Major Differences Between Yarn & NPM
- NPM was developed as an open source project in 2009. Yarn was released by Facebook in 2016 as an improvement upon the foundation that NPM laid.
- Yarn uses
yarn addwhile NPM uses
npm install(Can be confusing when switching between the two.)
- Yarn keeps a copy of packages you download stored locally. I'll explain why in a little bit.
- Both Yarn and NPM use the
package.jsonfile to get the packages to install. However, Yarn uses
yarn.lockand NPM uses
package-lock.jsonto more explicitly state which package version to get.
A Breif History of NPM
Yarn Module Cache
Every time you install a new package with Yarn, it stores a copy of it locally on your computer. This way when multiple projects require the same package, Yarn doesn't have to go download the required package again, it just grabs it off your hard drive and puts it in the project you're installing, saving you time and bandwidth.
Blazing Saddles: Package Manager Boogalo
According to a test done by GitHub user appleboy that you can reproduce yourself, Yarn both with and without it's cache is significantly faster at installing modules, and even installs without internet! (assuming you've cached the package you're installing).
Here are the results of their test comparing NPM to Yarn:
|Test||npm install||npm ci||yarn|
|install without cache (without node_modules)||3m||3m||1m|
|install with cache (without node_modules)||1m||18s||30s|
|install with cache (with node_modules)||54s||21s||2s|
|install without internet (with node_modules)||-||-||2s|
Blazing Fast! Even without using a cache, Yarn is 200% faster than NPM.
How To Install Yarn
After doing the research for this post I'm definitely sticking to Yarn for projects moving forward. Here's how you can install Yarn and see for yourself just how fast it is and get started integrating it into your workflow.
Go to the Yarn Installation Page, make your you have Node.js installed, download the version you want and run the installer. Yarn goes through and installs for you.
You can install Yarn with HomeBrew:
brew install yarn
Ubuntu / Linux
Go to the Yarn Installation Page and follow the steps. You'll have to add Yarn's repo to APT and then install through there.
NPM - Don't Do This
You can even install Yarn with NPM:
npm install --global yarn
Although, for security reasons that I don't fully understand they recommend NOT installing Yarn through NPM and instead installing Yarn based on your specific operating system (Ubuntu/Debian, Mac, Windows).
Are you going to make the switch?
Let me know on twitter @JackHarner if you do and which package manager you prefer! Thanks for reading!!