Armin Mesicpersonal blog

So I’ve installed a new OS and I wanted to start working on a JavaScript project. I did my npm install wanted to launch my gulp task, but I didn’t had it globally installed I really didn’t want to fill up my newly installed OS with global modules. There’s a solution where you can use your global modules without installing them throughnpm install -g MODULE_NAME

How to use ‘global’ modules without installing them globally

  1. npm inityour folder to get yourpackage.json

  2. Install your global modules without the-gflag, e.g.npm install gulp ---save-dev

  3. Install your gulp modules and create yourgulpfile.js, in this example I’ll just use browser-sync

    npm install browser-sync --save-dev

         // load module
         var gulp        = require('gulp');
         var browserSync = require('browser-sync').create();
         // reload task
         gulp.task('bs-reload',function() {
             return browserSync.reload();
         gulp.task('serve', function() {
             // Serve my files localhost:3000, for this example I'm just serving
             // a index.html
             // Listen for changes to compile and reload
   ['*.html']).on('change', browserSync.reload);
  4. Openpackage.jsonand add the following

         "name": "test",
         "scripts": {
             "serve": "gulp serve" // Just enter the command you would usually enter inside your terminal
         "author": "",
  5. Executenpm run serve, this will launch gulp without the need to install it globally.

How it works

When you install npm modules, they’re automatically saved insidenode_modules/.binand npm script uses them if they’re not able to find modules globally.

You could also start gulp through./node_modules/.bin/gulp serve.

But what about bower

You don’t really want to use./node_modules/.bin/bower install SOME_LIBRARY --saveevery time you need to add new dependencies. Just switch to npm for dependency management, it has the same things that bower has.


Using the modules this way makes it easier to get up and running with a new project, you just neednpm installand everything you need should be installed.

This is just a small example to show the general principle this can be extended and your npm scripts can take care of minification of your assets, creating your build, committing and pushing changes to Github.