The npm registry contains packages, many of which are also Node modules, or contain Node modules. Read on to understand how they differ and how they interact.
A package is a file or directory that is described by a
package.json file. A package must contain a
package.json file in order to be published to the npm registry. For more information on creating a
package.json file, see “Creating a package.json file”.
Packages can be unscoped or scoped to a user or Org, and scoped packages can be private or public. For more information, see
A package is any of the following:
- a) A folder containing a program described by a
- b) A gzipped tarball containing (a).
- c) A URL that resolves to (b).
- d) A
<name>@<version>that is published on the registry with (c).
- e) A
<name>@<tag>that points to (d).
- f) A
<name>that has a
latesttag satisfying (e).
- g) A
giturl that, when cloned, results in (a).
Git URLs used for npm packages can be formatted in the following ways:
commit-ish can be any tag, sha, or branch that can be supplied as an argument to
git checkout. The default
A module is any file or directory in the
node_modules directory that can be loaded by the Node.js
To be loaded by the Node.js
require() function, a module must be one of the following:
- A folder with a
package.jsonfile containing a
- A folder with an
index.jsfile in it.
Note: Since modules are not required to have a
package.json file, not all modules are packages. Only modules that have a
package.json file are also packages.
In the context of a Node program, the
module is also the thing that was loaded from a file. For example, in the following program:
var req = require('request')
we might say that “The variable
req refers to the