node package manager

electron-packager

electron-packager

Package your Electron app into OS-specific bundles (.app, .exe, etc.) via JavaScript or the command line.

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About

Electron Packager is a command line tool and Node.js library that bundles Electron-based application source code with a renamed Electron executable and supporting files into folders ready for distribution.

Note that packaged Electron applications can be relatively large. A zipped barebones OS X Electron application is around 40MB.

Electron Packager is an OPEN Open Source Project

Individuals making significant and valuable contributions are given commit-access to the project to contribute as they see fit. This project is more like an open wiki than a standard guarded open source project.

See CONTRIBUTING.md and openopensource.org for more details.

Release Notes

Supported Platforms

Electron Packager is known to run on the following host platforms:

  • Windows (32/64 bit)
  • OS X (also known as macOS)
  • Linux (x86/x86_64)

It generates executables/bundles for the following target platforms:

  • Windows (also known as win32, for both 32/64 bit)
  • OS X (also known as darwin) / Mac App Store (also known as mas)*
  • Linux (for x86, x86_64, and armv7l architectures)

* Note for OS X / MAS target bundles: the .app bundle can only be signed when building on a host OS X platform.

Installation

This module requires Node.js 4.0 or higher to run.

# for use in npm scripts 
npm install electron-packager --save-dev
 
# for use from cli 
npm install electron-packager -g

Building Windows apps from non-Windows platforms

Building an Electron app for the Windows target platform requires editing the Electron.exe file. Currently, Electron Packager uses node-rcedit to accomplish this. A Windows executable is bundled in that Node package and needs to be run in order for this functionality to work, so on non-Windows host platforms, Wine 1.6 or later needs to be installed. On OS X, it is installable via Homebrew.

Usage

From the Command Line

Running electron-packager from the command line has this basic form:

electron-packager <sourcedir> <appname> --platform=<platform> --arch=<arch> [optional flags...]

This will:

  • Find or download the correct release of Electron
  • Use that version of Electron to create a app in <out>/<appname>-<platform>-<arch> (this can be customized via an optional flag)

--platform and --arch can be omitted, in two cases:

  • If you specify --all instead, bundles for all valid combinations of target platforms/architectures will be created.
  • Otherwise, a single bundle for the host platform/architecture will be created.

For an overview of the other optional flags, run electron-packager --help or see usage.txt. For detailed descriptions, see the API documentation.

If appname is omitted, this will use the name specified by "productName" or "name" in the nearest package.json.

Characters in the Electron app name which are not allowed in all target platforms' filenames (e.g., /), will be replaced by hyphens (-).

You should be able to launch the app on the platform you built for. If not, check your settings and try again.

Be careful not to include node_modules you don't want into your final app. If you put them in the devDependencies section of package.json, by default none of the modules related to those dependencies will be copied in the app bundles. (This behavior can be turned off with the --no-prune flag.) In addition, folders like .git and node_modules/.bin will be ignored by default. You can use --ignore to ignore files and folders via a regular expression (not a glob pattern). Examples include --ignore=\.gitignore or --ignore="\.git(ignore|modules)".

Example

Let's assume that you have made an app based on the electron-quick-start repository on a OS X host platform with the following file structure:

foobar
├── package.json
├── index.html
├── […other files, like LICENSE…]
└── script.js

…and that the following is true:

  • electron-packager is installed globally
  • productName in package.json has been set to Foo Bar
  • The electron module is in the devDependencies section of package.json, and set to the exact version of 1.4.15.
  • npm install for the Foo Bar app has been run at least once

When one runs the following command for the first time in the foobar directory:

electron-packager .

electron-packager will do the following:

  • Use the current directory for the sourcedir
  • Infer the appname from the productName in package.json
  • Infer the appVersion from the version in package.json
  • Infer the platform and arch from the host, in this example, darwin platform and x64 arch.
  • Download the darwin x64 build of Electron 1.4.15 (and cache the downloads in ~/.electron)
  • Build the OS X Foo Bar.app
  • Place Foo Bar.app in foobar/Foo Bar-darwin-x64/ (since an out directory was not specified, it used the current working directory)

The file structure now looks like:

foobar
├── Foo Bar-darwin-x64
│   ├── Foo Bar.app
│   │   └── […Mac app contents…]
│   ├── LICENSE
│   └── version
├── […other application bundles, like "Foo Bar-win32-x64" (sans quotes)…]
├── package.json
├── index.html
├── […other files, like LICENSE…]
└── script.js

The Foo Bar.app folder generated can be executed by a system running OS X, which will start the packaged Electron app. This is also true of the Windows x64 build on a system running a new enough version of Windows for a 64-bit system (via Foo Bar-win32-x64/Foo Bar.exe), and so on.

Programmatic API

Related