How to save exact npm package versions

I’ve recently started using exact versions in my package.json. This allows me to have more control over my versions and with tools like Renovate this is easier than ever.

What is an exact version?

"react": "^16.0.0" // carat: allow 16.1.0
"react": "~16.0.0" // tilde: allow 16.0.1
"react": "16.0.0" // exact: only 16.0.0

Why

Renovate has great documentation on why you would do this dependency-pinning

How

There are two ways to force npm or yarn to save exact versions in your package.json.

1. Everytime you install a package

// npm
npm install --save --save-exact react

// yarn
yarn add --exact react

2. Set a default in your config

npm config set save-exact=true

This adds save-exact=true to your .npmrc