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Turborepo npm workspaces vite react module resolution error resolved

· 3 min read
D Balaji

From the title it sounds like a lot of cool technologies working side by side isn't it. Let me list them once again

  • Turborepo - managing monorepo
  • NPM - package manager
  • NPM workspaces - also provided by npm, assists in monorepo
  • vite - frontend tooling, rollup wrapper
  • vite react - template for vite

Use case scenario

I have a cool monorepo on github which holds all my sample projects, experimental works and code sample which I play around with.

The monorepo is build with npm workspaces & turborepo. I must admit that I hardly use any turbo repo features yet. Its mostly npm workspaces and npm commands at scale.

I encountered vite for frontend tooling and wanted to give it a try. Without a second thought, I created a directory called tooling and started working with vite.

Glitches and resolutions

  1. The first glitch was the node version requirement of vite. I opened a new terminal and used nvm to set the node version to latest. Thats expected bug while working with latest nodeJS tools.

  2. The vite module was installed locally within the workspace. However the same vite module was referenced in vite.config.js. npm would try to resolve vite by checking in the global node_modules but it would not be there.

To understand why npm installed vite locally instead of global node_modules was easy. vite was used in npm scripts and if vite were to be installed globally then the npm scripts would fail mercilessly.

"scripts": {
"dev": "vite",
"build": "vite build",
"preview": "vite preview"

But the same module being used in JS modules was not expected by npm, so we need to instruct npm to install vite in both local and global node_modules.


At this step I found 2 ways to solve the problem.

  1. The first way is something hinted by turborepo scaffold itself. I had to add vite as dev dependency at the root of the monorepo. This would ensure that vite is installed into the global node_modules.

  2. The second way is to use an alias for vite within the workspace. You can do this with the below command

npm i my-vite@npm:vite -P

This command would ensure that the package vite is alias as my-vite. While checking the global node_modules folder, I noticed a folder with the name my-vite.

The flipside is that, I need to reference the vite package as my-vite within the code.

import { defineConfig } from "my-vite";