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Version: 4.x


pnpm has built-in support for monorepos (a.k.a. multi-package repositories, multi-project repositories or monolithic repositories). You can create a workspace to unite multiple projects inside a single repository.

A workspace must have a pnpm-workspace.yaml file in its root. A workspace also may have a .npmrc in its root.

Workspace ranges (workspace:)#

Supported since v3.7.0.

By default, pnpm will link packages from the workspace if the available packages match the declared ranges. For instance, [email protected] is linked into bar if bar has "foo": "^1.0.0" in dependencies. But if bar has "foo": "2.0.0" in dependencies and [email protected] is not in the workspace then [email protected] will be installed from the registry. This behavior introduces some uncertainty.

Luckily, pnpm supports the workspace: protocol (same as in Yarn v2). When this protocol is used pnpm will refuse to resolve to anything else than a local workspace package. So if you set "foo": "workspace:2.0.0" installation will fail telling that no "[email protected]" is present in the workspace.

This protocol is especially useful when the link-workspace-packages config is set to false. In that case, pnpm will only link packages from the workspace if the workspace: protocol is used.

Publishing workspace packages#

When a workspace package is packed into an archive (whether it's through pnpm pack or one of the publish commands like pnpm publish), we dynamically replace any workspace: dependency by:

  • The corresponding version in the target workspace (if you use *)
  • The associated semver range (for any other range type)

So for example, if we assume we have three workspace packages whose current version is 1.5.0, the following:

"dependencies": {
"foo": "workspace:*",
"bar": "workspace:^1.2.3"

Will be transformed into:

"dependencies": {
"foo": "1.5.0",
"bar": "^1.2.3"

This feature allows you to not have to depend on something else than your local workspace packages, while still being able to publish the resulting packages to the remote registry without having to run intermediary publish steps - your consumers will be able to use your published workspaces as any other package, still benefiting from the guarantees semver offers.



Added in: v2.14.0

  • Default: true
  • Type: Boolean

When true, locally available packages are linked to node_modules instead of being downloaded from the registry. This is very convenient in a monorepo.

When false, packages are downloaded and installed from the registry. However, workspace packages can still be linked by using the workspace: range protocol. e.g. pnpm add [email protected]:*


Create a .npmrc file in the root of your monorepo with the following content:

link-workspace-packages = true

Create a pnpm-workspace.yaml file with the following content:

- '**'

Run pnpm recursive install.


Added in: v2.17.0 (initially named shared-workspace-shrinkwrap)

  • Default: true
  • Type: Boolean

When true, pnpm creates a single pnpm-lock.yaml file in the root of the workspace (in the directory that contains the pnpm-workspace.yaml file). A shared lockfile also means that all dependencies of all workspace packages will be in a single node_modules.

Advantages of this option:

  • every dependency is a singleton
  • faster installations in a monorepo
  • fewer changes in code reviews

NOTE: even though all the dependencies will be hard linked into the root node_modules, packages will have access only to those dependencies that are declared in their package.json. So pnpm's strictness is preserved.


  • Default: true
  • Type: Boolean

When true, new dependencies will be added with the workspace protocol, if they are present in the workspace.

You might want to change this setting to false, if the tooling in your repository does not understand the workspace protocol.

Last updated on by Zoltan Kochan