RxJS Error: “Types of property ‘source’ are incompatible” and How to Fix It

I’m working on an npm package that requires RxJS as a peerDependency which means that whatever app uses the package must also install RxJS. Since my npm package project needs RxJS to build, I add it as a devDependency which of course adds it into the node_modules folder of the project.

To use my npm package locally in sample apps I have I do the following which is a nice trick to avoid having to publish the package to npm (which I don’t want to do when I’m still working on it):

  1. Run npm link [package-name] where package-name is name of the project folder (which will normally be your package name – if not adjust the package-name as appropriate).
  2. Run npm link [@yourNpmOrganization]/package-name] in the sample app that needs to reference the package project. If you don’t use an npm organization just leave that part out and put the package-name value.
  3. When you’re done you can run npm unlink [@yourNpmOrganization]/package-name] to unlink the app from the local package.

Doing this works great and I can update my package project and have it immediately affect the target application due to the npm linking. That saves me having to publish to npm everytime I update the project which is ideal for local testing.

After doing the linking everything was working great until one of the sample apps that I use to test the package project threw an RxJS error similar to the following:

Types of property ‘source’ are incompatible

I’ve seen this error before and knew it was due to having a copy of RxJS (as a devDependency) in the package project’s node_modules folder and a copy of RxJS in the sample app’s node_modules folder. Having these two copies in the node_modules folder causes issues even if the two RxJS copies are the same version.

While I could temporarily delete RxJS from the package project to get around the error that would defeat the purpose of linking since I needed RxJS in the project to build it. So, what to do?

The best solution I’ve found so far is to add the following configuration paths property into the sample app’s tsconfig.json file (since it’s a TypeScript project in this case):

  "compilerOptions": {
    "baseUrl": "./",
    "outDir": "./dist",
    "sourceMap": true,
    "declaration": false,
    "module": "esnext",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "emitDecoratorMetadata": true,
    "experimentalDecorators": true,
    "target": "es2015",
    "typeRoots": [
    "lib": [
    "paths": {
        "rxjs": [
        "rxjs/*": [

This forces the sample project to always use the root copy of RxJS in node_modules and to ignore any others found nested in additional packages. While I wish there was another way to work around the issue, this approach gets the job done.

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