Version: 0.40.0

Package management

Often times when working on a project there arises a need to use some common reusable piece of code, most of the time such functions are provided by the standard library of the programming language. When it is not feasible for the standard library to provide such functions, these functions can be provided by an external library.

To fetch (download) & maintain different versions of external libraries we need a package manager. LIGO libraries can be published to npm and using ligo install command we can fetch these ligo libraries (It internally invokes the esy package manager).

There are 2 aspects to working with external packages

  1. Using a package published on npm
  2. Creating and publishing packages to npm


  1. Install Node.js link
  2. Install esy link

Using a LIGO package published on npm#

Start with empty package.json file


We will need the LIGO compiler binary to compile smart contracts, to get the LIGO compiler follow these instructions.

Next we will use a simple dependency ligo-list-helper which is published on npm, to get the library use the command

ligo install ligo-list-helpers

Now we will write a smart contract main.mligo which will use the ligo-list-herpers library

#import "ligo-list-helpers/list.mligo" "XList"
type parameter =
Concat of int list
| Reverse
type storage = int list
type return = (operation) list * storage
let main (action, store : parameter * storage) : operation list * storage =
(([]: operation list),
(match action with
Concat ys -> XList.concat store ys
| Reverse -> XList.reverse store))

and we write some tests for our smart contract in main.test.mligo

#include "main.mligo"
let test =
let storage = Test.compile_value [1; 2; 3] in
let (addr, _, _) = Test.originate_from_file "./main.mligo" "main" ([] : string list)) storage 0tez in
let taddr : (parameter, storage) typed_address = Test.cast_address addr in
let contr : parameter contract = Test.to_contract taddr in
let _ = Test.transfer_to_contract_exn contr Reverse 1mutez in
assert (Test.get_storage taddr = [3; 2; 1])

To compile the contract to Michelson run the command

ligo compile contract main.mligo --project-root .

This will download the dependencies automatically, and compile the main.mligo file.

To test the contract using ligo's testing framework run the command

ligo run test main.test.mligo --project-root .

If you working with an existing LIGO project, to install the dependencies, at the root of the project just run

ligo install

By default dependencies are installed in the .ligo directory at the root of the project, If you wish to change the path where dependencies are installed use the --cache-path flag to specify the path e.g.

ligo install --cache-path /some/path

Upgrading version of a LIGO package#

During the lifecycle of a project, if you wish to upgrade the version of a LIGO package, Just update the package version to the desired one in the package.json.

"dependencies": {
"ligo-foo": "1.0.6",
- "ligo-list-helpers": "1.0.0",
+ "ligo-list-helpers": "1.0.1",
"ligo-test_2": "1.0.0",
"ligo_test_1": "1.0.0"

and run the command

ligo install

This will fetch the updated version of LIGO package, and the compiler will use the updated version of the package.

Using a LIGO package via REPL#

If you wish to try out a LIGO package in the REPL environment, Install the LIGO package by following the steps above,

And then fire up the LIGO REPL with the additional flag --project-root

$ ligo repl cameligo --project-root <path-to-project-root>
Welcome to LIGO's interpreter!
Included directives:
#use "file_path";;
#import "file_path" "module_name";;
In [1]: #import "ligo-list-helpers/list.mligo" "ListX";;
Out [1]: Done.
In [2]: ListX.concat;;
Out [2]: "[lambda of type: (lambda (list int) (lambda (list int) (list int))) ]"
In [3]: ListX.concat [1;2;3] [4;5;6];;
Out [3]: CONS(1 , CONS(2 , CONS(3 , CONS(4 , CONS(5 , CONS(6 , LIST_EMPTY()))))))
In [4]:

Creating and publishing LIGO packages to npm#

Since we are going to publish the library to npm, we start by creating a npm project by running

npm init

Fill in the details prompted by npm init. Next we are going to need the LIGO compiler binary, to get the LIGO compiler follow these instructions.

We are going the write the ligo-list-helpers library that we used earlier.

(* LIGO library for working with lists *)
let concat (type a) (xs : a list) (ys : a list) : a list =
let f (x,ys : (a * a list)) : a list = x :: ys in
List.fold_right f xs ys
let reverse (type a) (xs : a list) : a list =
let f (ys,x : (a list * a)) : a list = x :: ys in
List.fold_left f ([] : a list) xs

and some tests for the library

#include "list.mligo"
let test_concat =
let xs = [1; 2; 3] in
let ys = [4; 5; 6] in
let zs = concat xs ys in
assert (zs = [1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6])
let test_reverse =
let xs = [1; 2; 3] in
assert (reverse xs = [3; 2; 1])

To run the tests run the command

ligo run test list.test.mligo --project-root .

Now the final step is publishing the library to npm. The steps are the same as publishing yet another library on npm

npm publish # this will publish the library on npm