Package Managers Fight: NPM vs. Yarn

What is the most effective package manager for your development projects? How does NPM compare to Yarn in terms of speed, security, and ease of use? Do the differences really matter or can you switch between them without any problems?

There are significant debates within the web development community regarding the best package manager to use. An article from Medium outlined the numerous differences between NPM and Yarn, including installation ease, speed, and security[1]. Meanwhile, a Stack Overflow survey revealed that although NPM is more commonly used, Yarn users tend to be more satisfied with their choice[2]. These debates highlight the need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each tool to decide which one is the best fit for each specific project.

In this article, you will learn all about the origin and main characteristics of NPM and Yarn. We will dive deep into their differences regarding performance, flexibility, and tool environments so that you can make an informed decision about which package manager to use in your next project. Furthermore, we will dispel some common misconceptions that might be affecting your choice and provide tips on how to get the best out of your chosen package manager.

Our aim is to provide a comprehensive yet easily understandable comparison between NPM and Yarn. By doing so, we hope to equip you with the knowledge required to choose the best tool for your development needs.

Definitions and Meanings of Package Managers: NPM vs. Yarn

NPM (Node Package Manager) is a package manager for the JavaScript programming language. It is the world’s largest software registry, hosting over a million packages of free, reusable code. It helps developers manage and control their code’s dependencies for smoother, more streamlined programming.

Yarn is also a package manager for JavaScript. Developed by Facebook, it came as an alternative to NPM, providing faster and more reliable package management. Yarn offers a predictable and consistent installation process, improving upon NPM’s performance and security.

Together, NPM and Yarn play a crucial role in the world of JavaScript development, facilitating the installation and management of reusable code.

NPM vs. Yarn: Unleashing the Titans of Package Management Turf War

Breaking Down the Basics

To appreciate the clash between Yarn and NPM, understanding the fundamental functions of both package managers becomes necessary. Starting off with NPM, which stands for Node Package Manager, it is the default package manager for JavaScript runtime environment Node.js. Shortly after its inception in 2010, NPM gained popularity due to its simplicity and extensive collection of packages. On the other hand, Yarn, introduced by Facebook in 2016, was developed as an improvement over NPM. Yarn’s primary advantage was its effective performance, secure package installation, and superior dependency management.

Key Differences Between NPM and Yarn

Addressing the differences between NPM and Yarn, several aspects come to fore. Yarn introduced an offline cache of downloaded packages, enabling the reuse of existing packages without an internet connection, unlike NPM. Further, Yarn initiated deterministic package installation ensuring identical installations across different systems; however, NPM improved its system to match that. Yarn also boasted of better performance with parallel processing of installation tasks, while NPM processed tasks sequentially.

Comparatively, NPM didn’t sit idle and introduced several features to keep up with Yarn. For instance, NPM 5.0 released lockfiles, automatic conflict resolution, and package-lock.json to match Yarn’s functionalities and provide secure, consistent installations across machines, mitigating earlier issues with dependencies.

  • Yarn introduced an offline cache of downloaded packages, promoting reuse them without an internet connection.
  • Yarn initiated deterministic package installation ensuring identical installations across different systems gaining an edge over NPM.
  • Yarn demonstrated better performance with parallel processing of installation tasks, while NPM processed tasks sequentially.
  • NPM improved its system by introducing several features like lockfiles, automatic conflict resolution and package-lock.json matching with Yarn’s functionalities thereby providing secure and consistent installations across machines mitigating earlier issues with dependencies.

Current-Edge of Yarn Over NPM

Even with the improvements that NPM made, Yarn currently edges out NPM in a few ways. Yarn allows package installation via a concise syntax, faster installation speed, and “workspaces” allowing for simpler management of monorepo projects. Additionally, it has greater community participation and quicker issue resolution. Irrespective of these advantages, NPM continues to comfortably hold the majority of JavaScript developers due to its simplicity and extensive package collection. It is clear that the dominance of NPM is certainly being challenged by Yarn, but for now, both package managers co-exist, serving different needs of developers.

Knockout Rounds: Delving Deep into the Power-Packed Features of NPM and Yarn

Which Dominates the Dev World: NPM or Yarn?

What dictates a developer’s choice for a package manager? Delving into the intricacies of both NPM and Yarn presents a vivid picture of the contrasting and akin traits that offer unique advantages and pose inherent disadvantages. Given their extensive use in handling Node.js packages, the software developers have their tilt towards either of the two.

NPM has been a long-standing veteran in the developer community, having been introduced around 2010, it has amassed a dedicated following. However, the main issue lies with its performance and security measures. Response times have been an ongoing critique for NPM, as depending on the network speed, it can become a tedious process quickly. Also, NPM automatically runs code from dependencies posing a potential security risk. Enter Yarn, introduced by Facebook in 2016, developed as a response to overcome the shortcomings of NPM. The introduction of lock files is an extraordinary feature of Yarn. It guarantees the installation of precise package versions across all systems, leading developers to reproduce the same environment on multiple machines, enhancing security.

The Quintessential Practices: Learning from Experience

When observing real-world implementation, large-scale projects often lean towards Yarn, citing speed and consistency as their primary reason. Facebook, for instance, is known to use Yarn for managing its vast array of dependencies, taking advantage of Yarn’s efficient cache and parallelised operations. However, small-scale projects might not necessarily feel the need to switch over from NPM due to its comparatively straightforward setup and commands.

On the other hand, to manage local dependencies, many prefer leveraging Yarn’s ‘workspaces’. For example, a Monorepo setup, where multiple packages exist within one repository, workspaces ensure the synchronization of related packages, resulting in significantly slight changes in CI build times. As a result, developers pursuing seamless local development commonly opt for Yarn.

However, for public open-source projects, NPM’s massive registry and the status quo come in handy. Notably, NPM’s recent ‘audit command’, alerts developers of any vulnerabilities within packages, offering them suggestions to counteract the problem. This has added a layer of security that developers working on sensitive projects find appealing.

While it is not about choosing the ultimate winner, the individual strengths and drawbacks of both NPM and Yarn articulate the importance of comprehending project needs to adopt a suitable package manager.

Tussling for Supremacy: An In-depth Comparison between NPM and Yarn

Disruption in The Package Management Ecosystem: Is Yarn a Game-changer?

Is Yarn here to overhaul the reign of NPM in the package management world? Yarn, the new kid on the block, is posing some serious competition to NPM in recent years. Developed by Facebook as an alternative to NPM, Yarn emerged as a potent contender with its set of unique features and modifications. The most fundamental shift lies in its improved speed and consistent package installation, making it a preferable choice for developers dealing with large codebases. It also offers offline mode, where already installed packages can be reused without an internet connection, further boosting its efficiency. The workings of Yarn allow developers to have a more compact node_modules directory, hence saving precious disk space. Developers can gain a better control over their package installations with Yarn’s support for a flat mode which resolves and installs versions of dependencies that can work together.

Addressing The Elephant in The Room: Where Does NPM Stumble?

As ideal and ubiquitous the NPM may seem, it isn’t devoid of pain-points, which Yarn adeptly addresses. One of the most critical issues pushes developers towards Yarn is NPM’s inconsistent install issue. Multiple installations of the same program can lead to different node_modules directories, causing unnecessary complications in managing dependencies. The NPM’s speed is another contentious issue. Yarn, on the other hand, uses a deterministic algorithm for installations, ensuring consistent installs across machines, effectively reducing the development-machine and production-machine inconsistencies. Yarn’s genius parallelization of operations also results in a notable speed over NPM, making it a go-to choice for larger projects.

Navigating Through Best Practices

There are a few practical examples of best practices being embraced by developers while using these package managers. Both NPM and Yarn provide a lock file, ‘package-lock.json’ and ‘yarn.lock’ respectively, which can be utilized to lock the dependencies to a specific version. However, Yarn takes the game higher by also allowing you to share locked dependencies with colleagues, thus, guaranteeing that everyone is working with identical dependencies. Also, considering Yarn’s speed advantage, some large-scale projects like React and Babel switched to Yarn, corroborating the benefits of its features in a real-world scenario. Another good practice revolves around security. Yarn provides checksums for each package at installation, ensuring its integrity and reliability. These good practices give developers an edge not just in faster and efficient package management, but also in maintaining a safe and reliable code environment.


Have you ever considered the implications of choosing a package manager for your JavaScript projects? The competition between NPM and Yarn has been quite stiff, with each bringing unique advantages to the table. NPM’s simplistic operation and installation process vs Yarn’s speed and reliability: the decision entirely depends on your preference and project demands. In conclusion, both NPM and Yarn have a rightful place in JavaScript development, it’s entirely down to the developer’s preferences and project requirements as to which is chosen.

We are continually striving to provide the most current insights and reviews of the latest trends and updates in the world of software development. Therefore, we want to invite you to persistently paddle with us through this sea of knowledge. Following this blog will prove valuable in your quest for deepening your understanding of different programming tools. We assure you, as new versions of package managers are released, we will provide the information you need to stay updated.

We are aware that the technology world is always brimming with fresh releases and updates, which can be a lot to keep up with. But not to worry, we are committed to lessening this burden by delivering these updates straight to you. So, prepare to anticipate our updates on freshly released versions of package managers and other software updates. Because at the end of the day, we’re all learners who continue to grow in this dynamic field of software development. With that said, remember to stay connected, stay updated, and of course, stay excited because there is always more from where it all came.


1. What is the primary difference between NPM and Yarn?
NPM and Yarn serve the main purpose of managing packages, but they handle packages differently. While Yarn was developed to address the shortcomings of NPM, it is generally faster, more secure, and ensures better consistency than NPM.

2. What are the prime advantages of using NPM?
NPM has been the default package manager for JavaScript runtime environment Node.js since its inception and has an extensive package registry. Additionally, being older, NPM has wide community support and continuous improvements, making it more reliable.

3. Why would developers choose Yarn over NPM?
Yarn provides benefits like faster speeds, improved security, and predictability. It introduces an offline cache which helps in faster installation of packages and it locks the packages to a specific version, preventing unauthorized modifications.

4. Can I use both NPM and Yarn in the same project?
It is not advisable to use both NPM and Yarn in the same project. Using both can lead to inconsistencies as they have different package lock files and may result in different dependency trees.

5. Is Yarn completely compatible with NPM packages?
Yes, Yarn is fully compatible with NPM databases and can run any package you would usually run with NPM. This makes it easy to transition between the two or even to use them simultaneously if the need arises.