Dzulqarnain Nasir

Solving the annoying package-lock.json integrity discrepancy

February 12, 2018 | 1 Minute Read

One of the most annoying feature, in my opinion, added to the Node Package Manager (NPM) is the automatically generated package-lock.json file, which is used to “describes the exact tree that was generated, such that subsequent installs are able to generate identical trees, regardless of intermediate dependency updates”.

As described in the documentation, one of the benefits of using package-lock.json is that it “describes a single representation of a dependency tree such that teammates, deployments, and continuous integration are guaranteed to install exactly the same dependencies.”

Ironically enough, the package-lock.json has created more annoyance within the team than anything else.

The issue is that when working in a team, with multiple different machines, and potentially different setups such as different Node and NPM versions, the generated package-lock.json can differ from machine to machine, triggering the source control system to mark the file as having been modified, even if the developer merely installed NPM packages via the npm install command.

What happened on two of the machines I work with was that one machine was using SHA-1, while the other was using SHA-512, despite the fact both machines were running the same versions of Node and NPM.

As you can imagine, this is an annoying problem to have. So here’s the solution.

  1. Ensure all team members use the same Node and NPM versions.
  2. Revert any changes made to the package-lock.json file.
  3. Delete the node_modules folder.
  4. Run npm cache clean --force in terminal.
  5. Run npm install.

If all went as expected, you should not see any change made to the package-lock.json file after package installation completes.

I hope this helps anyone else who ran into this problem.

Thanks to BrendanFDMoore for the solution to this problem.