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Build Status

  • 1.x releases use: Vue 2 + NW.js latest + Vue-CLI 4
  • 2.x releases use: Vue 3 + NW.js latest + Vue-CLI latest

A screenshot of the default app running on Windows

Comes with:

  • NW.js 0.60.0
    • Chrome 97
    • Node 17.3.0
  • Vue-CLI 4.5.15
  • Vue 2.6.14
  • Vue-DevTools (latest)
  • Babel
  • ESLint
    • Vue Linting
    • A11Y Linting
    • Jest Linting
  • Jest (100% test coverage)
  • Jest Serializer Vue (TJW)

Does this work for web or just desktop?

Both. This repo will build both for web and desktop and includes a simple this.isDesktop flag so you can add Desktop specific features that won't show on the web. This repo has 100% test coverage including tests for both web and desktop builds. You could even theoretically add NativeScript-Vue into the mix and build for native mobile as well (though that is not set up in this repo).

Why not include Vue-Router or Vuex?

Those are both very easily added from the Vue-CLI. There is also no custom styling libraries (Bulma, Bootstrap, etc), or meta-languages (Sass, TS, Pug, etc), or component libraries (Vuetify, Inkline, etc). This repo is meant to be the "go to" option for building all desktop apps using Vue. So it avoids pushing any particular choices on to you. With the exception of testing being set up for Jest, and Linting being set up to ensure minumum quality of this boilerplate repo itself. Both of which can be easily modified, ignored, or removed.

If you want to load the app with a splash screen, check the nw-splasher branch.


In all .vue components, you have access to nw, global, process, require, and the boolean isDesktop:

methods: {
  example: function () {
    if (this.isDesktop) {
      console.log('Your OS is ' + this.process.platform);
      console.log('Your AppData location is ' + this.nw.App.dataPath);
      // Sets a value on Node's global, meaning other windows have access to this data. = 'moo';
      // The contents of the current directory

Or even directly from the template (with some slight changes to work within the Vue context):

<div v-if="isDesktop">
  Your OS is {{ process.platform }}.
  Your AppData location is {{ nw.App.dataPath }}.
  <button @click=" = 'moo'">
    Clicking this button sets a value on Node's global.
    Meaning other windows have access to this data.
  The contents of the current directory are {{ nw.require('fs').readdirSync('.') }}.

Running Locally for development

  1. npm install
  2. npm start
  3. Once Webpack finishes starting up your app will appear in a window

Building for distribution

  1. npm run build:clean will delete your ./dist and ./dist-vue folders
  2. npm run build:vue will build just your Vue app for distribution (./dist-vue)
  3. npm run build:nw will build just your NW.js app (./dist)
  4. npm run build is your all-in-one command. It will clean out the old dist folders and build your Vue and NW.js app


They take a long time. If you do npm run build expect it to take 10-30 minutes. This can be adjusted by changing the build params in the package.json. The more platforms and build types, the longer it takes. You can also remove the --concurrent from the build:nw script to see a status of what has been completed. This will allow individual pieces to finish faster, but the entire build will take longer.

Automated quality enforcment

  1. Linting: npm run lint - Uses rules in ./eslint.json
  2. Unit tests: npm run test:unit - Jest.
  3. End-to-end: npm run test:e2e - Accepting PR to make tests run in NW.js. - Nightwatch.

Customize configuration

Want Vue-Router? Vuex? Use the Vue-CLI to add them:

Updating Vue-DevTools

To update your version of Vue-DevTools run npm run update:vue-devtools.

This will download the source code for the latest version of Vue-DevTools and do a custom build for NW.js. This ensures you always have the latest version.


  • nwjs-vue - Uses Vue-CLI 2
  • vue-desktop-basic - Does not use a build system at all, all .vue files run directly in the browser context

Maintainence of this repo

This is not for those using this repo, but for those maintaining it.

  1. When updating the version of NW.js devDependency, also update these:
    • package.json devDeps, build nwVersion
    • tests/unit/setup.js
    • tests/unit/components/__snapshots__/HelloWorld.test.js.snap
    • .browserslistrc
  2. Update the version numbers at the top of the README
  3. Bump the version number, and all the npm scripts that reference the version number
  4. Run npm run regression after updating dependencies or other major changes to verify builds still work correctly