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When creating a Node.js project, you will be installing a lot of different things along the way. If you want to share your project with others, you need to have a list of the things you installed, so that other people know what to install in order to run the project.
In Node.js, this 'list' file is called a
package.json. The 'things you've installed' are referred to as dependencies. Creating this file is the first step in setting up your Node.js project.
Let's start by creating the
package.json file. We can add things to it as the project grows. The
package.json file is easy to create from the command line. Type the following command into your terminal to get started:
$ npm init
This command will initialise a step-by-step process for creating the
package.json. You should see something like this:
It will ask you the following questions:
npm suggests a default name for your project in brackets. If you want to give it your own name, just type it next to the brackets and press
Enter. Or if you're happy with the default name, just press
This is your first project, so it will be version 1.0.0! Nothing to change here, so just press
A description of your project. Write whatever you want and press
This file will be the starting point for your whole project. Let's change this from
server.js, as we will be building a server later on!
server.js and press
Skip this one for now...press
This is where your project would live on GitHub. Press
(Optional) You can add keywords to help people find your project if they search for it.
It's your project, so write your name! You can use your GitHub name or your actual name.
You can add a license, but we'll skip this.
You will see a confirmation of your
package.json. If you're happy with it, press
Enter to finalise its creation.
Great! You should now see a new file called
package.json in your project's folder.