Getting Started with Yarn: A Beginner's Guide

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Getting Started with Yarn: A Beginner's Guide

In this beginner's guide, we'll take a look at what Yarn is, why you might want to use it, and how to get started with it.

If you're a web developer, you're likely familiar with Node.js, npm, and package managers in general. But have you tried using Yarn yet? Yarn is a package manager that was developed by Facebook to improve on the shortcomings of npm.

What is Yarn?

Yarn is a fast and reliable package manager for JavaScript. It was developed by Facebook and released to the open source community in 2016. Yarn is built on top of the npm registry, so it can install any package that npm can, but it offers several advantages over npm, including:

  • Faster installations: Yarn uses parallel downloads and caching to speed up installation times.
  • Consistent installs: Yarn uses a lockfile to ensure that the same dependencies are installed on every machine.
  • Better error messages: Yarn provides more informative error messages than npm, making it easier to debug issues.

Why Use Yarn?

If npm is already installed on your system and works just fine, why bother with Yarn? Well, there are several reasons why you might want to switch to Yarn:

  • Faster installations: As mentioned earlier, Yarn is faster than npm when it comes to installing packages. This can be especially useful if you're working on a large project with many dependencies.
  • Consistent installs: With Yarn, you can be sure that everyone on your team is using the same versions of packages. This can help prevent issues caused by version mismatches.
  • Offline installations: Yarn can install packages offline, which is useful if you're working in a location with limited internet connectivity.
  • Better security: Yarn has built-in security checks to help prevent malicious packages from being installed.

Installing Yarn

Before you can start using Yarn, you'll need to install it. If you're using npm, you can install Yarn globally using the following command:

npm install -g yarn

Alternatively, you can download and install Yarn directly from the official website.

Using Yarn

Once Yarn is installed, you can use it just like you would use npm.

Starting a new project

yarn init

To install a package with Yarn, use the following command:

yarn add [package]
yarn add [package]@[version]
yarn add [package]@[tag]

For example, to install the lodash package, you would run:

yarn add lodash

Adding a dependency to different categories of dependencies

Add to devDependenciespeerDependencies, and optionalDependencies respectively:

yarn add [package] --dev
yarn add [package] --peer
yarn add [package] --optional

Upgrading a dependency

yarn upgrade [package]
yarn upgrade [package]@[version]
yarn upgrade [package]@[tag]

yarn upgrade [package] command upgrades all dependencies to their latest versions.

Installing all the dependencies of project



yarn install

Yarn will download and install the package, along with any dependencies it requires. Yarn will also create a yarn.lock file, which specifies the exact versions of each dependency that were installed.

If you want to remove a package, use the following command:

yarn remove [package]


Yarn is a powerful and easy-to-use package manager that can help streamline your JavaScript development workflow. With faster installations, consistent installs, and better error messages, Yarn is a solid alternative to npm. If you're interested in trying it out, give it a download and see how it can improve your development process.


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