Use Yarn Package Manager In Your Angular CLI Projects

Yarn is an awesome tool to reduce the time it takes to install large NPM packages like the Angular CLI. And the Angular CLI is the best tool to kickstart and manage your Angular 2+ projects.

You can use them together, and it’s very easy.

Initial Setup

First, you install Yarn. If you have it installed already, ensure that you have version 0.19.x at least to avoid issues with global packages. You check your Yarn version by running:

yarn --version

Then you need to ensure that the folder where Yarn writes the global packages executable files.

On Windows, the MSI installer should do it for you. For Mac, check the “Path Setup” part in the installation page.

Once done, ensure to open a new terminal after the installation, and test it.

To find what folder to look for:

yarn global bin

Then run echo $PATH (Mac) or echo %PATH% (Windows command prompt) to get the PATH variable and check it.

Installing Angular CLI

OK, so yarn is installed, and it’s installed correctly. Let’s get Angular CLI:

yarn global add @angular/cli

That’s it!

Adding To A New Angular CLI Project

Starting from beta 31, Angular CLI added native Yarn support.

When you create a new project, the CLI goes and runs npm install for you by default. You can tell it not to by passing a --skip-install flag (-si for short) like:

ng new test-project --skip-install

Note: The option was called --skip-npm / -sn before beta 31.

But then you’ll have to go run Yarn yourself

cd test-project

Running yarn by itself is similar to npm install. It’ll read your package.json file and add the packages to node_modules as needed.

Or… you can just tell the CLI to use Yarn instead of NPM!

ng set --global packageManager=yarn

This way, you don’t need to do anything special when creating new projects. Just go with ng new test-project with no special flags, and the CLI will use Yarn to install the project packages, unless you specify --skip-install.

This is a user-level setting. It does not affect the generated project in any destructive way. It still has a package.json file (because Yarn works just fine with that), and anyone who doesn’t have Yarn can just run npm install.

More on that below. Before that, let’s ensure that everything worked correctly by running npm start or ng serve etc.

All good? Awesome!

Bonus: A Note About Git

When the Angular CLI creates the project, it initializes it as a git repository and git adds all the files it generated. After the Yarn install, you’ll find another file yarn.lock that’s not yet added.

Yarn team recommends adding the file to git, so, you can do just that, and then commit the result as the new project.

git add yarn.lock
git commit -m "initialize new project with Yarn and Angular CLI"

When you push your repository to a remote server, and someone else pulls it, they can run yarn, or simply npm install (because the package.json file is still there and updated), and get going with the project.


Hopefully that was as simple as you expected it to be. If you have any questions, you can just drop me a comment here, or use any alternative way mentioned in the video.

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