update-notifier Build Status

Update notifier for your Node.js NPM package


Inform your package users of updates in a non-intrusive way. Mainly targets global CLI apps.

Whenever you initiate the update notifier and it's not within the interval threshold, it will asynchronously check with NPM in the background for available updates, then persist the result. The next time the notifier is initiated the result will be loaded into the .update property. This prevents any impact on your package startup performance. The check process is done with fork. This means that if you call process.exit, the check will still be performed in its own process.


The idea for this module came from the desire to apply the browser update strategy to CLI tools, where everyone is always on the latest version. We first tried automatic updating, which we discovered wasn't popular. This is the second iteration of that idea, but limited to just update notifications.

There are a few projects using it:

Example usage

var updateNotifier = require('update-notifier');

// Checks for available update and returns an instance
var notifier = updateNotifier();

if (notifier.update) {
    // Notify using the built-in convenience method

// notifier.update contains some useful info about the update
    latest: '0.9.5',
    current: '0.9.3',
    type: 'patch', // possible values: latest, major, minor, patch
    date: '2012-11-05T14:32:37.603Z',
    name: 'yeoman'

Example with settings and custom message

var notifier = updateNotifier({
    updateCheckInterval: 1000  60  60  24  7 // 1 week

if (notifier.update) {
    notifier.notify('Update available: ' + notifier.update.latest);



Checks if there is an available update. Accepts settings defined below. Returns an object with update info if there is an available update, otherwise undefined.

updateNotifier.notify([message || defer])

A convenience method that will inform the user about an available update (see screenshot). By default it will display the message right away. However, if you supply a custom message or true it will be displayed right before the process exits.



Type: function
Default: null

If provided, a callback function will be called, passed (error[, update])

update is equal to notifier.update


Type: string
Default: 'package.json'

Relative path to your module package.json.


Type: string
Default: Inferred from packageFile

Used instead of inferring it from packageFile.
Requires you to also specify packageVersion.


Type: string
Default: Inferred from packageFile

Used instead of inferring it from packageFile.
Requires you to also specify packageName.


Type: number
Default: 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24 (1 day)

How often it should check for updates.


Type: number
Default: 20000 (20 secs)

How long the update can take.
If it takes longer than the timeout, it will be aborted.


Type: string
Default: 'http://registry.npmjs.org/%s'

Alternative registry mirrors:


Proxy settings

If you are behind a proxy server the process.env property is used to take the proxy server value from HTTP_PROXY or HTTPS_PROXY in order to make the call to the server. This means that you need to set those properties as environment variables.

User settings

Users of your module have the ability to opt-out of the update notifier by changing the optOut property to true in ~/.config/configstore/update-notifier-[your-module-name].yml. The path is available in notifier.config.path.

You could also let the user opt-out on a per run basis:

if (process.argv.indexOf('--no-update-notifier') === -1) {
    // run updateNotifier()


BSD license and copyright Google