How to Label Packages with Dist-tags

Distribution tags (dist-tags) supplement semantic versioning (e.g., v0.12). Use them to organize and label different versions of packages. In addition to being more human-readable than semver numbering, tags allow publishers to distribute their packages more effectively.

Adding tags

To add a tag to a specific version of your package, use:

npm dist-tag add <pkg>@<version> [<tag>]

Publishing with tags

By default, npm publish will tag your package with the latest tag. If you use the --tag flag, you can specify another tag to use. For example, the following will publish your package with the beta tag:

npm publish --tag beta

Installing with tags

Like npm publish, npm install <pkg> will use the latest tag by default. To override this behavior, use npm install <pkg>@<tag>. The following example will install the somepkg at the version that has been tagged with beta.

npm install [email protected]


Because dist-tags share the same namespace as semver, avoid using tag names that may cause a conflict. The best practice is to avoid using tags beginning with a number or the letter "v".

Learn More

See this CLI doc for more about tags. See Chapter 13 for more about semantic versioning.

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