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Deploying with npm private modules
Private modules are great for developing applications. Most of the time, these applications live on deployment servers and are tested with CI servers. You need to be able to download your private modules to these servers, too. To do this, you can set up an
~/.npmrc file which will authenticate your server with npm.
Getting an authentication token
One of the things that has changed in npm is that we now use auth tokens to authenticate in the CLI. To generate an auth token, you can log in on any machine. You’ll end up with a line in your
~/.npmrc file that looks like this:
The token is not derived from your password password, but changing your password will invalidate all tokens. The token will be valid until the password is changed. You can also invalidate a single token by logging out on a machine that is logged in with that token.
Setting up environment variables
To make this more secure when pushing it up to the server, you can set this token as an environment variable on the server. For example, in Heroku you would do this:
heroku config:set NPM_TOKEN=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 --app=application_name
You will also need to add this to your environment variables on your development machine. In OSX or Linux, you would add this line to your
and then refresh your environment variables:
Checking in your
Then you can check in the
~/.npmrc file, replacing your token with the environment variable.
Thanks to Oscar Godson at Piggybank for writing up how to use private modules with Heroku.