Configuring your application's dependencies - AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Configuring your application's dependencies

Your application might have dependencies on some Node.js modules, like the ones you specify in require() statements. You can specify these dependencies using a package.json file. Alternatively, you can include your application's dependencies in the source bundle and deploy them with the application. This page discusses both of these ways.

Specifying Node.js dependencies with a package.json file

Include a package.json file in the root of your project source to specify dependency packages (use the dependencies keyword) and to provide a start command (use the scripts keyword). Using the scripts keyword can replace the legacy NodeCommand option in the aws:elasticbeanstalk:container:nodejs namespace.

Example package.json – Express

{ "name": "my-app", "version": "0.0.1", "private": true, "dependencies": { "ejs": "latest", "aws-sdk": "latest", "express": "latest", "body-parser": "latest" }, "scripts": { "start": "node app.js" } }

When a package.json file is present, Elastic Beanstalk runs npm install to install dependencies. It also uses the start command to start your application.

By default, Elastic Beanstalk installs dependencies in production mode (npm install --production). If you want to install development dependencies on your environment instances, set the NPM_USE_PRODUCTION environment property to false.

You can also use the engines keyword in the package.json file to specify the Node.js version you want your application to use, as the following example shows. This feature replaces the legacy NodeVersion option in the aws:elasticbeanstalk:container:nodejs namespace. Be aware that you can only specify a Node.js version that corresponds with your platform branch. For example, if you're using the Node.js 12 platform branch, you can only specify a 12.x.y Node.js version. For valid Node.js versions for each platform branch, see Node.js in the AWS Elastic Beanstalk Platforms guide.

Example package.json – Node.js version

{ ... "engines": { "node" : "12.16.1" } }

When support for the version of Node.js that you are using is removed from the platform, you must change or remove the Node.js version setting prior to doing a platform update. This might occur when a security vulnerability is identified for one or more versions of Node.js.

When this happens, attempting to update to a new version of the platform that doesn't support the configured Node.js version fails. To avoid needing to create a new environment, change the Node.js version setting in package.json to a Node.js version that is supported by both the old platform version and the new one, or remove the setting, and then deploy the new source bundle. Only then perform the platform update.

Including Node.js dependencies in a node_modules directory

To deploy dependency packages to environment instances together with your application code, include them in a directory named node_modules in the root of your project source. Node.js looks for dependencies in this directory. For details, see Loading from node_modules Folders in the Node.js documentation.


When you deploy a node_modules directory to an Amazon Linux 2 Node.js platform version, Elastic Beanstalk assumes that you're providing your own dependency packages, and avoids installing dependencies specified in a package.json file.