Electron supporting package to compile JS and CSS in Electron applications
JavaScript HTML CoffeeScript
Latest commit 8b014b2 Jan 2, 2017 @paulcbetts paulcbetts 5.1.2



electron-compile compiles JS and CSS on the fly with a single call in your app's 'ready' function.

For JavaScript:

  • JavaScript ES6/ES7 (via Babel)
  • TypeScript
  • CoffeeScript

For CSS:

  • Less
  • Sass / SCSS
  • Stylus


  • Jade
  • Vue.js 2.0 Single-File Components


  • CSON

How does it work? (Easiest Way)

Use electron-prebuilt-compile instead of the electron-prebuilt module. Tada! You did it.

Wait, seriously?

Yeah. electron-prebuilt-compile is like an electron-prebuilt that Just Works with all of these languages above.

How does it work? (Slightly Harder Way)

First, add electron-compile and electron-compilers as a devDependency.

npm install --save electron-compile
npm install --save-dev electron-compilers

Create a new file that will be the entry point of your app (perhaps changing 'main' in package.json) - you need to pass in the root directory of your application, which will vary based on your setup. The root directory is the directory that your package.json is in.

// Assuming this file is ./src/es6-init.js
var appRoot = path.join(__dirname, '..');

// ...and that your main app is called ./src/main.js. This is written as if
// you were going to `require` the file from here.
require('electron-compile').init(appRoot, './main');

I did it, now what?

From then on, you can now simply include files directly in your HTML, no need for cross-compilation:

  <script src="main.coffee"></script>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="main.less" />

or just require them in:

require('./mylib')   // mylib.ts

Something isn't working / I'm getting weird errors

electron-compile uses the debug module, set the DEBUG environment variable to debug what electron-compile is doing:

## Debug just electron-compile
DEBUG=electron-compile:* npm start

## Grab everything except for Babel which is very noisy
DEBUG=*,-babel npm start

How do I set up (Babel / Less / whatever) the way I want?

If you've got a .babelrc and that's all you want to customize, you can simply use it directly. electron-compile will respect it, even the environment-specific settings. If you want to customize other compilers, use a .compilerc or .compilerc.json file. Here's an example:

  "application/javascript": {
    "presets": ["es2016-node5", "react"],
    "sourceMaps": "inline"
  "text/less": {
    "dumpLineNumbers": "comments"

.compilerc also accepts environments with the same syntax as .babelrc:

  "env": {
    "development": {
      "application/javascript": {
        "presets": ["es2016-node5", "react"],
        "sourceMaps": "inline"
      "text/less": {
        "dumpLineNumbers": "comments"
    "production": {
      "application/javascript": {
        "presets": ["es2016-node5", "react"],
        "sourceMaps": "none"

The opening Object is a list of MIME Types, and options passed to the compiler implementation. These parameters are documented here:

How can I compile only some file types but not others?

With passthrough enabled, electron-compile will return your source files completely unchanged!

In this example .compilerc, JavaScript files won't be compiled:

  "application/javascript": {
    "passthrough": true
  "text/less": {
    "dumpLineNumbers": "comments"

How can I precompile my code for release-time?

electron-compile comes with a wrapper around the electron-packager project, electron-packager-compile (if you use the electron-prebuilt-compile project, this will just be electron-packager). Run it the same way you run electron-packager and the compilation wire-up will be done in the background.

How can I precompile my code for release-time? (the hard way)

electron-compile comes with a command-line application to pre-create a cache for you.

Usage: electron-compile --appdir [root-app-dir] paths...

  -a, --appdir  The top-level application directory (i.e. where your
                package.json is)
  -v, --verbose  Print verbose information
  -h, --help     Show help

Run electron-compile on all of your application assets, even if they aren't strictly code (i.e. your static assets like PNGs). electron-compile will recursively walk the given directories.

electron-compile --appDir /path/to/my/app ./src ./static

But I use Grunt / Gulp / I want to do Something Interesting

Compilation also has its own API, check out the documentation for more information.