npx - Man Page

execute npm package binaries

Examples (TL;DR)


npx [options] <command>[@version] [command-arg]...

npx [options] [-p|--package <pkg>]... <command> [command-arg]...

npx [options] -c '<command-string>'

npx --shell-auto-fallback [shell]


npm install -g npx


Executes <command> either from a local node_modules/.bin, or from a central cache, installing any packages needed in order for <command> to run.

By default, npx will check whether <command> exists in $PATH, or in the local project binaries, and execute that. If <command> is not found, it will be installed prior to execution.

Unless a --package option is specified, npx will try to guess the name of the binary to invoke depending on the specifier provided. All package specifiers understood by npm may be used with npx, including git specifiers, remote tarballs, local directories, or scoped packages.

If a full specifier is included, or if --package is used, npx will always use a freshly-installed, temporary version of the package. This can also be forced with the --ignore-existing flag.


Running a project-local bin

$ npm i -D webpack
$ npx webpack ...

One-off invocation without local installation

$ npm rm webpack
$ npx webpack -- ...
$ cat package.json
...webpack not in "devDependencies"...

Invoking a command from a github repository

$ npx github:piuccio/cowsay
$ npx git+ssh://my.hosted.git:cowsay.git#semver:^1

Execute a full shell command using one npx call w/ multiple packages

$ npx -p lolcatjs -p cowsay -c \
  'echo "$npm_package_name@$npm_package_version" | cowsay | lolcatjs'
< your-cool-package@1.2.3 >
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Run node binary with --inspect

$ npx --node-arg=--inspect cowsay
Debugger listening on ws://

Specify a node version to run npm scripts (or anything else!)

npx -p node@8 npm run build

Shell Auto Fallback

You can configure npx to run as your default fallback command when you type something in the command line with an @ but the command is not found. This includes installing packages that were not found in the local prefix either.

For example:

$ npm@4 --version
(stderr) npm@4 not found. Trying with npx...
$ asdfasdfasf
zsh: command not found: asfdasdfasdf

Currently, zsh, bash (>= 4), and fish are supported. You can access these completion scripts using npx --shell-auto-fallback <shell>.

To install permanently, add the relevant line below to your ~/.bashrc, ~/.zshrc, ~/.config/fish/, or as needed. To install just for the shell session, simply run the line.

You can optionally pass through --no-install when generating the fallback to prevent it from installing packages if the command is missing.

For bash@>=4

$ source <(npx --shell-auto-fallback bash)

For zsh

$ source <(npx --shell-auto-fallback zsh)

For fish

$ source (npx --shell-auto-fallback fish | psub)


Huge thanks to Kwyn Meagher for generously donating the package name in the main npm registry. Previously npx was used for a Tessel board Neopixels library, which can now be found under npx-tessel


Written by Kat Marchan

Reporting Bugs

Please file any relevant issues on Github.


This work is released by its authors into the public domain under CC0-1.0. See for details.

See Also


July 2020 npx@10.2.3