Electron Documentation

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Developer Environment

Electron development is essentially Node.js development. To turn your operating system into an environment capable of building desktop apps with Electron, you will merely need Node.js, npm, a code editor of your choice, and a rudimentary understanding of your operating system's command line client.

Setting up macOS

Electron supports macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) and up. Apple does not allow running macOS in virtual machines unless the host computer is already an Apple computer, so if you find yourself in need of a Mac, consider using a cloud service that rents access to Macs (like MacInCloud or xcloud).

First, install a recent version of Node.js. We recommend that you install either the latest LTS or Current version available. Visit the Node.js download page and select the macOS Installer. While Homebrew is an offered option, but we recommend against it - many tools will be incompatible with the way Homebrew installs Node.js.

Once downloaded, execute the installer and let the installation wizard guide you through the installation.

Once installed, confirm that everything works as expected. Find the macOS Terminal application in your /Applications/Utilities folder (or by searching for the word Terminal in Spotlight). Open up Terminal or another command line client of your choice and confirm that both node and npm are available:

# This command should print the version of Node.js
node -v

# This command should print the version of npm
npm -v

If both commands printed a version number, you are all set! Before you get started, you might want to install a code editor suited for JavaScript development.

Setting up Windows

Electron supports Windows 7 and later versions – attempting to develop Electron applications on earlier versions of Windows will not work. Microsoft provides free virtual machine images with Windows 10 for developers.

First, install a recent version of Node.js. We recommend that you install either the latest LTS or Current version available. Visit the Node.js download page and select the Windows Installer. Once downloaded, execute the installer and let the installation wizard guide you through the installation.

On the screen that allows you to configure the installation, make sure to select the Node.js runtime, npm package manager, and Add to PATH options.

Once installed, confirm that everything works as expected. Find the Windows PowerShell by opening the Start Menu and typing PowerShell. Open up PowerShell or another command line client of your choice and confirm that both node and npm are available:

# This command should print the version of Node.js
node -v

# This command should print the version of npm
npm -v

If both commands printed a version number, you are all set! Before you get started, you might want to install a code editor suited for JavaScript development.

Setting up Linux

Generally speaking, Electron supports Ubuntu 12.04, Fedora 21, Debian 8 and later.

First, install a recent version of Node.js. Depending on your Linux distribution, the installation steps might differ. Assuming that you normally install software using a package manager like apt or pacman, use the official Node.js guidance on installing on Linux.

You're running Linux, so you likely already know how to operate a command line client. Open up your favorite client and confirm that both node and npm are available globally:

# This command should print the version of Node.js
node -v

# This command should print the version of npm
npm -v

If both commands printed a version number, you are all set! Before you get started, you might want to install a code editor suited for JavaScript development.

A Good Editor

We might suggest two free popular editors built in Electron: GitHub's Atom and Microsoft's Visual Studio Code. Both of them have excellent JavaScript support.

If you are one of the many developers with a strong preference, know that virtually all code editors and IDEs these days support JavaScript.