Where does npm install the packages?


Node.js has a standard package manager, and this manager is generally termed npm.

Npm is the most significant single language code on this planet and has 350000 packages in its registry.

And here, we will be looking at the actual places where these packages have also been installed and the types of installations that take place.

Let’s now have a look at the types of installations.


Whenever we wish to install packages with the help of npm, we can use two ways to perform the installation. The two types are as follows:

  • Local Installation
  • Global Installation


While using the default installation technique, the code written below comes in handy:

npm install lodash


This lets our packages install in the current file tree, and it comes under the node_modules folder.

As we go by this process, there is one more addition that happens in the backend: the lodash entry in our dependencies property in the package.json file that is present in the current folder.

Since we have seen the default installation now, let's look at the global installation process as well.

Local Installation

By default, when you type an npm install command, like:

npm install lodash


It is referred to as local installation and is installed in the current file tree, under the node_modules subfolder.

As this happens, npm also adds the lodash entry in the dependencies property of the package.json file present in the current folder.

Global Installation 

Now, this global installation takes place with the help of a specific flag that is the -g flag:

Let’s have a better understanding by looking at the code given below

npm install -g lodash

When this process takes place, rather than installing the package in a local folder, npm chooses a global location.

Where exactly does that location exist? Let’s see!

Using a specific command, we can see where the location exists on our particular machine. And the command is :

npm root -g


Now on different operating systems, the location differs in the following ways:

  • On Linux or macOS the location could look like this : /usr/local/lib/node_modules
  • On Windows, it might look like this: C:\Users\YOU\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules


If you end up using nvm for managing your Node.js versions, then the location differs in that case.

For example using nvm the packages might look something like : 



Frequently Asked Question

  1. How many packages are there on npm?
    npm registry has over 1.3 million packages available.
  2. How can we install all required packages at once?
    we can install all packages using the given statement 
    npm install
  3. What is a package-lock?
    Package-lock can be defined as the extensive list of each dependency listed in our package.
  4. What does npm stand for?
    npm stands for Node Package Manager.

Key Takeaways

This article went through the types of installations and spotted the actual locations where the packages are installed. 

Liked the blog? And want to learn more about Node JS? Please read it here.

Please have a look and also visit our platform CodeStudio for more interview problems!

Happy learning, Ninjas!

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