Adding Nx to NPM/Yarn/PNPM Workspace

Migrating from Lerna?

Interested in migrating from Lerna in particular? In case you missed it, Lerna v6 is powering Nx underneath. As a result, Lerna gets all the modern features such as caching and task pipelines. Read more on

Nx has first-class support for monorepos. As a result, if you have an existing NPM/Yarn or PNPM-based monorepo setup, you can easily add Nx to get

This is a low-impact operation because all that needs to be done is to install the nx package at the root level and add an nx.json for configuring caching and task pipelines.

Installing Nx

Run the following command to automatically set up Nx:

npx nx@latest init

This will set up Nx for you - updating the package.json file and creating a new nx.json file with Nx configuration based on your answers during the set up process. The set up process will suggest installing Nx plugins that might be useful based on your existing repository. The example below is using the @nx/eslint and @nx/next plugins to run ESLint and Next.js tasks with Nx:

1{ 2 "plugins": [ 3 { 4 "plugin": "@nx/eslint/plugin", 5 "options": { 6 "targetName": "lint" 7 } 8 }, 9 { 10 "plugin": "@nx/next/plugin", 11 "options": { 12 "buildTargetName": "build", 13 "devTargetName": "dev", 14 "startTargetName": "start" 15 } 16 } 17 ] 18} 19
Nx 15 and lower use @nrwl/ instead of @nx/

When Nx updates your package.json scripts, it looks for scripts that can be replaced with an Nx command that has caching automatically enabled. The package.json defined above would be updated to look like this:

1{ 2 "name": "my-workspace", 3 ... 4 "scripts": { 5 "build": "nx build", 6 "lint": "nx lint", 7 "test": "node ./run-tests.js" 8 }, 9 ... 10 "nx": { 11 "includedScripts": [] 12 } 13} 14

The @nx/next plugin can run next build for you and set up caching correctly, so it replaces next build with nx build. Similarly, @nx/eslint can set up caching for eslint ./src. When you run npm run build or npm run lint multiple times, you'll see that caching is enabled. You can also call Nx directly from the terminal with nx build or nx lint.

The test script was not recognized by any Nx plugin, so it was left as is.

The includedScripts array allows you to specify package.json scripts that can be run with the nx build syntax.

Inferred Tasks

You may have noticed that @nx/next provides dev and start tasks in addition to the build task. Those tasks were created by the @nx/next plugin from your existing Next.js configuration. To view all available tasks, open the Project Details view with Nx Console or use the terminal to launch the project details in a browser window.

nx show project my-workspace --web

Project Details View


Root: .

Type: Library


  • lint

    eslint ./src

  • build

    next build

  • dev

    next dev

  • start

    next start

The project detail view lists all available tasks, the configuration values for those tasks and where those configuration values are being set.

Configure an Existing Script to Run with Nx

If you want to run one of your existing scripts with Nx, you need to tell Nx about it.

  1. Preface the script with nx exec -- to have npm run test invoke the command with Nx.
  2. Add the script to includedScripts.
  3. Define caching settings.

The nx exec command allows you to keep using npm test or npm run test (or other package manager's alternatives) as you're accustomed to. But still get the benefits of making those operations cacheable. Configuring the test script from the example above to run with Nx would look something like this:

1{ 2 "name": "my-workspace", 3 ... 4 "scripts": { 5 "build": "nx build", 6 "lint": "nx lint", 7 "test": "nx exec -- node ./run-tests.js" 8 }, 9 ... 10 "nx": { 11 "includedScripts": ["test"], 12 "targets": { 13 "test": { 14 "cache": "true", 15 "inputs": ["default", "^default"], 16 "outputs": [] 17 } 18 } 19 } 20} 21

Now if you run npm run test or nx test twice, the results will be retrieved from the cache. The inputs used in this example are as cautious as possible, so you can significantly improve the value of the cache by customizing Nx Inputs for each task.

Incrementally Adopting Nx

All the features of Nx can be enabled independently of each other. Hence, Nx can easily be adopted incrementally by initially using Nx just for a subset of your scripts and then gradually adding more.

For example, use Nx to run your builds:

npx nx run-many -t build

But instead keep using NPM/Yarn/PNPM workspace commands for your tests and other scripts. Here's an example of using PNPM commands to run tests across packages

pnpm run -r test

This allows for incrementally adopting Nx in your existing workspace.

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