Fast, disk space efficient npm installs
- Fast. A lot faster than npm and yarn. This is not a fair battle as we organize dependencies in a completely different way. Nevertheless, dependencies installed with pnpm are Node.js-compatible!
- Efficient. One version of a package is saved only ever once on a disk.
- Simple and human-deterministic. Flattening is hard. A package manager can be
deterministic but no human can easily predict how will a flattened dependency tree look
like. Pnpm not only has a lockfile, the files in its
node_modulesfolder are organized always the same way, the way they are described in
Read our contributing guide if you’re looking to contribute.
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Table of Contents
- Frequently Asked Questions
pnpm uses hard links and symlinks to save one version of a module only ever once on a disk.
When using npm or yarn for example, if you have 100 packages using lodash, you will have
100 copies of lodash on disk. With pnpm, lodash will be saved in a single place on the disk
and a hard link will put it into the
node_modules where it should be installed.
As a result, you save gigabytes of space on your disk and you have a lot faster installations!
If you’d like more details about the unique
node_modules structure that pnpm creates and
why it works fine with the Node.js ecosystem, read this small article: Why should we use pnpm?
Install it via npm.
npm install -g pnpm
Do you wanna use pnpm on CI servers? See: Continuous Integration.
pnpm in place of
npm. It overrides
pnpm install and some other command, the rest will pass through to
pnpm install lodash
For using the programmatic API, see: API.
pnpm uses npm’s programmatic API to read configs. Hence, you should set configs for pnpm the same way you would for npm.
Furthermore, pnpm uses the same configs that npm uses for doing installations. If you have a private registry and npm is configured to work with it, pnpm should be able to authorize requests as well, with no additional configuration.
However, pnpm has some unique configs as well:
- Default: ~/.pnpm-store
- Type: path
The location where all the packages are saved on the disk.
- Default: ~/.pnpm-registry
- Type: path
The location of all the downloaded packages and package meta information. Can be also used as a verdaccio storage.
- Default: false
- Type: Boolean
If true, pnpm will use only the local registry mirror to get packages. If a package won’t be found locally, the installation will fail.
- Default: 16
- Type: Number
Controls the maximum number of HTTP requests that can be done simultaneously.
- Default: 5
- Type: Number
Controls the number of child processes run parallelly to build node modules.
- Default: true
- Type: Boolean
Dangerous! If false, the store is not locked. It means that several installations using the same store can run simultaneously.
Can be passed in via a CLI option.
--no-lock to set it to false. E.g.:
pnpm install --no-lock.
If you experience issues similar to the ones described in #594, use this option to disable locking. In the meanwhile, we’ll try to find a solution that will make locking work for everyone.
pnpm is usually 10 times faster than npm and 30% faster than yarn. See this benchmark which compares the three package managers on different types of applications.
time npm i babel-preset-es2015 browserify chalk debug minimist mkdirp 66.15 real 15.60 user 3.54 sys
time pnpm i babel-preset-es2015 browserify chalk debug minimist mkdirp 11.04 real 6.85 user 2.85 sys
- npm-shrinkwrap.json is ignored. Unlike pnpm, npm can install the
[email protected]multiple times and with different sets of dependencies. npm’s shrinkwrap file is designed to reflect the
node_moduleslayout created by npm. pnpm cannot create a similar layout, so it cannot respect
- You can’t publish npm modules with
bundleDependenciesmanaged by pnpm.
- Binstubs (files in
node_modules/.bin) are always shell files not symlinks to JS files. The shell files are created to help pluggable CLI apps in finding their plugins in the unusual
- Node.js doesn’t work with the –preserve-symlinks flag when executed in a project that uses pnpm.
Got an idea for workarounds for these issues? Share them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my
node_modules folder use disk space if packages are stored in a global store?
pnpm creates hard links from the global store to project’s
Hard links point to the same place on the disk where the original files are.
So, for example, if you have
foo in your project as a dependency and it occupies 1MB of space,
then it will look like it occupies 1MB of space in the project’s
node_modules folder and
the same amount of space in the global store. However, that 1MB is the same space on the disk
addressed from two different locations. So in total
foo occupies 1MB,
For more on this subject: Why do hard links seem to take the same space as the originals?