@todesktop/runtime
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1.6.2 • Public • Published

@todesktop/runtime

The ToDesktop runtime package which takes care of auto-updating, crash reporting, and more. For more information, see https://todesktop.com/cli.

Important

If you are using this library with Electron 11 or earlier then please use version 0.6.5.

If you are using Electron 12 or later then you can use version 1.0.0 or later.

Table of contents

Installation

Via npm:

npm install @todesktop/runtime

Or Yarn:

yarn add @todesktop/runtime

Minimal usage

In your main (background process) script, require the package and call the init function. The key is to call it right at the beginning. We'll do the rest.

const { app, BrowserWindow } = require("electron");
const todesktop = require("@todesktop/runtime");

todesktop.init();

function createWindow() {
  // Create the browser window.
  let win = new BrowserWindow({
    width: 800,
    height: 600,
    webPreferences: {
      nodeIntegration: true,
    },
  });

  // and load the index.html of the app.
  win.loadFile("index.html");
}

app.whenReady().then(createWindow);

Check out todesktop-quick-start to see a minimal example project.

Also, see the full API below to learn more about the other methods and events.

Default behaviour

By default, we check for updates when the app launches and every 10 minutes thereafter.

When an update is found, we show a notification explaining that an update has been downloaded and once they exit/restart, it'll be installed. Your user doesn't have to accept any prompt or anything like that. Only one notification is shown, max.

This default behaviour can be augmented using the API below, e.g. if you want to offer your users a button to check for updates, a prompt to restart and install the update, etc.

Disabling the default auto-update behaviour

It's also possible to disable some or all of the default behaviour.

What happens when an update is found can be disabled using the update-downloaded event (learn more below).

Everything (the notification, the auto-checks on launch and on interval) can be disabled by passing autoUpdater: false to the .init method (learn more below).

Simulate updates

Passing --runtime-simulate-updates as a flag with an associated value will run @todesktop/runtime in simulation mode:

  • --runtime-simulate-updates=update-available simulates the situation where an auto-update exists and will be downloaded.
  • --runtime-simulate-updates=update-not-available simulates the situation where an auto update is not available.

Internally, this replaces the autoUpdater API implementation with an alternative that simulates the above auto-update workflows. This is useful if you're running your application in local development and want to test @todesktop/runtime's auto-update behaviour.

Smoke test

Setting TODESKTOP_SMOKE_TEST in your environment to true will run @todesktop/runtime in simulation mode.

When an application is run in Smoke Test mode the auto-update behavior is forcibly enabled. To successfully pass a Smoke Test your application should not expect any user interaction like showing some dialog on app start.

You can check whether an application is run in Smoke Test mode using todesktop.isSmokeTestMode property. See an example.

API

.init(options)

This initializes ToDesktop. You must call this at the top of your main script. If the app isn't packaged, this won't do much. .autoUpdater.checkForUpdates will never check or find an update, for example.

Returns nothing.

options (Optional)

Type: object

Default: { autoUpdater: true }

options.autoUpdater (Optional)

Type: boolean

Default: true

If false, this will disable all of the default auto-update behaviour. I.e. it will not auto-check on launch, on interval, or show a notification when an update is found. The events will always be fired.

If you do this, everything is in your hands. You must manually call .autoUpdater.checkForUpdates or else your users will never get an update.

options.autoCheckInterval (Optional)

Type: number

Default: 10 * 60 * 1000 (10 min)

The interval at which ToDesktop should check for updates.

options.shouldAutoCheckOnLaunch (Optional)

Type: boolean

Default: true

Whether the app should check for auto-updates on launch.

options.customLogger (Optional)

Default: undefined

To debug, you can pass a custom logger object. You can pass electron-log (recommended), winston, or another logger with the following interface: { error(), info(), warn() }. Include a debug() method to get even more information.

Example using electron-log:

const electronLog = require("electron-log");
const todesktop = require("@todesktop/runtime");

electronLog.transports.file.level = "debug";
todesktop.init({
  customLogger: electronLog,
});
options.updateReadyAction (Optional)

Default: { showInstallAndRestartPrompt: "never", showNotification: "always" }

Configures whether runtime should notify a user when a new update is downloaded.

options.updateReadyAction.showInstallAndRestartPrompt (Optional)

showInstallAndRestartPrompt asks a user whether the app should be updated right now or on the next launch. Values:

  • "never" - never show the prompt
  • "always" - always show the prompt
  • "whenInForeground" - show the prompt only when the app is in foreground

You can also choose to supply a Function instead of a string value. If a function is supplied, it will override the system prompt that gets shown once a new update is ready to be installed. For flexibility, this function can return either an object or another function.

Object return signature

When following the object return pattern, the return object should contain MessageBoxOptions for displaying the prompt.

You can also make use of the supplied context argument to ensure that the prompt displays contextually-relevant information:

  • context contains update information:
    • disableUpdateReadyAction: boolean;
    • sources: Source[];
    • updateInfo: TDUpdateInfo | null;
    • appIsInForeground: boolean;
const todesktop = require("@todesktop/runtime");

todesktop.init({
  updateReadyAction: {
    showInstallAndRestartPrompt: async (context) => {
      if (!context.appIsInForeground) return;

      return {
        message: "Update Available",
        detail: `Version ${context.updateInfo.version} is ready to be installed.`,
        installOnNextLaunchButton: "Install on next launch",
        restartAndInstallButton: "Install now and restart",
      };
    },
  },
});

Function return signature

The function pattern allows for more granular control of the prompt. By returning a function, we also supply you with an additional api argument which you can use to manually show and react to the prompt:

  • api provides functions for correct handling of the returned function:
    • showInstallAndRestartPrompt(options: Electron.MessageBoxOptions): Promise<Electron.MessageBoxReturnValue>
    • restartAndInstall({ isSilent }?: { isSilent?: boolean }): void
const todesktop = require("@todesktop/runtime");

todesktop.init({
  updateReadyAction: {
    showInstallAndRestartPrompt: async (context) => {
      if (!context.appIsInForeground) return;

      return async (api) => {
        const { response } = await api.showInstallAndRestartPrompt({
          message: "Update Available",
          detail: `Version ${context.updateInfo.version} is ready to be installed.`,
          buttons: ["Install on next launch", `Install now and restart`],
        });

        if (response === 1) {
          api.restartAndInstall();
        }
      };
    },
  },
});
options.updateReadyAction.showNotification (Optional)

showNotification shows a notification that an update is ready to be installed. Values:

  • "never" - never show the notification
  • "always" - always show the notification
  • "whenInBackground" - show the notification only when the app is in background.

You can also choose to supply a Function instead of a string value. If a function is supplied, it will override the notification that gets shown once a new update is ready to be installed. For flexibility, this function can return either an object or another function.

Object return signature

When following the object return pattern, the return object should contain NotificationConstructorOptions for displaying the notification.

You can also make use of the supplied context argument to ensure that the notification displays contextually-relevant information:

  • context contains update information:
    • disableUpdateReadyAction: boolean;
    • sources: Source[];
    • updateInfo: TDUpdateInfo | null;
    • appIsInForeground: boolean;
const todesktop = require("@todesktop/runtime");

todesktop.init({
  updateReadyAction: {
    showNotification: (context) => {
      if (context.appIsInForeground) return;

      return {
        title: "A new update is ready to install",
        body: `Version ${context.updateInfo.version} has been downloaded and will be automatically installed on exit`,
      };
    },
  },
});

Function return signature

The function pattern allows for more granular control of the notification. By returning a function, we also supply you with an additional api argument which you can use to manually show and react to the notification:

  • api provides functions for correct handling of the returned function:
    • showNotification(options: NotificationConstructorOptions): Notification
const todesktop = require("@todesktop/runtime");

todesktop.init({
  updateReadyAction: {
    showNotification: (context) => {
      if (context.appIsInForeground) return;

      return (api) => {
        const notification = api.showNotification({
          title: "A new update is ready to install",
          body: `Version ${context.updateInfo.version} has been downloaded and will be automatically installed on exit`,
          actions: [{ type: "button", text: "Close" }],
        });

        notification.on("action", () => {
          // optionally respond to action...
        });
      };
    },
  },
});

.autoUpdater.checkForUpdates(options)

This performs a check for updates and downloads it. Only call this after the application is ready.

It returns a Promise which resolves to an object.

If there is no update available, the result will be { updateInfo: null }.

If there is an update available, the result will look like this:

{
  updateInfo: {
    releaseDate: "2011-10-05T14:48:00.000Z",
    version: "2.0.1",
  }
}

This method can reject with an error, e.g. if the network is unstable.

options (Optional)

Type: object

Default: { source: "programmatic-call", disableUpdateReadyAction: false }

options.source (Optional)

Type: string

Default: "programmatic-call"

The source/trigger of the update check. The update-downloaded event passes this back to you so you can identify the source(s) of the update check.

options.disableUpdateReadyAction (Optional)

Type: boolean

Default: false

Whether to disable the configured updateReadyAction behaviour. If disabled, the updateReadyAction prompt or notification will not display in response to invoking .autoUpdater.checkForUpdates.

Example

try {
  const result = await todesktop.autoUpdater.checkForUpdates();
  if (result.updateInfo) {
    console.log("Update found:", result.updateInfo.version);
    todesktop.autoUpdater.restartAndInstall();
  }
} catch (e) {
  console.log("Update check failed:", e);
}

.autoUpdater.on(eventName, callback)

This subscribes to an event. The callback will be called when the event occurs.

.autoUpdater is an instance of EventEmitter2 so it supports all of the same methods; e.g. .once, .off, and so on.

eventName

Type: string

callback

Type: Function

.autoUpdater.restartAndInstall(options)

This restarts the application and installs the new update after one has been found.

Returns nothing.

NOTE: this method will close all application windows first and only emit before-quit-for-update event on app after that. This is different from the normal quit event sequence. However, this is not the case if the method is called from a Squirrel.Windows application.

options (Optional)

Type: object

options.isSilent (Optional)

Type: boolean

Default: false

Runs the installer in silent mode. No installer UI will be shown to the user. Ignored on macOS as update installs are silent by default.

isSmokeTestMode

Type: boolean

Returns true if the app is run in Smoke Test mode.

Events

before-quit-for-update

This is the same as Electron's before-quit-for-update auto-updater event.

checking-for-update

Emitted when checking if an update has started.

update-available

Emitted when there is an available update. Callback contains the following object:

{
  releaseDate: "2011-10-05T14:48:00.000Z",
  version: "2.1.3"
}

update-not-available

Emitted when there is no available update. Callback contains the following object:

{
  releaseDate: "2011-10-05T14:48:00.000Z",
  version: "2.1.3"
}

download-progress

Emitted on progress. Callback contains the following object:

  • progress
  • bytesPerSecond
  • percent
  • total
  • transferred

update-downloaded

Emitted when there is an update available and downloaded. The update has already been downloaded.

Your callback is called with an object like this:

{
  disableUpdateReadyAction: false,
  sources: ["auto-check-on-interval"],
  updateInfo: {
    releaseDate: "2011-10-05T14:48:00.000Z",
    version: "2.1.3"
  }
}

disableUpdateReadyAction is a boolean that signals whether the configured updateReadyAction was disabled.

sources (an array of strings) are the sources/triggers of the update check. The default built-in sources are auto-check-on-launch, auto-check-on-interval, and programmatic-call. You can pass a custom source to .autoUpdater.checkForUpdates. NOTE: sources is an array because multiple checks could be triggered around the same time. They do not cancel an existing update check but piggyback onto it instead.

By default, we show a notification explaining that an update has been downloaded and once they exit/restart, it'll be installed. Your user doesn't have to accept any prompt or anything like that. Only one notification is shown, max.

To disable this, you can return false (or a Promise which resolves to promise). If your callback errors or it returns a Promise that doesn't resolve within 500 milliseconds, the default behaviour will proceed.

Example

todesktop.autoUpdater.on("update-downloaded", (event) => {
  console.log("Update found:", event.updateInfo.version);
  if (event.sources.includes("my-custom-source")) {
    return false;
    todesktop.autoUpdater.restartAndInstall();
  }
  // Else: the default behaviour (notification) will happen
});

Recipes

How do I show a message on my UI to indicate that an update is available?

By default, ToDesktop runtime will show a notification that an update is ready to be installed. However, it is possible that the user may have notifications turned off for your app. For this reason, it's a good idea to notify your users of an update directly on the UI of your app.

ToDesktop runtime is only available in the main process of Electron. So we need to use IPC to tell the UI that an update is available, let's do that:

const todesktop = require("@todesktop/runtime");
const { ipcMain } = require("electron");

todesktop.init();

const win = new BrowserWindow(/* Options here */);

// When we receive an update-downloaded event then
// we forward that event to our UI using IPC
todesktop.autoUpdater.on("update-downloaded", (event) => {
  win.webContents.send("update-downloaded", event);
});

// Listen for the UI to tell us that it wants to
// do a restart and install of the app
ipcMain.on("restart-and-install", () => {
  todesktop.autoUpdater.restartAndInstall();
});

In our UI we want to show a div when an update is ready to install. Here's the HTML:

<div class="update-available" style="display:none;">
  Version <span class="app-version"></span> is ready to Install.
  <a href="#" class="click-to-install">
    Click here to restart the app and install the update </a
  >.
</div>

Let's hook it all up. We use IPC on the renderer thread to update our UI:

const { ipcRenderer } = require("electron");

// First let's hook up our click-to-install link
const installLink = document.querySelector(".click-to-install");
installLink.addEventListener("click", (e) => {
  e.preventDefault();
  ipcRenderer.send("restart-and-install");
});

// Now let's listen for updates and show the
// update-available div on our UI
const updateAvailableDiv = document.querySelector(".update-available");
const appVersionSpan = document.querySelector(".app-version");
ipcRenderer.on("update-downloaded", (e, { updateInfo }) => {
  // Update the version text
  appVersionSpan.innerText = updateInfo.version;

  // Show the update-available div
  updateAvailableDiv.style.display = "block";
});

How do I force the application to restart when an update has been downloaded?

First up, make sure that this is something that you want to do. For example, a user might be in the middle of typing a message on your UI when you restart the app.

If you still want to go ahead then here is a simple recipe to do just that.

todesktop.autoUpdater.on("update-downloaded", () => {
  // Immediately update the app and restart it
  todesktop.autoUpdater.restartAndInstall();

  // Return false so that a notification is not displayed
  return false;
});

How do I access debug logs in a packaged app

Sometimes you will want to see messages that are logged to the console while a packaged app is running. Here is how you do this on Mac and Windows:

On Windows

Open the Command Prompt and cd into the app's folder.

NOTE: If testing auto-update then make sure you use the Command Prompt because other shell environments like bash will prevent the updater from working correctly.

cd  C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local\Programs\YourAppName

You can optionally set the DEBUG environment variable to enable logging from @todesktop/runtime.

set DEBUG=@todesktop/runtime

Then run the app:

"{YourAppName}.exe"

On Mac

Open the terminal and run the app with the DEBUG environment variable set:

DEBUG=@todesktop/runtime open "/Applications/YourAppName.app"

To see the logs, run the following command in the terminal:

tail -f ~/Library/Logs/YourAppName/main.log

How do I prevent code from running in a Smoke Test

Actions which require a user interaction may break Smoke Test, especially dialogs from electron dialog API. Use the following code to disable such a behavior in a Smoke Test mode:

if (!todesktop.isSmokeTestMode) {
  const result = dialog.showMessageBoxSync({
    type: "question",
    buttons: ["Move to Applications", "Not Now"],
    defaultId: 0,
    cancelId: 1,
    title: "Move to Applications?",
    message:
      "The application should be run from the Applications folder. Would you like to move it now?",
  });

  if (result === 0) {
    moveToApplications();
  }
}

Debugging

See the customLogger option.

Alternatively, set the DEBUG environment variable and the logs will be sent to the main process logs; DEBUG=@todesktop/runtime. See the recipe above for how to do this with a packaged app.

More documentation

For documentation on ToDesktop CLI See https://www.npmjs.com/package/@todesktop/cli

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