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Thanks for considering contributing to Beaker!

We welcome any type of contribution, not only code. You can help with

  • QA: file bug reports, the more details you can give the better (e.g. screenshots with the console open)
  • Community: presenting the project at meetups, organizing a dedicated meetup for the local community, ...
  • Code: take a look at the open issues. Even if you can't write code, commenting on them, showing that you care about a given issue matters. It helps us triage them.
  • Money: we welcome financial contributions in full transparency on our open collective.

Looking to work on Beaker? Watch this video and take a look at the build notes.

Building from source

Requires node 6 or higher. On Windows, you may need to use npm version 4, due to a bug in npm 5.

In Linux (and in some cases macOS) you need libtool, m4, and automake:

sudo apt-get install libtool m4 make g++  # debian/ubuntu
sudo dnf install libtool m4 make gcc-c++  # fedora

In Windows, you'll need to install Python 2.7, Visual Studio 2015 or 2017, and Git. (You might try windows-build-tools.) Then run:

npm config set python c:/python27
npm config set msvs_version 2015
npm install -g node-gyp
npm install -g gulp

To build:

git clone
cd beaker
npm install
npm run rebuild # see
npm start

If you pull latest from the repo and get weird module errors, do:

npm run burnthemall

This invokes the mad king, who will torch your node_modules/, and do the full install/rebuild process for you. npm start should work afterwards.

If you're doing development, npm run watch to have assets build automatically.


To debug the background process start electron with the --inspect argument pointing to the app directory, e.g. node_modules/.bin/electron --inspect app. You can then attach an external debugger (e.g. Chrome devtools).

To debug the shell window itself (i.e. the beaker browser chrome), press CmdOrCtrl+alt+shift+I to open the devtools.

To debug a built-in pages (e.g. the Settings or Library pages), press CmdOrCtrl+shift+I to open the devtools.

Running the tests

Tests use their own package.json:

cd tests
npm install

To run:

cd tests
npm test

Submitting code

Any code change should be submitted as a pull request. The description should explain what the code does and give steps to execute it. The pull request should also contain tests, if applicable. For example, a PR that changes a part of the Beaker UI will likely not need tests, but a PR that updates Beaker's networking stack would.

Code review process

The bigger the pull request, the longer it will take to review and merge. Try to break down large pull requests in smaller chunks that are easier to review and merge.

It is also always helpful to have some context for your pull request. What was the purpose? Why does it matter to you?

Financial contributions

We also welcome financial contributions in full transparency on our open collective. Anyone can file an expense. If the expense makes sense for the development of the community, it will be "merged" in the ledger of our open collective by the core contributors and the person who filed the expense will be reimbursed.


If you have any questions, create an issue (protip: do a quick search first to see if someone else didn't ask the same question before!).

You can also reach us at @BeakerBrowser on Twitter, in #beakerbrowser on freenode, or



Thank you to all the people who have already contributed to beaker!


Thank you to all our backers! [Become a backer]


Thank you to all our sponsors! (please ask your company to also support this open source project by becoming a sponsor)