A complete solution to package and build a ready for distribution Electron app with “auto update” support out of the box
TypeScript NSIS Shell JavaScript Other
Failed to load latest commit information.
.github WIP: High Windows defender CPU usage when accessing NSIS installer #1165 Feb 2, 2017
.idea docs: prepare API docs Feb 21, 2017
docker feat: S3 AWS Publishing Feb 5, 2017
docs docs: Do not recommend StartCom for code signing certificates Feb 23, 2017
jsdoc docs: prepare API docs Feb 21, 2017
packages fix(nsis): Incorrect app-update.yml for Windows 32bit Feb 23, 2017
test fix(nsis): Incorrect app-update.yml for Windows 32bit Feb 23, 2017
typings test: wrong executable in .desktop #1291 Feb 23, 2017
.babelrc feat(electron-updater): abort download Feb 17, 2017
.editorconfig feat: support finding electron version in build.electronVersion or el… May 26, 2016
.gitattributes fix(mac): background image isn't displayed in macOS sierra Oct 5, 2016
.gitignore docs: prepare API docs Feb 21, 2017
.mention-bot chore: rc-producer.yml for IDEA, mention bot config, update deps Dec 5, 2016
.travis.yml feat(nsis): metro sidebar, customizable sidebar Feb 15, 2017
.yarnclean fix(nsis): Custom NSIS Script !include could not find nsh file Feb 13, 2017
CHANGELOG.md feat(nsis): option to delete app data on manual uninstall Feb 14, 2017
CONTRIBUTING.md WIP: use json schema to validate config Feb 15, 2017
LICENSE Initial commit May 21, 2015
MAINTAINING.md refactor: change paths to template after "electron-builder according … Dec 31, 2016
README.md feat(nsis): metro sidebar, customizable sidebar Feb 15, 2017
appveyor.yml WIP: use json schema to validate config Feb 15, 2017
circle.yml feat: validate config using JSON schema Feb 22, 2017
lerna.json fix: identity = null is not respected Feb 10, 2017
package.json test: wrong executable in .desktop #1291 Feb 23, 2017
yarn.lock test: wrong executable in .desktop #1291 Feb 23, 2017


electron-builder npm version donate

A complete solution to package and build a ready for distribution Electron app for macOS, Windows and Linux with “auto update” support out of the box.

Question Answer
“I want to configure electron-builder” See options
“I have a question” Open an issue or join the chat
“I found a bug” Open an issue
“I want to donate” Donate with PayPal

Real project example — onshape-desktop-shell.

Yarn is strongly recommended instead of npm.

Note: Platform specific 7zip-bin-* packages are optionalDependencies, which may require manual install if you have npm configured to not install optional deps by default.

Quick Setup Guide

  1. Specify the standard fields in the application package.jsonname, description, version and author.

  2. Specify the build configuration in the package.json as follows:

    "build": {
      "appId": "your.id",
      "mac": {
        "category": "your.app.category.type"

    See all options.

  3. Create a directory build in the root of the project and save a background.png (macOS DMG background), icon.icns (macOS app icon) and icon.ico (Windows app icon) into it.

    The Linux icon set will be generated automatically based on the macOS icns file (or you can put them into the build/icons directory if you want to specify them yourself. The filename must contain the size (e.g. 32x32.png) of the icon).

  4. Add the scripts key to the development package.json:

    "scripts": {
      "pack": "build --dir",
      "dist": "build"

    Then you can run npm run dist (to package in a distributable format (e.g. dmg, windows installer, deb package)) or npm run pack (only generates the package directory without really packaging it. This is useful for testing purposes).

    To ensure your native dependencies are always matched electron version, simply add "postinstall": "install-app-deps" to your package.json.

  5. If you have native addons of your own that are part of the application (not as a dependency), add "nodeGypRebuild": true to the build section of your development package.json.
    💡 Don't use npm (neither .npmrc) for configuring electron headers. Use node-gyp-rebuild bin instead.

  6. Installing the required system packages.

Please note that everything is packaged into an asar archive by default.

For an app that will be shipped to production, you should sign your application. See Where to buy code signing certificates.

Auto Update

electron-builder produces all required artifacts, for example, for macOS:

  • .dmg: macOS installer, required for the initial installation process on macOS.
  • -mac.zip: required for Squirrel.Mac.

See the Auto Update section of the Wiki.


CLI Usage

Execute node_modules/.bin/build --help to get the actual CLI usage guide.

  --mac, -m, -o, --macos   Build for macOS, accepts target list (see
                           https://goo.gl/HAnnq8).                       [array]
  --linux, -l              Build for Linux, accepts target list (see
                           https://goo.gl/O80IL2)                        [array]
  --win, -w, --windows     Build for Windows, accepts target list (see
                           https://goo.gl/dL4i8i)                        [array]
  --x64                    Build for x64                               [boolean]
  --ia32                   Build for ia32                              [boolean]
  --armv7l                 Build for armv7l                            [boolean]
  --dir                    Build unpacked dir. Useful to test.         [boolean]
  --extraMetadata, --em    Inject properties to package.json (asar only)
  --prepackaged, --pd      The path to prepackaged app (to pack in a
                           distributable format)
  --projectDir, --project  The path to project directory. Defaults to current
                           working directory.
  --config, -c             The path to an electron-builder config. Defaults to
                           `electron-builder.yml` (or `json`, or `json5`), see

  --publish, -p  Publish artifacts (to GitHub Releases), see
                           [choices: "onTag", "onTagOrDraft", "always", "never"]
  --draft        Create a draft (unpublished) release                  [boolean]
  --prerelease   Identify the release as a prerelease                  [boolean]

  --platform  The target platform (preferred to use --mac, --win or --linux)
                      [choices: "mac", "win", "linux", "darwin", "win32", "all"]
  --arch      The target arch (preferred to use --x64 or --ia32)
                                                 [choices: "ia32", "x64", "all"]

  --help     Show help                                                 [boolean]
  --version  Show version number                                       [boolean]

  build -mwl                    build for macOS, Windows and Linux
  build --linux deb tar.xz      build deb and tar.xz for Linux
  build --win --ia32            build for Windows ia32
  build --em.foo=bar            set package.json property `foo` to `bar`
  build --config.nsis.unicode=false  configure unicode options for NSIS

Programmatic Usage

See node_modules/electron-builder/out/electron-builder.d.ts. Typings is supported.

"use strict"

const builder = require("electron-builder")
const Platform = builder.Platform

// Promise is returned
  targets: Platform.MAC.createTarget(),
  config: {
   "//": "build options, see https://goo.gl/ZhRfla"
  .then(() => {
    // handle result
  .catch((error) => {
    // handle error

Pack Only in a Distributable Format

You can use electron-builder only to pack your electron app in a AppImage, Snaps, Debian package, NSIS, macOS installer component package (pkg) and other distributable formats.

./node_modules/.bin/build --prepackaged <packed dir>

--projectDir (the path to project directory) option also can be useful.


electron-builder on Slack (please use threads). Public archive without registration.

Further Reading

See the Wiki for more documentation.