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Using NPM

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There is a lot of new terminology in Ionic, much of it having to do with Node and NPM. Let’s take a look at some key concepts with Node/NPM, and how they relate to Ionic.

Ionic NPM packages - What’s in a name?

There are two packages related to Ionic on NPM — the Ionic CLI package and the Ionic-Angular package.

Ionic CLI

The CLI (Command Line Interface) is the main tool that you will use to create a project, build native apps, and handle bundling your app’s resources. This package is available on NPM and is called ionic. To install, run:

# if on linux/osx, run with sudo
npm install -g ionic

This will install the latest stable release of the Ionic CLI.

Then we can use the CLI from the command line by running ionic <command>.

Ionic Angular

The framework is available on NPM under the name ionic-angular. When you create a project using the CLI, you will automatically get the Ionic Angular package installed. The package and its version are managed through NPM and a project’s package.json. A simple project should have a package.json that looks like this.

  "dependencies": {
    "ionic-angular": "2.0.0-beta.4"

Here we are saying that this project depends on the ionic-angular package and it uses the version 3.0.0. But how do we update a packaged when a new version comes out? To check if there is an update, we can run

npm outdated

Package                           Current          Wanted          Latest     Location
ionic-angular                       3.0.0           3.0.0           3.0.1        myApp

This tells us that there is an update to the ionic-framework package, version 3.0.1. To get this update, we can run npm install ionic-angular@latest --save. Alternatively, we could update our package.json to "ionic-angular": "3.0.1", and then run npm update.