Create a flatpak for your Electron app
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ford-prefect and ptomato Deal with license files that aren't just named LICENSE
At least Mattermost uses LICENSE.txt. I'm also adding LICENSE.md for
good measure, but it might make sense to also fallback to COPYING (with
the appropriate suffixes) in the future.
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README.md

electron-installer-flatpak Version Build Status

Create a flatpak for your Electron app. This is based off the electron-installer-debian tool. Add flatpak support to an electron app using electron-packager with minimal configuration.

Requirements

This tool requires flatpak and flatpak-builder >= 0.8.2 to be installed on your system. See http://flatpak.org/getting.html

Building an electron flatpak requires installing a "base" flatpak application with electron library dependencies. That base will be autoinstalled during an app build.

Actually running the apps will require the freedesktop runtime to be installed. If you already are running flatpak apps you may have the freedesktop runtime installed. The following example will install the freedesktop runtime for both i386 and x86_64.

flatpak --user remote-add --from gnome https://sdk.gnome.org/gnome.flatpakrepo
flatpak --user install gnome org.freedesktop.Platform/x86_64/1.4 org.freedesktop.Platform/i386/1.4

Installation

For use from command-line:

$ npm install -g electron-installer-flatpak

For use in npm scripts or programmatically:

$ npm install --save-dev electron-installer-flatpak

Usage

Say your Electron app lives in path/to/app, and has a structure like this:

.
├── LICENSE
├── README.md
├── node_modules
│   ├── electron-packager
│   └── electron-prebuilt
├── package.json
├── resources
│   ├── Icon.png
│   ├── IconTemplate.png
│   └── IconTemplate@2x.png
└── src
    ├── index.js
    ├── main
    │   └── index.js
    └── renderer
        ├── index.html
        └── index.js

You now run electron-packager to build the app for flatpak:

$ electron-packager . app --platform linux --arch x64 --out dist/

And you end up with something like this in your dist folder:

.
└── dist
    └── app-linux-x64
        ├── LICENSE
        ├── LICENSES.chromium.html
        ├── content_shell.pak
        ├── app
        ├── icudtl.dat
        ├── libgcrypt.so.11
        ├── libnode.so
        ├── locales
        ├── natives_blob.bin
        ├── resources
        ├── snapshot_blob.bin
        └── version

How do you turn that into a flatpak package that your users can install?

Command-Line

If you want to run electron-installer-flatpak straight from the command-line, install the package globally:

$ npm install -g electron-installer-flatpak

And point it to your built app:

$ electron-installer-flatpak --src dist/app-linux-x64/ --dest dist/installers/ --arch x64

You'll end up with the package at dist/installers/io.atom.electron.app_master_x64.flatpak.

Scripts

If you want to run electron-installer-flatpak through npm, install the package locally:

$ npm install --save-dev electron-installer-flatpak

Edit the scripts section of your package.json:

{
  "name": "app",
  "description": "An awesome app!",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "electron .",
    "build": "electron-packager . app --platform linux --arch x64 --out dist/",
    "flatpak64": "electron-installer-flatpak --src dist/app-linux-x64/ --dest dist/installers/ --arch x64"
  },
  "devDependencies": {
    "electron-installer-flatpak": "*",
    "electron-packager": "*",
    "electron-prebuilt": "*"
  }
}

And run the script:

$ npm run flatpak64

You'll end up with the package at dist/installer/io.atom.electron.app_master_x64.flatpak.

Programmatically

Install the package locally:

$ npm install --save-dev electron-installer-flatpak

And write something like this:

var installer = require('electron-installer-flatpak')

var options = {
  src: 'dist/app-linux-x64/',
  dest: 'dist/installers/',
  arch: 'x64'
}

console.log('Creating package (this may take a while)')

installer(options, function (err) {
  if (err) {
    console.error(err, err.stack)
    process.exit(1)
  }

  console.log('Successfully created package at ' + options.dest)
})

You'll end up with the package at dist/installers/io.atom.electron.app_master_x64.flatpak.

Options

Even though you can pass most of these options through the command-line interface, it may be easier to create a configuration file:

{
  "dest": "dist/installers/",
  "icon": "resources/Icon.png",
  "categories": [
    "Utility"
  ]
}

And pass that instead with the config option:

$ electron-installer-flatpak --src dist/app-linux-x64/ --arch x64 --config config.json

Anyways, here's the full list of options:

src

Type: String Default: undefined

Path to the folder that contains your built Electron application.

dest

Type: String Default: undefined

Path to the folder that will contain your flatpak installer.

rename

Type: Function Default: function (dest, src) { return path.join(dest, src); }

Function that renames all files generated by the task just before putting them in your dest folder.

options.id

Type: String Default: the inverted hostname of package.homepage plus the santized package.name, or io.atom.electron

App ID of the flatpak, used in the id field of a flatpak-builder manifest and the flatpak filename.

options.productName

Type: String Default: package.productName || package.name

Name of the application (e.g. Atom), used in the Name field of the desktop specification.

options.genericName

Type: String Default: package.genericName || package.productName || package.name

Generic name of the application (e.g. Text Editor), used in the GenericName field of the desktop specification.

options.description

Type: String Default: package.description

Short description of the application, used in the Comment field of the desktop specification.

options.branch

Type: String Default: master

Release branch of the flatpak, used in the branch field of a flatpak-builder manifest and the flatpak filename, after the sanitized app ID.

options.base

Type: String Default: io.atom.electron.BaseApp

Base app to use when building the flatpak, used in the base field of a flatpak-builder manifest.

options.baseVersion

Type: String Default: master

Base app version, used in the base-version field of a flatpak-builder manifest.

options.baseFlatpakref

Type: String Default: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/electron-flatpak.endlessm.com/electron-base-app-master.flatpakref

Url of a flatpakref to use to auto install the base application.

options.runtime

Type: String Default: org.freedesktop.Platform

Runtime id, used in the runtime field of a flatpak-builder manifest.

options.runtimeVersion

Type: String Default: 1.4

Runtime version, used in the runtime-version field of a flatpak-builder manifest.

options.sdk

Type: String Default: org.freedesktop.Sdk

Sdk id, used in the sdk field of a flatpak-builder manifest.

options.arch

Type: String Default: undefined

Machine architecture the package is targeted to. Suggested to use node style arches here ('ia32', 'x64'), which will be converted to flatpak style arches ('i386', 'x86_64') when calling into the actual flatpak commands. Directly using flatpak style arches is also supported.

options.finishArgs

Type: Array[String] Default:

[
  // X Rendering
  '--socket=x11', '--share=ipc',
  // Open GL
  '--device=dri',
  // Audio output
  '--socket=pulseaudio',
  // Read/write home directory access
  '--filesystem=home',
  // Chromium uses a socket in tmp for its singleton check
  '--filesystem=/tmp',
  // Allow communication with network
  '--share=network',
  // System notifications with libnotify
  '--talk-name=org.freedesktop.Notifications'
],

Arguments to use when call flatpak build-finish, use in the finish-args field of a flatpak-builder manifest.

Changing this can be used to customize permissions of the sandbox the flatpak will run in.

options.files

Type: Array[Array[source, dest]] Default:

[],

Files to copy directly into the app. Should be a list of [source, dest] tuples. Source should be a relative/absolute path to a file/directory to copy into the flatpak, and dest should be the path inside the app install prefix (e.g. /share/applications/)

Application assets and code will be fully handled by electron-packager, but this is a useful way to install things such as appstream metadata for an app, or dbus configuration files.

options.symlinks

Type: Array[Array[target, location]] Default:

[],

Symlinks to create in the app files. Should be a list of [target, location] symlink tuples. Target can be either a relative or absolute path inside the app install prefix, and location should be a absolute path inside the prefix to create the symlink at.

options.modules

Type: Array[Object] Default: []

This option can be used to build extra software modules into the flatpak application sandbox. Most electron applications will not need this, but if you are using native node modules that require certain libraries on the system, this may be necessary. For example, to build libgit2 to use with nodegit, add the following to your modules list.

modules: [
  {
    name: 'libgit2',
    cmake: true,
    configOpts: [ '-DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS:BOOL=ON', '-DTHREADSAFE=ON' ],
    sources: [{
      type: 'git',
      url: 'https://github.com/libgit2/libgit2.git',
      branch: 'maint/v0.24'
    }]
  }
]

See the modules field of a flatpak-builder manifest for more details.

options.bin

Type: String Default: package.name

Relative path to the executable that will act as binary for the application, used in the Exec field of the desktop specification.

The generated package will contain a symlink /usr/bin/<%= options.name %> pointing to the path provided here.

For example, providing this configuration:

{
  src: '...',
  dest: '...',
  name: 'foo',
  bin: 'resources/cli/launcher.sh'
}

Will create a package with the following symlink:

usr/bin/foo@ -> ../lib/foo/resources/cli/launcher.sh

And a desktop specification with the following Exec key:

Exec=foo %U

options.icon

Type: String or Object[String:String] Default: undefined

Path to a single image that will act as icon for the application:

{
  icon: 'resources/Icon.png'
}

Or multiple images with their corresponding resolutions:

{
  icon: {
    '48x48': 'resources/Icon48.png',
    '64x64': 'resources/Icon64.png',
    '128x128': 'resources/Icon128.png',
    '256x256': 'resources/Icon256.png'
  }
}

options.categories

Type: Array[String] Default: []

Categories in which the application should be shown in a menu, used in the Categories field of the desktop specification.

For possible values check out the Desktop Menu Specification.

options.mimeType

Type: Array[String] Default: []

MIME types the application is able to open, used in the MimeType field of the desktop specification.

Meta

Contributors

License

Copyright (c) 2016 Daniel Perez Alvarez (unindented.org). This is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.