Grunt plugin to build Windows installers for Electron apps
JavaScript
Latest commit 0b1d358 Apr 14, 2016

README.md

Electron Installer Grunt Plugin

Build status

Grunt plugin that builds Windows installers for Electron apps using Squirrel.

Installing

npm install --save-dev grunt-electron-installer

Configuring

In your Gruntfile.coffee or Gruntfile.js add the following:

grunt.loadNpmTasks('grunt-electron-installer')

Then assuming you have an Electron app built at the given appDirectory, you can configure the installer task like so:

'create-windows-installer': {
  x64: {
    appDirectory: '/tmp/build/my-app-64',
    outputDirectory: '/tmp/build/installer64',
    authors: 'My App Inc.',
    exe: 'myapp.exe'
  },
  ia32: {
    appDirectory: '/tmp/build/my-app-32',
    outputDirectory: '/tmp/build/installer32',
    authors: 'My App Inc.',
    exe: 'myapp.exe'
  }
}

Then run grunt create-windows-installer and you will have an .nupkg, a RELEASES file, and a .exe installer file in the outputDirectory folder for each multi task target given under the config entry.

There are several configuration settings supported:

Config Name Required Description
appDirectory Yes The folder path of your Electron app
outputDirectory No The folder path to create the .exe installer in. Defaults to the installer folder at the project root.
loadingGif No The local path to a .gif file to display during install.
authors Yes The authors value for the nuget package metadata. Defaults to the author field from your app's package.json file when unspecified.
owners No The owners value for the nuget package metadata. Defaults to the authors field when unspecified.
exe No The name of your app's main .exe file. This uses the name field in your app's package.json file with an added .exe extension when unspecified.
description No The description value for the nuget package metadata. Defaults to the description field from your app's package.json file when unspecified.
version No The version value for the nuget package metadata. Defaults to the version field from your app's package.json file when unspecified.
title No The title value for the nuget package metadata. Defaults to the productName field and then the name field from your app's package.json file when unspecified.
certificateFile No The path to an Authenticode Code Signing Certificate
certificatePassword No The password to decrypt the certificate given in certificateFile
signWithParams No Params to pass to signtool. Overrides certificateFile and certificatePassword.
iconUrl No A URL to an ICO file to use as the application icon (displayed in Control Panel > Programs and Features). Defaults to the Atom icon.
setupIcon No The ICO file to use as the icon for the generated Setup.exe
noMsi No Should Squirrel.Windows create an MSI installer?
remoteReleases No A URL to your existing updates. If given, these will be downloaded to create delta updates

Sign your installer or else bad things will happen

For development / internal use, creating installers without a signature is okay, but for a production app you need to sign your application. Internet Explorer's SmartScreen filter will block your app from being downloaded, and many anti-virus vendors will consider your app as malware unless you obtain a valid cert.

Any certificate valid for "Authenticode Code Signing" will work here, but if you get the right kind of code certificate, you can also opt-in to Windows Error Reporting. This MSDN page has the latest links on where to get a WER-compatible certificate. The "Standard Code Signing" certificate is sufficient for this purpose.

Handling Squirrel Events

Squirrel will spawn your app with command line flags on first run, updates, and uninstalls. it is very important that your app handle these events as early as possible, and quit immediately after handling them. Squirrel will give your app a short amount of time (~15sec) to apply these operations and quit.

You should handle these events in your app's main entry point with something such as:

var app = require('app');

var handleStartupEvent = function() {
  if (process.platform !== 'win32') {
    return false;
  }

  var squirrelCommand = process.argv[1];
  switch (squirrelCommand) {
    case '--squirrel-install':
    case '--squirrel-updated':

      // Optionally do things such as:
      //
      // - Install desktop and start menu shortcuts
      // - Add your .exe to the PATH
      // - Write to the registry for things like file associations and
      //   explorer context menus

      // Always quit when done
      app.quit();

      return true;
    case '--squirrel-uninstall':
      // Undo anything you did in the --squirrel-install and
      // --squirrel-updated handlers

      // Always quit when done
      app.quit();

      return true;
    case '--squirrel-obsolete':
      // This is called on the outgoing version of your app before
      // we update to the new version - it's the opposite of
      // --squirrel-updated
      app.quit();
      return true;
  }
};

if (handleStartupEvent()) {
  return;
}