Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

flatpak-bundler Version Build Status

Build flatpaks from nodejs.

Quick Start

Install flatpak-bundler.

$ npm install flatpak-bundler -g

Build a flatpak with a node script.

Install and run it!

$ flatpak install --user --bundle hello.flatpak
$ flatpak run
Hello, world!


This modules allows building flatpaks programatically from node. It requires flatpak >= 0.6.13 to be installed on your system.

Under the hood, this is just a wrapper for the flatpak-builder tool with some extra sugar added.

With flatpak-builder you specify a runtime, sandbox permissions and software modules to build into you application, and build a flatpak from start to finish. This module provides a few additional features:

  • Supports auto installing flatpak runtime and app dependencies
  • Supports exporting directly to the a single file flatpak bundle
  • Supports easy copying files and creating symlinks directly in /app

The latter is particularly useful for electron and nw.js style node applications, which often create packages from prebuilt binaries and do not attempt to follow an autotools-like build api.

This module should make it easy to plug flatpak support into a electron or nw.js app packaging phase.


bundle(manifest, buildOptions, callback)

flatpak-bundler provides a single method, bundle, which takes an app manifest, a build options object, and a completion callback.

Both the manifest and options objects support both camelCase and dash-separated variants of any option.

The callback with be called with callback(error, finalBuildOptions) arguments. The finalBuildOptions contains the build options after default values have been applied. Useful to read out the workingDir, for example.


This matches the format for flatpak-builder app manifests, with a few extra options added and camelCase variants supported. For complete documentation of the manifest format read the flatpak-builder docs.

  • id: Required. The application id.
  • runtime: Required. The runtime for your flatpak application.
  • sdk: Required. The sdk for your flatpak application.
  • base: An app to inherit from. Use the app as a "base" for /app contents.
  • finishArgs: The arguments to pass to flatpak build-finish. Use this to add sandbox permissions. See the Electron app example for some common app permissions.
  • modules: If you need to build other software modules into you flatpak app (anything not already in your runtime or base app), you can specify them here.

In addition to standard manifest options, the following extra options are supported.

  • files: 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/)
  • symlinks: 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.
  • extraExports: Files to export outside of the flatpak sandbox, in addition to the application desktop file, icons and appstream. File basename must be prefixed with the app id. Should not be needed for common use.
  • runtimeFlatpakref: A pathname or url to a flatpakref file to use to auto install the runtime.
  • sdkFlatpakref: A pathname or url to a flatpakref file to use to auto install the sdk.
  • baseFlatpakref: A pathname or url to a flatpakref file to use to auto install the base app.

Build Options

  • bundlePath: Output location for a single file version of the flatpak. If non supplied, the single file flatpak will not be created.
  • arch: The architecture for the flatpak bundle. x86_64, i386 or arm.
  • workingDir: The working directory to call flatpak-builder from. Defaults to a new tmp directory.
  • buildDir: The directory to build the application in. Defaults to ${workingDir}/build
  • repoDir: The directory for a flatpak repo, can be used to publish to an existing repo. Defaults to ${workingDir}/repo
  • cleanTmpdirs: Cleanup any tmp directories created during the build on process exit. Defaults to true. Set false for easier debugging.
  • autoInstallRuntime: Install/update the runtime while building. Defaults to true if runtimeFlatpakref is set in the manifest.
  • autoInstallSdk: Install/update the sdk while building. Defaults to true if sdkFlatpakref is set in the manifest.
  • autoInstallBase: Install/update the base app while building. Defaults to true if baseFlatpakref is set in the manifest.
  • gpgSign: The gpg key to use to sign the flatpak repo and bundle file.
  • gpgHomedir: The gpg homedir to use when signing.
  • subject: The single line subject to use for the flatpak repo commit message.
  • body: The description to use for the flatpak repo commit message.
  • bundleRepoUrl: Repo url for the single file bundle. Installing the bundle will automatically configure a remote for this URL.
  • extraFlatpakBuilderArgs: List of extra arguments to pass to the flatpak-builder command.
  • extraFlatpakBuildExportArgs: List of extra arguments to pass to the flatpak build-export command.
  • extraFlatpakBuildBundleArgs: List of extra arguments to pass to the flatpak build-bundle command.


To turn on debugging output set the DEBUG environment variable

DEBUG=flatpak-bundler npm run my-flatpak-command


Hello world

// Write a hello world script to disk
const fs = require('fs')
echo "Hello, world!"`, { mode: 0o755 })

// Make a flapak with it!
const flatpakBundler = require('flatpak-bundler')
  id: '',
  runtime: 'org.freedesktop.Platform',
  runtimeVersion: '1.4',
  runtimeFlatpakref: '',
  sdk: 'org.freedesktop.Sdk',
  files: [
    ['hello', '/bin/hello']
}, {
  bundlePath: 'hello.flatpak'
}, function (error) {
  if (error) {
    console.error('Error building flatpak', error)
  console.log('Flatpak built successfully')

Electron app

const flatpakBundler = require('flatpak-bundler')

flatpakBundler.bundle({ // Manifest
  id: '',
  base: 'io.atom.electron.BaseApp', // Electron base application
  baseFlatpakref: '', // So we can auto install the runtime
  runtime: 'org.freedesktop.Platform', // Use the freedesktop runtime
  runtimeVersion: '1.4',
  runtimeFlatpakref: '',
  sdk: 'org.freedesktop.Sdk',
  files: [
    [ 'static/linux', '/share/' ], // Desktop file and icons
    [ packagedFileDir, '/share/bar' ] // Application binaries and assets
  symlinks: [
    [ '/share/bar/Bar', '/bin/Bar' ] // Create a symlink in /bin to to app executable
  finishArgs: [
    '--share=ipc', '--socket=x11', // Allow app to show windows with X11
    '--socket=pulseaudio', // Allow audio output
    '--filesystem=home', // Allow access to users home directory
    '--share=network', // Allow network access
    '--device=dri' // Allow OpenGL rendering
  renameDesktopFile: 'hello.desktop', // Rename the desktop file to agree with the app id so flatpak will export it
  renameIcon: 'hello' // Rename the icon to agree with the app id so flatpak will export it
}, { // Build options
  arch: 'x86_64',
  bundlePath: 'dist/hello_x86_64.flatpak',
  gpgSign: '1234ABCD' // Gpg key to sign with
}, function (error, finalAppOptions, finalBuildOptions) { // Callback
  if (error) {
    console.error('Error building flatpak')
  console.log('Flatpak built successfully.')
  console.log('Build dir and repo in ' + finalBuildOptions.workingDir)


Node module for creating flatpaks.







No releases published


No packages published

Contributors 4