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Published on 2023-03-27

Table of contents

  1. What is it?
  2. Issue sample
  3. All Platforms

What is it?

Npm is the world’s largest software registry of packages for the Node.js runtime.

Official Documentation

You can always check the general troubleshooting guide before continuing.

Issue sample

The error might look like this when using Npm:


npm ERR! unable to get local issuer certificate

All Platforms

Npm has multiple configurations to enable additional trusted certificates.

Npm supports the NODE_EXTRA_CA_CERTS environment variable as described in the guide for Node.js.

In isolation, Npm can be configured to use a central file for trusted certificates (bundle file) in pem - Base64 format. This configuration can be done by using the following command (make entries into .npmrc file):

npm config set cafile "<path to pem file>"

Documentation for configuration

An additional way to add trusted certificates to Npm is to add the certificates manually to the .npmrc file in pem - Base64 format. For example:

# .npmrc file
# one trusted ca certificate string
# line-breaks replaced by \n
ca = "-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----\n<base64 cert (.pem/.CER)>\n-----END CERTIFICATE-----"
# .npmrc file
# multiple trusted ca certificate strings
ca[] = "-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----\n<base64 cert (.pem/.CER)>\n-----END CERTIFICATE-----"
ca[] = "-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----\n<base64 cert (.pem/.CER)>\n-----END CERTIFICATE-----"

The solutions above, when already configured, might also be the source of other certificate problems, so always check these places for a correct configuration:

  • .npmrc file (ca setting)
  • .npmrc file (cafile setting)
  • NODE_EXTRA_CA_CERTS environment variable

Do not use settings like npm set strict-ssl=false or NODE_TLS_REJECT_UNAUTHORIZED=0 because they disable the security feature completely even if you are using a self-signed certificate. It is always better to secure the SSL connection by making a certificate known to npm/Node.js.