Debugging with devtools

Cong Liu edited this page Mar 30, 2016 · 20 revisions
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NOTE: some content in this wiki applies only to 0.12 and earlier versions. For official documentation on 0.13 and later, see

Note: following guides only apply to node-webkit >= v0.3.0

Open Developer Tools

In order to show the devtools button in toolbar, you should edit package.json to make sure your window shows the toolbar:

  "window": {
    "toolbar": true

Then you can open devtools from the devtools button (the one on the right of url entry) in the toolbar.

Alternatively, even when this button (or the toolbar as a whole) is not visible, you may open devtools programmatically (calling the node-webkit's require('nw.gui').Window.get().showDevTools() method from one of your scripts).

Requirement: On Windows and Linux, you need to make sure nw.pak is in the same directory with nw (Linux) or nw.exe (Windows).

Remote Debugging

You can use the --remote-debugging-port=port command parameter to specify which port the devtools should listen to. For example, by running nw --remote-debugging-port=9222, you can open http://localhost:9222/ to visit the debugger remotely.

Bugs of Developer Tools

Currently not everything of developer tools is working well, below are the things that don't work:

  • node modules don't show in script sources

Why does devtools show an empty window?

Under certain network settings, it may show a white page for devtools. This might not be a bug of node-webkit, devtools in node-webkit is indeed a remote debugger, it needs to open a local server and transfer data via sockets.

So if you encounter empty window when opening the devtools, please check following things:

  • nw.pak should be in the same directory with nw.exe.
  • Your proxy settings: bypass localhost in the settings.