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Working with the npm registry

You can configure npm to publish packages to GitHub Packages and to use packages stored on GitHub Packages as dependencies in an npm project.

GitHub Packages is available with GitHub Free, GitHub Pro, GitHub Free for organizations, GitHub Team, GitHub Enterprise Cloud, GitHub Enterprise Server 3.0 or higher, and GitHub AE.


GitHub Packages is not available for private repositories owned by accounts using legacy per-repository plans. Also, accounts using legacy per-repository plans cannot access registries that support granular permissions, because these accounts are billed by repository. For the list of registries that support granular permissions, see "About permissions for GitHub Packages." For more information, see "GitHub’s products."

Authenticating to GitHub Packages

GitHub Packages only supports authentication using a personal access token (classic). For more information, see "Managing your personal access tokens."

You need an access token to publish, install, and delete private, internal, and public packages.

You can use a personal access token (classic) to authenticate to GitHub Packages or the GitHub API. When you create a personal access token (classic), you can assign the token different scopes depending on your needs. For more information about packages-related scopes for a personal access token (classic), see "About permissions for GitHub Packages."

To authenticate to a GitHub Packages registry within a GitHub Actions workflow, you can use:

  • GITHUB_TOKEN to publish packages associated with the workflow repository.
  • a personal access token (classic) with at least read:packages scope to install packages associated with other private repositories (which GITHUB_TOKEN can't access).

Authenticating in a GitHub Actions workflow

This registry supports granular permissions. For registries that support granular permissions, if your GitHub Actions workflow is using a personal access token to authenticate to a registry, we highly recommend you update your workflow to use the GITHUB_TOKEN. For guidance on updating your workflows that authenticate to a registry with a personal access token, see "Publishing and installing a package with GitHub Actions."

Note: The ability for GitHub Actions workflows to delete and restore packages using the REST API is currently in public beta and subject to change.

You can use a GITHUB_TOKEN in a GitHub Actions workflow to delete or restore a package using the REST API, if the token has admin permission to the package. Repositories that publish packages using a workflow, and repositories that you have explicitly connected to packages, are automatically granted admin permission to packages in the repository.

For more information about the GITHUB_TOKEN, see "Automatic token authentication." For more information about the best practices when using a registry in actions, see "Security hardening for GitHub Actions."

You can also choose to give access permissions to packages independently for GitHub Codespaces and GitHub Actions. For more information, see "Configuring a package's access control and visibility" and "Configuring a package's access control and visibility."

Authenticating with a personal access token

You must use a personal access token (classic) with the appropriate scopes to publish and install packages in GitHub Packages. For more information, see "Introduction to GitHub Packages."

You can authenticate to GitHub Packages with npm by either editing your per-user ~/.npmrc file to include your personal access token (classic) or by logging in to npm on the command line using your username and personal access token.

To authenticate by adding your personal access token (classic) to your ~/.npmrc file, edit the ~/.npmrc file for your project to include the following line, replacing TOKEN with your personal access token. Create a new ~/.npmrc file if one doesn't exist.

//npm.pkg.github.com/:_authToken=TOKEN

To authenticate by logging in to npm, use the npm login command, replacing USERNAME with your GitHub username, TOKEN with your personal access token (classic), and PUBLIC-EMAIL-ADDRESS with your email address.

If you are using npm CLI version 9 or greater and are logging in or out of a private registry using the command line, you should use the --auth-type=legacy option to read in your authentication details from prompts instead of using the default login flow through a browser. For more information, see npm-login.

If GitHub Packages is not your default package registry for using npm and you want to use the npm audit command, we recommend you use the --scope flag with the namespace that hosts the package (the personal account or organization to which the package is scoped) when you authenticate to GitHub Packages.

$ npm login --scope=@NAMESPACE --auth-type=legacy --registry=https://npm.pkg.github.com

> Username: USERNAME
> Password: TOKEN

Publishing a package

Note:

  • Package names and scopes must only use lowercase letters.
  • The tarball for an npm version must be smaller than 256MB in size.

The GitHub Packages registry stores npm packages within your organization or personal account, and allows you to associate a package with a repository. You can choose whether to inherit permissions from a repository, or set granular permissions independently of a repository.

When you first publish a package, the default visibility is private. To change the visibility or set access permissions, see "Configuring a package's access control and visibility." For more information on linking a published package with a repository, see "Connecting a repository to a package."

By default, your package is published in the GitHub repository that you specify in the name field of the package.json file. For example, you would publish a package named @my-org/test to the my-org/test GitHub repository. If you're running npm v8.5.3 or later, you can add a summary for the package listing page by including a README.md file in your package directory. For more information, see "Working with package.json" and "How to create Node.js Modules" in the npm documentation.

Note: If you publish a package that is linked to a repository, the package automatically inherits the access permissions of the linked repository, and GitHub Actions workflows in the linked repository automatically get access to the package, unless your organization has disabled automatic inheritance of access permissions. For more information, see "Configuring a package's access control and visibility."

You can publish multiple packages to the same GitHub repository by including a URL field in the package.json file. For more information, see "Publishing multiple packages to the same repository."

You can set up the scope mapping for your project using either a local .npmrc file in the project or using the publishConfig option in the package.json. GitHub Packages only supports scoped npm packages. Scoped packages have names with the format of @NAMESPACE/PACKAGE-NAME. Scoped packages always begin with an @ symbol. You may need to update the name in your package.json to use the scoped name. For example, if you're the user octocat and your package is named test, you would assign the scoped package name as follows: "name": "@octocat/test".

After you publish a package, you can view the package on GitHub. For more information, see "Viewing packages."

Publishing a package using a local .npmrc file

You can use an .npmrc file to configure the scope mapping for your project. In the .npmrc file, use the GitHub Packages URL and account owner so GitHub Packages knows where to route package requests. Using an .npmrc file prevents other developers from accidentally publishing the package to npmjs.org instead of GitHub Packages.

  1. Authenticate to GitHub Packages. For more information, see "Authenticating to GitHub Packages."

  2. In the same directory as your package.json file, create or edit an .npmrc file to include a line specifying GitHub Packages URL and the namespace where the package is hosted. Replace NAMESPACE with the name of the user or organization account to which the package will be scoped.

    @NAMESPACE:registry=https://npm.pkg.github.com
  3. Add the .npmrc file to the repository where GitHub Packages can find your project. For more information, see "Adding a file to a repository."

  4. Verify the name of your package in your project's package.json. The name field must contain the scope and the name of the package. For example, if your package is called "test", and you are publishing to the "My-org" GitHub organization, the name field in your package.json should be @my-org/test.

  5. Verify the repository field in your project's package.json. The repository field must match the URL for your GitHub repository. For example, if your repository URL is github.com/my-org/test then the repository field should be https://github.com/my-org/test.git.

  6. Publish the package:

    $ npm publish

Publishing a package using publishConfig in the package.json file

You can use publishConfig element in the package.json file to specify the registry where you want the package published. For more information, see "publishConfig" in the npm documentation.

  1. Edit the package.json file for your package and include a publishConfig entry.

    "publishConfig": {
      "registry": "https://npm.pkg.github.com"
    },
  2. Verify the repository field in your project's package.json. The repository field must match the URL for your GitHub repository. For example, if your repository URL is github.com/my-org/test then the repository field should be https://github.com/my-org/test.git.

  3. Publish the package:

    $ npm publish

Publishing multiple packages to the same repository

To publish multiple packages and link them to the same repository, you can include the URL of the GitHub repository in the repository field of the package.json file for each package.

To ensure the repository's URL is correct, replace REPOSITORY with the name of the repository containing the package you want to publish, and OWNER with the name of the personal account or organization on GitHub that owns the repository.

GitHub Packages will match the repository based on the URL.

"repository":"https://github.com/OWNER/REPOSITORY",

Installing a package

You can install packages from GitHub Packages by adding the packages as dependencies in the package.json file for your project. For more information on using a package.json in your project, see "Working with package.json" in the npm documentation.

By default, you can add packages from one organization. For more information, see "Installing packages from other organizations."

You also need to add the .npmrc file to your project so that all requests to install packages will go through GitHub Packages. When you route all package requests through GitHub Packages, you can use both scoped and unscoped packages from npmjs.org. For more information, see "npm-scope" in the npm documentation.

  1. Authenticate to GitHub Packages. For more information, see "Authenticating to GitHub Packages."

  2. In the same directory as your package.json file, create or edit an .npmrc file to include a line specifying GitHub Packages URL and the namespace where the package is hosted. Replace NAMESPACE with the name of the user or organization account to which the package will be scoped.

    @NAMESPACE:registry=https://npm.pkg.github.com
  3. Add the .npmrc file to the repository where GitHub Packages can find your project. For more information, see "Adding a file to a repository."

  4. Configure package.json in your project to use the package you are installing. To add your package dependencies to the package.json file for GitHub Packages, specify the full-scoped package name, such as @my-org/server. For packages from npmjs.com, specify the full name, such as @babel/core or @lodash. Replace ORGANIZATION_NAME/PACKAGE_NAME with your package dependency.

    {
      "name": "@my-org/server",
      "version": "1.0.0",
      "description": "Server app that uses the ORGANIZATION_NAME/PACKAGE_NAME package",
      "main": "index.js",
      "author": "",
      "license": "MIT",
      "dependencies": {
        "ORGANIZATION_NAME/PACKAGE_NAME": "1.0.0"
      }
    }
    
  5. Install the package.

    $ npm install

Installing packages from other organizations

By default, you can only use GitHub Packages packages from one organization. If you'd like to route package requests to multiple organizations and users, you can add additional lines to your .npmrc file, replacing NAMESPACE with the name of the personal account or organization to which the package is scoped.

@NAMESPACE:registry=https://npm.pkg.github.com
@NAMESPACE:registry=https://npm.pkg.github.com