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A Boilerplate for Scalable Cross-Platform Desktop Apps

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Electron application boilerplate based on React, Redux, React Router, Webpack, React Transform HMR for rapid application development.


Electron Boilerplate Demo


  • Note: requires a node version >= 7 and an npm version >= 4.
  • If you have installation or compilation issues with this project, please see our debugging guide

First, clone the repo via git:

git clone --depth=1 your-project-name

And then install dependencies with yarn.

$ cd your-project-name
$ yarn

Note: If you can't use yarn, run npm install.


Start the app in the dev environment. This starts the renderer process in hot-module-replacement mode and starts a webpack dev server that sends hot updates to the renderer process:

$ npm run dev

Alternatively, you can run the renderer and main processes separately. This way, you can restart one process without waiting for the other. Run these two commands simultaneously in different console tabs:

$ npm run start-renderer-dev
$ npm run start-main-dev


To package apps for the local platform:

$ npm run package

To package apps for all platforms:

First, refer to Multi Platform Build for dependencies.


$ npm run package-all

To package apps with options:

$ npm run package -- --[option]

To run End-to-End Test

$ npm run build
$ npm run test-e2e

💡 You can debug your production build with devtools by simply setting the DEBUG_PROD env variable:

DEBUG_PROD=true npm run package

How to add modules to the project

You will need to add other modules to this boilerplate, depending on the requirements of your project. For example, you may want to add node-postgres to communicate with PostgreSQL database, or material-ui to reuse react UI components.

⚠️ Please read the following section before installing any dependencies ⚠️

Module Structure

This boilerplate uses a two package.json structure. This means, you will have two package.json files.

  1. ./package.json in the root of your project
  2. ./app/package.json inside app folder

Which package.json file to use

Rule of thumb is: all modules go into ./package.json except native modules. Native modules go into ./app/package.json.

  1. If the module is native to a platform (like node-postgres), it should be listed under dependencies in ./app/package.json
  2. If a module is imported by another module, include it in dependencies in ./package.json. See this ESLint rule. Examples of such modules are material-ui, redux-form, and moment.
  3. Otherwise, modules used for building, testing and debugging should be included in devDependencies in ./package.json.

Further Readings

See the wiki page, Module Structure — Two package.json Structure to understand what is native module, the rationale behind two package.json structure and more.

For an example app that uses this boilerplate and packages native dependencies, see erb-sqlite-example.

CSS Modules

This boilerplate is configured to use css-modules out of the box.

All .css file extensions will use css-modules unless it has .global.css.

If you need global styles, stylesheets with .global.css will not go through the css-modules loader. e.g.

If you want to import global css libraries (like bootstrap), you can just write the following code in .global.css:

@import '~bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.css';

Sass support

If you want to use Sass in your app, you only need to import .sass files instead of .css once:

import './'

Static Type Checking

This project comes with Flow support out of the box! You can annotate your code with types, get Flow errors as ESLint errors, and get type errors during runtime during development. Types are completely optional.

Dispatching redux actions from main process

See #118 and #108

How to keep your project updated with the boilerplate

If your application is a fork from this repo, you can add this repo to another git remote:

git remote add upstream

Then, use git to merge some latest commits:

git pull upstream master



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MIT © C. T. Lin