How to use `npm version` to create prerelease tags

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Create a prerelease version

If you are on version 1.0.0 and you want to go to 1.1.0-beta.0 you would use the preminor command. In addition to preminor, there are also premajor and prepatch. You can use --preid=beta (or identifier you want such as alpha, beta, or rc) to label your prerelease.

# this will take you to 2.0.0-rc.0
npm version premajor --preid=rc

# this will take you to 1.1.0-beta.0
npm version preminor --preid=beta

# this will take you to 1.0.1-alpha.0
npm version prepatch --preid=alpha

Bump the prerelease version

Say you decided to update to a preminor release, so your app is now at v1.1.0-beta.0, you can release subsequent prerelease versions by using the prerelease command.

# this will take you to 1.1.0-beta.1
npm version prerelease

# and again will take you to 1.1.0-beta.2
npm version prerelease

# and again will take you to 1.1.0-beta.3 and so on
npm version prerelease

Promote the prerelease to a release

Once you are ready to make the minor version official, depending on what you started with, you will need to update the command to match. In our case here we used npm version preminor, so the command to switch to the release would be npm version minor.

# from 2.0.0-rc.1 to 2.0.0
npm version major

# from 1.1.0-beta.0 to 1.1.0
npm version minor

# from 1.0.1-alpha.0 to 1.0.1
npm version patch