Should "node_modules" Folder Be Included In The Git Repository

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I'm wondering if we should be tracking node_modules in our repo or doing an npm install when checking out the code?



The answer is not as easy as Alberto Zaccagni suggests. If you develop applications (especially enterprise applications), including node_modules in your git repo is a viable choice and which alternative you choose depends on your project.

Because he argued very well against node_modules I will concentrate on arguments for them.

Imagine that you have just finished enterprise app and you will have to support it for 3-5 years. You definitely don't want to depend on someone's npm module which can tomorrow disappear and you can't update your app anymore.

Or you have your private modules which are not accessible from the internet and you can't build your app on the internet. Or maybe you don't want to depend on your final build on npm service for some reason.

You can find pros and cons in this Addy Osmani article (although it is about Bower, it is almost the same situation). And I will end with a quote from Bower homepage and Addy's article:

“If you aren’t authoring a package that is intended to be consumed by others (e.g., you’re building a web app), you should always check installed packages into source control.”