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Heaps of garbage

npkill - cleanup heaps of node_modules

If you are like me a developer that uses lots of npm packages you will know the amount of mega- or even gigabytes that are used up by node_module directories in every project. Having to remove them all tediously by hand or keeping them - both solutions are annoying, when you try to backup your projects - is just annoying.

Happily enough I discovered npkill a while back. It is a command line tool that helps you to find and remove old and heavy node_modules folders, freeing up valuable space on your machine.

Its key features are:

  • cleaning up space, oviously
  • showing you the last time the project was updated
  • a very fast execution time to locate all node_modules directories
  • it’s easy to select and delete the folders you want to remove
  • the tool itself has minimal dependencies, keeping it lightweight and its own node_modules directory small

To install npkill globally, run the following command:

1npm install -g npkill

Once installed, you can use npkill by executing the command npkill in your terminal. It will scan for node_modules directories starting from the current path and display a list of them along with their sizes. You can navigate the list using arrow keys, and delete selected folders by pressing Space or Del.

npkill in action

Note: some applications may rely on those folders. npkill will highlight these folders and displays warnings to help make informed decisions.

As it’s still under development, it should be used with some degree of caution. I have used it for a while now and it works great for me. I have not encountered any problems so far.

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