npm-ls - Man Page


npm-ls — List installed packages


npm ls [[<@scope>/]<pkg> ...]

aliases: list, la, ll


This command will print to stdout all the versions of packages that are installed, as well as their dependencies when --all is specified, in a tree structure.

Note: to get a "bottoms up" view of why a given package is included in the tree at all, use npm help explain.

Positional arguments are name@version-range identifiers, which will limit the results to only the paths to the packages named.  Note that nested packages will also show the paths to the specified packages.  For example, running npm ls promzard in npm's source tree will show:

npm@7.19.1 /path/to/npm
└─┬ init-package-json@0.0.4
  └── promzard@0.1.5

It will print out extraneous, missing, and invalid packages.

If a project specifies git urls for dependencies these are shown in parentheses after the name@version to make it easier for users to recognize potential forks of a project.

The tree shown is the logical dependency tree, based on package dependencies, not the physical layout of your node_modules folder.

When run as ll or la, it shows extended information by default.

Note: Design Changes Pending

The npm ls command's output and behavior made a ton of sense when npm created a node_modules folder that naively nested every dependency.  In such a case, the logical dependency graph and physical tree of packages on disk would be roughly identical.

With the advent of automatic install-time deduplication of dependencies in npm v3, the ls output was modified to display the logical dependency graph as a tree structure, since this was more useful to most users. However, without using npm ls -l, it became impossible show where a package was actually installed much of the time!

With the advent of automatic installation of peerDependencies in npm v7, this gets even more curious, as peerDependencies are logically "underneath" their dependents in the dependency graph, but are always physically at or above their location on disk.

Also, in the years since npm got an ls command (in version 0.0.2!), dependency graphs have gotten much larger as a general rule.  Therefore, in order to avoid dumping an excessive amount of content to the terminal, npm ls now only shows the top level dependencies, unless --all is provided.

A thorough re-examination of the use cases, intention, behavior, and output of this command, is currently underway.  Expect significant changes to at least the default human-readable npm ls output in npm v8.


<!-- AUTOGENERATED CONFIG DESCRIPTIONS START --> <!-- automatically generated, do not edit manually -->


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

When running npm outdated and npm ls, setting --all will show all outdated or installed packages, rather than only those directly depended upon by the current project.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Whether or not to output JSON data, rather than the normal output.

Not supported by all npm commands.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Show extended information in ls, search, and help-search.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Output parseable results from commands that write to standard output. For npm search, this will be tab-separated table format.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Operates in "global" mode, so that packages are installed into the prefix folder instead of the current working directory. See npm help folders for more on the differences in behavior.

  • packages are installed into the {prefix}/lib/node_modules folder, instead of the current working directory.
  • bin files are linked to {prefix}/bin
  • man pages are linked to {prefix}/share/man


  • Default: Infinity if --all is set, otherwise 1
  • Type: null or Number

The depth to go when recursing packages for npm ls.

If not set, npm ls will show only the immediate dependencies of the root project. If --all is set, then npm will show all dependencies by default.


  • Default: 'dev' if the NODE_ENV environment variable is set to 'production', otherwise empty.
  • Type: "dev", "optional", or "peer" (can be set multiple times)

Dependency types to omit from the installation tree on disk.

Note that these dependencies are still resolved and added to the package-lock.json or npm-shrinkwrap.json file. They are just not physically installed on disk.

If a package type appears in both the --include and --omit lists, then it will be included.

If the resulting omit list includes 'dev', then the NODE_ENV environment variable will be set to 'production' for all lifecycle scripts.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

If set to true, the current operation will only use the package-lock.json, ignoring node_modules.

For update this means only the package-lock.json will be updated, instead of checking node_modules and downloading dependencies.

For list this means the output will be based on the tree described by the package-lock.json, rather than the contents of node_modules.


  • Default: false on windows, true on mac/unix systems with a unicode locale, as defined by the LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, or LANG environment variables.
  • Type: Boolean

When set to true, npm uses unicode characters in the tree output. When false, it uses ascii characters instead of unicode glyphs.


  • Default:
  • Type: String (can be set multiple times)

Enable running a command in the context of the configured workspaces of the current project while filtering by running only the workspaces defined by this configuration option.

Valid values for the workspace config are either:

  • Workspace names
  • Path to a workspace directory
  • Path to a parent workspace directory (will result to selecting all of the nested workspaces)

When set for the npm init command, this may be set to the folder of a workspace which does not yet exist, to create the folder and set it up as a brand new workspace within the project.

This value is not exported to the environment for child processes.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Enable running a command in the context of all the configured workspaces.

This value is not exported to the environment for child processes. <!-- AUTOGENERATED CONFIG DESCRIPTIONS END -->

See Also

  • npm help explain
  • npm help config
  • npm help npmrc
  • npm help folders
  • npm help explain
  • npm help install
  • npm help link
  • npm help prune
  • npm help outdated
  • npm help update


July 2021