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3.1.4 • Public • Published

nw-builder NPM version Build Status Dependency Status Join the chat at


Build your NW.js apps for Mac, Win and Linux programmatically or via CLI.


npm install nw-builder --save-dev
npm install nw-builder -g
Grunt and Gulp Plugins

Yes, there is also a Grunt Plugin. For Gulp, just use the module :)


Usage: nwbuild [options] [path]
  -p, --platforms      Platforms to build, comma-sperated, can be: win32,win64,osx32,osx64,linux32,linux64   ['osx32''osx64''win32''win64']
  -v, --version        The nw version, eg. 0.8.4                                             [default: "latest"]
  -r, --run            Runs NW.js for the current platform                                   [default: false]
  -o, --buildDir       The build folder                                                      [default: "./build"]
  -f, --forceDownload  Force download of NW.js                                               [default: false]
  --cacheDir           The cache folder
  --quiet              Disables logging                                                      [default: false]

Run NW.js

During development you can run NW.js with nwbuild -r path/to/your/younwapp/

Or use the module:

var NwBuilder = require('nw-builder');
var nw = new NwBuilder({
    files: './path/to/nwfiles/**/**', // use the glob format
    platforms: ['osx32', 'win32', 'win64'],
    version: '0.14.6'
//Log stuff you want
nw.on('log',  console.log);
// Build returns a promise () {
   console.log('all done!');
}).catch(function (error) {

build also supports callbacks: {
    if(err) console.log(err);


options.files Required

Type: String
Default value: null

The path to your node webkit app. It supports simple-glob so you can do stuff like ['foo/*.js', '!foo/bar.js', 'foo/bar.js'].


Type: String Default value: 'latest'

The version of NW.js you want to use. Per default it looks up the latest version. Here is a list of all available releases


Type: String Default value: 'sdk'

The flavor of NW.js you want to use. Per default it will be sdk. Here is a list of all flavor available.

The value sdk is most used for development whereas normal for production.


Type: Array
Default value: ['osx32', 'osx64', 'win32', 'win64']

The platforms you want to build. Can be ['win32', 'win64', 'osx32', 'osx64', 'linux32', 'linux64']

The values ['win', 'osx', 'linux'] can also be used and will build both the 32 and 64 bit versions of the specified platforms.

Be aware that the osx32 version can only be built with legacy version of nwjs. Since > 0.12.0, only 64 bits for osx works.


Type: String
Default value: false

The Name of your NW.js app. If this value is set to null, it will autodetect the name from your projects package.json. This will be used to generate a plist file for mac.


Type: String
Default value: false

The version of your NW.js app. If this value is set to null, it will autodetect the version form your projects package.json. This will be used to generate a plist file for mac.


Type: String
Default value: ./build

This is where the releases are saved.


Type: String
Default value: ./cache

This is where the cached NW.js downloads are


Type: String or function Default value: default

How you want to save your build.

  • default [appName]
  • versioned [appName] -v[appVersion]
  • timestamped [appName] - [timestamp];
  • A function with options as scope (e.g function () {return this.appVersion;} )


Type: Boolean
Default value: false

This will delete everything in your build_dir directory, including the cached downloaded prebuilt binaries


Type: String
Default value: false

MAC ONLY: The path to your credits.html file. If your don't provide your own it will use the one provided by NW.js


Type: String
Default value: false

MAC ONLY: The path to your ICNS icon file. If your don't provide your own it will use the one provided by NW.js

Type: Boolean Default value: null

WINDOW ONLY: Instead of zipping the application and merging it into the executable the application content is placed next to the application (which speed up the startup time for large apps). The default behaviour is platform specific. For windows and linux, the application is zipped and merged into the executable. For mac, the application is not zipped.


Type: Object Default value: null

Allows to configure the underling zip library parameters, like store or compression ratio.

See archiver documentation for detailed description of properties.


Type: String or Object
Default value: false

MAC ONLY: Pass a string containing the path to your own plist file. If a string isn't passed, a plist file will be generated from your package.json. Pass an object to overwrite or add properties to the generated plist file.


Type: String
Default value: null

WINDOWS ONLY: The path to your ICO icon file. If your don't provide your own it will use the one provided by NW.js. If you are building on MAC or LINUX you must have Wine installed to use this option.

options.macZip (DEPRECATED)

Type: Boolean Default value: null

MAC ONLY: Use a app.nw folder instead of ZIP file, this significantly improves the startup speed of applications on mac, since no decompressing is needed. Builds on other platforms will still use ZIP files. The default behaviour of node-webkit-builder is to not use ZIP files on the mac platform. In case of the mac platform the option macZip can override the option zip.

Manifest Options


Allows you to specify platform-specific manifest values. Example manifest:

    "name": "nw-demo",
    "version": "0.1.0",
    "main": "index.html",
    "window": {
        "frame": false,
        "toolbar": false
    "platformOverrides": {
        "win": {
            "window": {
                "toolbar": true
        "win32": {
            "window": {
                "frame": true,
                "toolbar": false
        "win64": {
            "window": {
                "frame": true
        "osx": {
        "osx32": {
        "osx64": {
        "linux": {
        "linux32": {
        "linux64": {

The platform-specific options will override the others only when building that platform only and the platformOverrides property will be removed.

For example, when building for Windows, the manifest generated and put into the end app (from the manifest above) would be:

    "name": "nw-demo",
    "version": "0.1.0",
    "main": "index.html",
    "window": {
        "frame": true,
        "toolbar": false

Additionally, when specifying multiple version of the same platform such as "win", "win32", and "win64", changes will be applied such that "win" applies to both "win32" and "win64", while "win32" and "win64" apply only to the specified version. Also note that "win32" and "win64" can further override changes made in "win".

See #85 and #94 for more information. If you need this during development too, see platform-overrides and gulp-platform-overrides. There is no Grunt plugin, yet.


OSX ulimit

Darwin (OS X kernel) has a low limit for file descriptors (256 per process) by default, so you might get an EMFILE error or an error mentioning "too many open files" if youtry to open more file descriptors than this.

To get around it, run ulimit -n 1024 (or add it to your ~/.bash_profile). For more information, see henvic/osx-ulimit.



  • Adam Lynch (@adam-lynch)
  • Rémy Boulanouar (@DblK)
  • You? 😄. We're open to contributions (to the code, documentation, or anything else) and or additional maintainers.




Release History

  • 2016-10-09 3.1.2 Fix for passing array as files option when running app (plus some security fixes).
  • 2016-10-09 3.1.1 Fix for flavor feature when using CLI.
  • 2016-09-14 3.1.0 Ability to select any flavor of NW.js, not just sdk.
  • 2016-08-28 3.0.0 bumping graceful-fs-extra dependency to 2.0.0.
  • 2016-08-14 2.2.7 fix for macIcns option when using NW.js 0.12.3
  • 2016-07-31 2.2.6 fix for OS X caching
  • 2016-07-03 2.2.5 fix for update-notifier usage in bin
  • 2016-07-03 2.2.4 fix for syntax error in CLI
  • 2016-07-02 2.2.3 a few small fixes for the run option and more
  • 2016-07-02 2.2.2 fix for cache check of some legacy versions
  • 2016-07-02 2.2.1 supports newer NW.js versions (via, plus other fixes.
  • 2015-12-18 2.2.0 added zip option.
  • 2015-12-06 2.1.0 added cacheDir command-line option, fix for no info being passed back, etc.
  • 2015-06-28 2.0.2 put upper bound to semver check for windows.
  • 2015-06-14 2.0.1 safer validation of versions.
  • 2015-06-14 2.0.0 changed to nw-builder, etc.
  • 2015-05-05 1.0.12 when using latest NW.js version, it's first validated that it's not an alpha version (fixes #222). Plus a fix for the winIco & macIcns command line options
  • 2015-01-29 1.0.8 fixed EMFILE errors (see #147 #148)
  • 2015-01-21 1.0.7 fixed about screen when copyright is not supplied
  • 2015-01-15 1.0.6 fixed downloads for nw.js version 0.12.0-alpha1
  • 2015-01-15 1.0.5 fixed downloads for NW.js versions < 0.12.0-alpha
  • 2014-12-12 1.0.0 64-bit support, improved platform-overrides and no more EMFILE errors.
  • 2014-12-07 0.4.0 macPlist CFBundleIdentifier is generated from package.json (see #131)
  • 2014-11-14 0.3.0 macPlist option improvements (see #96)
  • 2014-10-30 0.2.0 adds support for platform-specific manifest overrides (see #94)
  • 2014-08-19 0.1.2 adds a progress bar to downloads, fixes downloading through a proxy, fixed winIco, bug fixes
  • 2014-08-01 0.1.0 use app filename for generated executables, optimized version checking, (known issue: winIco on windows)
  • 2014-07-31 0.0.4 fixed compatibility with nodewebkit 0.10.0
  • 2014-04-20 Added run option, bug fixes
  • 2014-04-13 Preview Release


MIT License


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