Electron Documentation


This document describes the process for releasing a new version of Electron.

Set your tokens and environment variables

You'll need Electron S3 credentials in order to create and upload an Electron release. Contact a team member for more information.

There are a handful of *_TOKEN environment variables needed by the release scripts:

Once you've generated these tokens, put them in a .env file in the root directory of the project. This file is gitignored, and will be loaded into the environment by the release scripts.

Determine which branch to release from

  • If releasing beta, run the scripts below from master.
  • If releasing a stable version, run the scripts below from the branch you're stabilizing.

Find out what version change is needed

Run npm run prepare-release -- --notesOnly to view auto generated release notes. The notes generated should help you determine if this is a major, minor, patch, or beta version change. Read the Version Change Rules for more information.

NB: If releasing from a branch, e.g. 1-8-x, check out the branch with git checkout 1-8-x rather than git checkout -b remotes/origin/1-8-x. The scripts need git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD to return a short name, e.g. no remotes/origin/

Run the prepare-release script

The prepare release script will do the following: 1. Check if a release is already in process and if so it will halt. 2. Create a release branch. 3. Bump the version number in several files. See this bump commit for an example. 4. Create a draft release on GitHub with auto-generated release notes. 5. Push the release branch. 6. Call the APIs to run the release builds.

Once you have determined which type of version change is needed, run the prepare-release script with arguments according to your need:

  • [major|minor|patch|beta] to increment one of the version numbers, or
  • --stable to indicate this is a stable version

For example:

Major version change

npm run prepare-release -- major

Minor version change

npm run prepare-release -- minor

Patch version change

npm run prepare-release -- patch --stable

Beta version change

npm run prepare-release -- beta

Promote beta to stable

npm run prepare-release -- --stable

Tip: You can test the new version number before running prepare-release with a dry run of the bump-version script with the same major/minor/patch/beta arguments, e.g.:

$ ./script/bump-version.py --bump minor --dry-run

Wait for builds ⏳

The prepare-release script will trigger the builds via API calls. To monitor the build progress, see the following pages:

Compile release notes

Writing release notes is a good way to keep yourself busy while the builds are running. For prior art, see existing releases on the releases page.


  • Each listed item should reference a PR on electron/electron, not an issue, nor a PR from another repo like libcc.
  • No need to use link markup when referencing PRs. Strings like #123 will automatically be converted to links on github.com.
  • To see the version of Chromium, V8, and Node in every version of Electron, visit atom.io/download/electron/index.json.

Patch releases

For a patch release, use the following format:

## Bug Fixes

* Fixed a cross-platform thing. #123

### Linux

* Fixed a Linux thing. #123

### macOS

* Fixed a macOS thing. #123

### Windows

* Fixed a Windows thing. #1234

Minor releases

For a minor release, e.g. 1.8.0, use this format:

## Upgrades

- Upgraded from Node `oldVersion` to `newVersion`. #123

## API Changes

* Changed a thing. #123

### Linux

* Changed a Linux thing. #123

### macOS

* Changed a macOS thing. #123

### Windows

* Changed a Windows thing. #123

Major releases

## Upgrades

- Upgraded from Chromium `oldVersion` to `newVersion`. #123
- Upgraded from Node `oldVersion` to `newVersion`. #123

## Breaking API changes

* Changed a thing. #123

### Linux

* Changed a Linux thing. #123

### macOS

* Changed a macOS thing. #123

### Windows

* Changed a Windows thing. #123

## Other Changes

- Some other change. #123

Beta releases

Use the same formats as the ones suggested above, but add the following note at the beginning of the changelog:

**Note:** This is a beta release and most likely will have have some
instability and/or regressions.

Please file new issues for any bugs you find in it.

This release is published to [npm](https://www.npmjs.com/package/electron)
under the `beta` tag and can be installed via `npm install electron@beta`.

Edit the release draft

  1. Visit the releases page and you'll see a new draft release with placeholder release notes.
  2. Edit the release and add release notes.
  3. Click 'Save draft'. Do not click 'Publish release'!
  4. Wait for all builds to pass before proceeding.
  5. In the branch, verify that the release's files have been created:
$ npm run release -- --validateRelease

Note, if you need to run --validateRelease more than once to check the assets, run it as above the first time, then node ./script/release.js --validateRelease for subsequent calls so that you don't have to rebuild each time you want to check the assets.

Publish the release

Once the merge has finished successfully, run the release script via npm run release to finish the release process. This script will do the following: 1. Build the project to validate that the correct version number is being released. 2. Download the binaries and generate the node headers and the .lib linker used on Windows by node-gyp to build native modules. 3. Create and upload the SHASUMS files stored on S3 for the node files. 4. Create and upload the SHASUMS256.txt file stored on the GitHub release. 5. Validate that all of the required files are present on GitHub and S3 and have the correct checksums as specified in the SHASUMS files. 6. Publish the release on GitHub

Publish to npm

Before publishing to npm, you'll need to log into npm as Electron. Optionally, you may find npmrc to be a useful way to keep Electron's profile side-by-side with your own:

$ sudo npm install -g npmrc
$ npmrc -c electron
Removing old .npmrc (default)
Activating .npmrc "electron"

The Electron account's credentials are kept by GitHub in a password manager. You'll also need to have access to an 2FA authenticator app with the appropriate OTP generator code to log in.

$ npm login
Username: electron-nightly
Password: <This can be found under NPM Electron Nightly on LastPass>
Email: (this IS public) electron@github.com

Publish the release to npm. Before running this you'll need to have set ELECTRON_NPM_OTP as an environment variable using a code from the aforementioned 2FA authenticator app.

$ npm whoami
$ npm run publish-to-npm

After publishing, you can check the latest release:

$ npm dist-tag ls electron

If for some reason npm run publish-to-npm fails, you can tag the release manually:

$ npm dist-tag add electron@<version> <tag>


$ npm dist-tag add electron@2.0.0 latest

Rerun broken builds

If a release build fails for some reason, you can use script/ci-release-build.js to rerun a release build:

Rerun all linux builds:

node script/ci-release-build.js --ci=CircleCI --ghRelease TARGET_BRANCH
(TARGET_BRANCH) is the branch you are releasing from.

Rerun all macOS builds:

node script/ci-release-build.js --ci=VSTS --ghRelease TARGET_BRANCH
(TARGET_BRANCH) is the branch you are releasing from.

Rerun all Windows builds:

node script/ci-release-build.js --ci=AppVeyor --ghRelease TARGET_BRANCH
(TARGET_BRANCH) is the branch you are releasing from.

Additionally you can pass a job name to the script to run an individual job, eg:

node script/ci-release-build.js --ci=AppVeyor --ghRelease --job=electron-x64 TARGET_BRANCH

Fix missing binaries of a release manually

In the case of a corrupted release with broken CI machines, we might have to re-upload the binaries for an already published release.

The first step is to go to the Releases page and delete the corrupted binaries with the SHASUMS256.txt checksum file.

Then manually create distributions for each platform and upload them:

# Checkout the version to re-upload.
git checkout vX.Y.Z

# Create release build
gn gen out/Release --args="import(\"//electron/build/args/release.gn\") $GN_EXTRA_ARGS"

# To compile for specific arch, instead set
gn gen out/Release-<TARGET_ARCH> --args='import(\"//electron/build/args/release.gn\") target_cpu = "[arm|x64|ia32]"'

# Build by running ninja with the electron target
ninja -C out/Release electron
ninja -C out/Release electron:dist_zip

# Explicitly allow overwriting a published release.
./script/upload.py --overwrite

Allowable values for target_cpu and target_os.

After re-uploading all distributions, publish again to upload the checksum file:

npm run release

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