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What does unsafe-perm in npm actually do?

I’ve routinely been directed to what feels like a magic fix to issues when installing items over NPM. The issue that I’ve most recently encountered occurs in two different OS’s; Windows and Elementary. When attempting to install Sindre Sorhus’ Pure ZSH theme both in Ubuntu WSL and Elementary Loki, I have issues with not having permissions.

The solution seems to be almost the same in both cases.

$> npm config set unsafe-perm true

What exactly is this doing? Is it ‘unsafe’?

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