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A Universal Terminal alias for bun, pnpm, npm, and yarn

I’ve accidentally typed npm for the last time.

This is the zsh script I made to detect and run the correct package manager every time: bun, pnpm, npm, and even ::shudders:: yarn.

Terminal window
# determine package manager and run command with it
p() {
if [[ -f bun.lockb ]]; then
command bun "$@"
elif [[ -f pnpm-lock.yaml ]]; then
command pnpm "$@"
elif [[ -f yarn.lock ]]; then
command yarn "$@"
elif [[ -f package-lock.json ]]; then
command npm "$@"
command pnpm "$@"

What it does

This function ensures that I don’t irritate myself as I switch between projects — typing npm start when I meant bun start or npm i when I mant yarn.

Working in projects with different package managers, I often type the wrong command and then loose time to confusing runtime errors or unwanted lock files.

What it doesn’t do

This function does not create a universal interface around the different package managers.

I rarely have trouble using the right commands in the right project. And I enjoy utilizing the subtlies in each package manager.

Unecessary philosophy

Universal interfaces are a great way to unlearn everything that makes anything good.

This function is more akin to an alias that prevents bugs.

Learn more

Check out the attached references if you want to learn how to set up zsh functions.