Patch dependencies

bun patch lets you persistently patch node_modules in a maintainable, git-friendly way.

Sometimes, you need to make a small change to a package in node_modules/ to fix a bug or add a feature. bun patch makes it easy to do this without vendoring the entire package and reuse the patch across multiple installs, multiple projects, and multiple machines.


  • Generates .patch files applied to dependencies in node_modules on install
  • .patch files can be committed to your repository, reused across multiple installs, projects, and machines
  • "patchedDependencies" in package.json keeps track of patched packages
  • bun patch lets you patch packages in node_modules/ while preserving the integrity of Bun's Global Cache
  • Test your changes locally before committing them with bun patch --commit <pkg>
  • To preserve disk space and keep bun install fast, patched packages are committed to the Global Cache and shared across projects where possible

Step 1. Prepare the package for patching

To get started, use bun patch <pkg> to prepare the package for patching:

# you can supply the package name
bun patch react

# ...and a precise version in case multiple versions are installed
bun patch react@17.0.2

# or the path to the package
bun patch node_modules/react

Note — Don't forget to call bun patch <pkg>! This ensures the package folder in node_modules/ contains a fresh copy of the package with no symlinks/hardlinks to Bun's cache.

If you forget to do this, you might end up editing the package globally in the cache!

Step 2. Test your changes locally

bun patch <pkg> makes it safe to edit the <pkg> in node_modules/ directly, while preserving the integrity of Bun's Global Cache. This works by re-creating an unlinked clone of the package in node_modules/ and diffing it against the original package in the Global Cache.

Step 3. Commit your changes

Once you're happy with your changes, run bun patch --commit <path or pkg>.

Bun will generate a patch file in patches/, update your package.json and lockfile, and Bun will start using the patched package:

# you can supply the path to the patched package
bun patch --commit node_modules/react

# ... or the package name and optionally the version
bun patch --commit react@17.0.2

# choose the directory to store the patch files
bun patch --commit react --patches-dir=mypatches

# `patch-commit` is available for compatibility with pnpm
bun patch-commit react