The main difference between local and global packages is this:
- local packages are installed in the directory where you run
npm install <package-name>, and they are put in the
node_modulesfolder under this directory
- global packages are all put in a single place in your system (exactly where depends on your setup), regardless of where you run
npm install -g <package-name>
In your code, they are both required in the same way:
so when should you install in one way or another?
In general, all packages should be installed locally.
This makes sure you can have dozens of applications in your computer, all running a different version of each package if needed.
Updating a global package would make all your projects use the new release, and as you can imagine this might cause nightmares in terms of maintenance, as some packages might break compatibility with further dependencies, and so on.
All projects have their own local version of a package, even if this might appear like a waste of resources, it’s minimal compared to the possible negative consequences.
A package should be installed globally when it provides an executable command that you run from the shell (CLI), and it’s reused across projects.
You can also install executable commands locally and run them using npx, but some packages are just better installed globally.
Great examples of popular global packages which you might know are
You probably have some packages installed globally already on your system. You can see them by running
npm list -g --depth 0
on your command line.
One more thing! ⚠️ ✋
It's a 10-weeks long cohort online course where I will guide you to becoming a Web Developer.
It's not "just a course". It's a big event I organize once a year.
At the end of the first 10 weeks you'll know how to create web sites and web applications and I'll unlock you the 2nd phase of the Bootcamp: you will get access to a large number of projects exclusive to the Bootcamp graduates, so you can follow my instructions to build things like private areas with authentication, clones of popular sites like Twitter YouTube Reddit, create e-commerce sites, and much much more.
Because once you got the fundamentals, you only learn by working on real, exciting projects.
To find out more, visit bootcamp.dev