pnpm has built-in support for monorepositories (AKA 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 an
.npmrc in its root.
If you are looking into monorepo management, you might also want to look into Bit.
Bit uses pnpm under the hood but automates a lot of the things that are currently done manually in a traditional workspace managed by pnpm/npm/Yarn. There's an article about
bit install that talks about it: Painless Monorepo Dependency Management with Bit.
Workspace protocol (workspace:)
By default, pnpm will link packages from the workspace if the available packages
match the declared ranges. For instance,
firstname.lastname@example.org is linked into
"foo": "^1.0.0" in its dependencies and
email@example.com is in the workspace. However, if
"foo": "2.0.0" in dependencies and
firstname.lastname@example.org is not in the workspace,
email@example.com will be installed from the registry. This behavior introduces some
Luckily, pnpm supports the
workspace: protocol. When
this protocol is used, pnpm will refuse to resolve to anything other than a
local workspace package. So, if you set
"foo": "workspace:2.0.0", this time
installation will fail because
"firstname.lastname@example.org" isn't present in the workspace.
This protocol is especially useful when the link-workspace-packages option is
false. In that case, pnpm will only link packages from the workspace if
workspace: protocol is used.
Referencing workspace packages through aliases
Let's say you have a package in the workspace named
foo. Usually, you would
reference it as
If you want to use a different alias, the following syntax will work too:
Before publish, aliases are converted to regular aliased dependencies. The above
example will become:
Referencing workspace packages through their relative path
In a workspace with 2 packages:
bar may have
foo in its dependencies declared as
"foo": "workspace:../foo". Before publishing, these specs are converted to
regular version specs supported by all package managers.
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
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 have
zoo in the workspace and they all are at version
1.5.0, the following:
Will be transformed into:
This feature allows you to depend on your local workspace packages while still being able to publish the resulting packages to the remote registry without needing intermediary publish steps - your consumers will be able to use your published workspaces as any other package, still benefitting from the guarantees semver offers.
Versioning packages inside a workspace is a complex task and pnpm currently does not provide a built-in solution for it. However, there are 2 well tested tools that handle versioning and support pnpm:
For how to set up a repository using Rush, read this page.
For using Changesets with pnpm, read this guide.
pnpm cannot guarantee that scripts will be run in topological order if there are cycles between workspace dependencies. If pnpm detects cyclic dependencies during installation, it will produce a warning. If pnpm is able to find out which dependencies are causing the cycles, it will display them too.
If you see the message
There are cyclic workspace dependencies, please inspect workspace dependencies declared in
Here are a few of the most popular open source projects that use the workspace feature of pnpm:
|Project||Stars||Migration date||Migration commit|