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electron-builder

electron-builder npm version downloads per month donate

A complete solution to package and build a ready for distribution Electron app for macOS, Windows and Linux with “auto update” support out of the box.

  • NPM packages management:
  • Code Signing on a CI server or development machine.
  • Auto Update ready application packaging.
  • Numerous target formats:
    • All platforms: 7z, zip, tar.xz, tar.7z, tar.lz, tar.gz, tar.bz2, dir (unpacked directory).
    • macOS: dmg, pkg, mas.
    • Linux: AppImage, snap, debian package (deb), rpm, freebsd, pacman, p5p, apk.
    • Windows: nsis (Installer), nsis-web (Web installer), portable (portable app without installation), AppX (Windows Store), MSI, Squirrel.Windows.
  • Two package.json structure is supported, but you are not forced to use it even if you have native production dependencies.
  • Build version management.
  • Publishing artifacts to GitHub Releases, Amazon S3, DigitalOcean Spaces and Bintray.
  • Pack in a distributable format already packaged app.
  • Separate build steps.
  • Build and publish in parallel, using hard links on CI server to reduce IO and disk space usage.
  • electron-compile support (compile for release-time on the fly on build).
  • Docker images to build Electron app for Linux or Windows on any platform.
Question Answer
“I want to configure electron-builder” See options
“I have a question” Open an issue or join the chat
“I found a bug” Open an issue
“I want to donate” Donate

Real project example — onshape-desktop-shell.

Installation

Yarn is strongly recommended instead of npm.

yarn add electron-builder --dev

Platform specific 7zip-bin-* packages are optionalDependencies, which may require manual install if you have npm configured to not install optional deps by default.

Boilerplates

Quick Setup Guide

electron-webpack-quick-start is a recommended way to create a new Electron application.

  1. Specify the standard fields in the application package.jsonname, description, version and author.

  2. Specify the build configuration in the package.json as follows:

    "build"{
      "appId": "your.id",
      "mac": {
        "category": "your.app.category.type"
      }
    }

    See all options.

  3. Add icons.

  4. Add the scripts key to the development package.json:

    "scripts"{
      "pack": "electron-builder --dir",
      "dist": "electron-builder"
    }

    Then you can run yarn dist (to package in a distributable format (e.g. dmg, windows installer, deb package)) or yarn pack (only generates the package directory without really packaging it. This is useful for testing purposes).

    To ensure your native dependencies are always matched electron version, simply add script "postinstall": "electron-builder install-app-deps" to your package.json.

  5. If you have native addons of your own that are part of the application (not as a dependency), set nodeGypRebuild to true.

  6. Install the required system packages if you are not on macOS 10.12+.

Please note that everything is packaged into an asar archive by default.

For an app that will be shipped to production, you should sign your application. See Where to buy code signing certificates.

CLI Usage

See Command Line Interface.

Programmatic Usage

See node_modules/electron-builder/out/index.d.ts. Typings for TypeScript is provided.

To build for current platform and current arch:

"use strict"
 
const builder = require("electron-builder")
 
// Promise is returned
builder.build({
  config: {
   "//": "build options, see https://goo.gl/ZhRfla"
  }
})
  .then(() => {
    // handle result
  })
  .catch((error) => {
    // handle error
  })

Add win: [] to build for Windows default target. Add win: ["nsis-web"] to build specified target (web installer) for Windows. The same for mac: [] and linux: []

Add ia32: true to build ia32 (or x64: true, or armv7l: true). Several can be specified and built at once.

Pack Only in a Distributable Format

You can use electron-builder only to pack your electron app in a AppImage, Snaps, Debian package, NSIS, macOS installer component package (pkg) and other distributable formats.

./node_modules/.bin/electron-builder --prepackaged <packed dir>

--projectDir (the path to project directory) option also can be useful.

Community

electron-builder on Slack (please use threads). Public archive without registration.

Further Reading

See docs.

Debug

Set the DEBUG environment variable to debug what electron-builder is doing:

DEBUG=electron-builder,electron-builder:*

Donate

We do this open source work in our free time. If you'd like us to invest more time on it, please donate. Donation can be used to increase some issue priority.

Sponsors

WorkFlowy Tidepool