Choose the best package manager for your next project

Npm and Yarn are the two most popular package managers out there among Javascript and Nodejs developers. Ever wondered why they exist and what are their differences? Why do some tutorials on YouTube use yarn while others npm?

This blog/article helps you understand what exactly package managers are, how Yarn vs. NPM compare to each other and which features make working with one better than the other.

What is a package manager?

A package manager or package-management system is a collection of software tools that automates the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing computer programs for a computer in a consistent manner. In today's world, developers rely on packaged software, which means that the software comes within one single file that wraps up everything needed to make that software work on our system. If not everything, it at least contains references to where the system can obtain the information it needs.

What is NPM?

Node package manager, better known as npm is the world's largest software registry. Open-source developers from every continent use npm to share and borrow packages, and many organizations use npm to manage private development as well.
It is the standard tool to install Node.js dependencies and modules. It was recently acquired by Microsoft.

The NPM command-line (CLI) tool is the default package manager bundled with Node.js. It means as soon as you install NodeJs onto your system, NPM is also installed by default and you are ready to go.

It helps you install and manage dependencies. It is responsible for fetching packages from the registry and installing them into your node_modules directory, where they are accessible from your code.

Some of the most used NPM commands and their uses-

  • npm install - Helps you install dependencies.

  • npm init - Used to generate a package.json file.

  • npm audit - Asks for a report of known vulnerabilities.

  • npm update - Helps you update the installed versions of your dependencies.

  • npm uninstall - Removes dependencies from both package.json and the node_modules directory.

  • npm run - Help you run scripts set up in your package.json.

  • npm start - Runs your project's start script.

What is Yarn?

Yarn stands for Yet Another Resource Negotiator. Yarn is an established open-source package manager used to manage dependencies in JavaScript projects. It assists with the process of installing, updating, configuring, and removing package dependencies, eventually helping you reach your objectives faster with fewer distractions.

Its areas of focus are speed, correctness, security, and developer experience, which we improve along every axis by leveraging a suite of innovative features such as workspaces, offline caching, parallel installs, hardened mode, interactive commands, and more.

Yarn was developed in 2016 in collaboration with Facebook, Google, Tilde and Exponent. It was created to fix the shortcomings of the npm.

To install yarn use: npm install --global yarn

Some of the most used yarn commands and their uses-

  • yarn add - Adds a package to your existing package.

  • yarn init - Starts the package development process.

  • yarn install - Installs all of the package's dependencies in the package.json file

  • yarn publish - Sends a package to the package management system.

  • yarn remove - Removes an unnecessary package from the current package

Let's talk about the differences & which one is better in a given scenario-

Security and Licencing:
Security becomes an important parameter when we compare YARN and NPM. Initially, Facebook introduced YARN because it covered the security lapses in NPM, but since then, NPM has had strong security updates.
If we add or install packages with security vulnerabilities in both package managers, we are automatically given warnings for the same.
YARN does have some extra edge, though. This comes with the feature of licensing.

Yarn installs packages faster than npm as the dependencies are installed in parallel whereas npm installs them in sequential order. Thus, whenever we install bigger files yarn outperforms npm.
Yarn caches every package it has downloaded to avoid re-downloading it later when the need arises.

Npm for sure gets a win here as it has a large open-source community when compared to yarn. It's because npm is older than yarn and npm is still widely used, thus a larger community and support.


If you need a package manager, both npm and Yarn are excellent choices with a lot of benefits to you. Although different developers have different needs with their projects and are comfortable with different environments.
Hope this blog will help you understand some basic differences between yarn and npm.

For more info about Yarn and npm, here are some resources given below-

PS: This is my first-ever blog.

Please do comment below with your thoughts and feel free to correct me if wrong anywhere.