I often find myself wanting to use changes that I've made for NPM dependency in a personal fork. NPM (and yarn) have a useful convention for pointing to a git repository instead in a project's package.json dependencies by pointing to the fork and optionally using a specific branch instead of giving it a version number. Here's how to set that up in a package.json for SSH and HTTPS. This example uses the isomorphic-fetch package.

Convention for a basic configuration for a package using git:

git+{protocol}://{user}@{hostname}:{project owner}/{project}.git#{branch name}
  • protocol can be ssh or https.
  • user and hostname for logging in via git. Usually the user is git, especially for github.com and gitlab.com
  • project owner is either an organization or user
  • project is the repo
  • branch name (optional) is the branch you want to work off of

Install NPM dependency from GitHub via SSH

Following the example, a basic version composition for SSH looks like this:


By branch:


Install NPM dependency from GitHub via HTTPS

Following the example, a basic version composition for HTTPS looks like this:


By branch:


Example in the package.json

This is what the JSON would look like for dependencies in package.json:

"dependencies": {
"isomorphic-fetch": "git@github.com:matthew-andrews/isomorphic-fetch.git"
posted on October 26th 2019