.
  • subSpec - If type === 'alias', this is a Result Object for parsing the target specifier for the alias.


What is npm-package-arg?

Parse the things that can be arguments to `npm install`

Is npm-package-arg popular?

The npm package npm-package-arg receives a total of 8,718,489 weekly downloads. As such, npm-package-arg popularity was classified as popular.

Is npm-package-arg well maintained?

We found that npm-package-arg demonstrated a healthy version release cadence and project activity because the last version was released less than a year ago.It has 5 open source maintainers collaborating on the project.

Last updated on 18 Oct 2022

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