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JavaScript (JS) is well-known among developers for its libraries and packages. It offers two popular package managers that help manage dependencies & packages of a particular language for the developers. These are the Node Package Manager (NPM) and the Yet Another Resource Negotiator (YARN). This article will give you a quick walkthrough on what NPM and YARN is and how they are different from each other.

What are Package Managers?

Package managers are helping applications that provide developers an easy way to install packages and dependencies into your project. Apart from installing it also helps in configuring, upgrading, and removing any dependencies or packages. NPM, YARN, Bower, Homebrew, Snappy, etc., are some common examples of package managers.

What is NPM?

NPM got released in 2010 and is a well-known JS package manager among JS developers that comes by default when developers install Node.js on their systems. It is a Command-line Interface (CLI) tool that helps developers install, update, manage, and delete JS libraries, packages, and dependencies. This package manager also contains three different components:

  • A website to handle and customize different NPM experiences
  • A registry that can lead developers access to a comprehensive public database of JS components
  • The Command Line Interface (CLI) to interact with the package manager

What is YARN?

YARN is another well-known JS dependency manager designed to offer more comprehensive features lacking in the NPM package manager, such as security and performance. It got released in 2016 by Facebook and is a popular alternative to NPM because it is stable and consistent.

How are NPM and YARN different from each other?

The typical differences between NPM and YARN are:

NPM comes as a default package manager with Node.js. YARN is not a default package manager. Developers have to install it explicitly.
It fetches packages and dependencies from the NPM registry each time the developer uses the 'npm install' command. It fetches all JS packages and dependencies from the locally stored area, i.e., it brings them from the secondary storage each time a developer uses the 'yarn add' command.
It got released in 2010. It got released in 2016.
Developers use the command npm uninstall <package_name> to uninstall a package using this package manager. Developers use the command yarn remove <package_name> to uninstall a package using this package manager.
NPM performs a serial installation process for installing packages and dependencies. YARN can perform a parallel installation process for installing packages and dependencies.
NPM is not that optimized to fetch multiple packages for installation at once. YARN has a high level of optimization to fetch multiple packages for installation at once.
NPM does security checks on packages and dependency codes at every installation. YARN does the security check in the background to make sure developers are not downloading any malicious scripts.


We hope this article has given you a crisp idea of what package managers or dependency managers are and how they help with various operations. Furthermore this article focuses on the difference between the top 2 JavaScript package managers NPM and YARN and which one to choose over other is up to the developer.