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SDK to build desktop apps using HTML5/CSS/JS for frontend and server script for backend
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apps/php-demo1 MAJOR update. Introducing PHP port etc. See :) Oct 3, 2013
bin fixed the problem thta third-party COM object form/dialog does not sh… Jan 7, 2015
installer Updated Chromium, added DMG creator, etc etc Dec 22, 2013
node_modules added deskshell-api as a submodule. Nov 18, 2013
.gitignore Updated Chromium, added DMG creator, etc etc Dec 22, 2013
.gitmodules added deskshell-api as a submodule. Nov 18, 2013
LICENSE Added Windows Portable installer link. Nov 18, 2013
desk.decl Deskshell is now totally ported - HORRAY! Sep 25, 2013
desk.decl-defs Deskshell is now totally ported - HORRAY! Sep 25, 2013
package.json Added NSIS dependency Nov 18, 2013


Deskshell is a SDK that provides a shell (as in egg shell) around web applications so that they can run on the desktop. It gives you a modern HTML5 / CSS / JS frontend for your user interface, but then allows full backend functionality written in popular server scripting languages that anyone can pick up like node or php (more choices coming soon). This makes it possible to read and write directly to disk, access databases, communicate with servers and solve the task at hand.

Try it out now with the following download:


We are a very diverse community that welcomes people who have english as a second language. We are open and welcoming to new people both experienced super hackers and newbies alike. We would love this project to be your first accepted commit to an open source project. There are also many things that are not strictly coding that you can do, maybe you can write an example app, improve our documentation, answer questions on the forums or write a tutorial. Mostly just have fun making apps and when you see something that could be better have a go at improving it and then share it with the community.

Join us on the mailing list

Source Code:

The quickest way to start is to download the distributable for your platform and try making some applications. The distributable will launch an example application that also serves as documentation and guide for the project. To get deskshell source code, clone the repository and get all submodules.

git clone deskshell
cd deskshell
git submodule init

If you want to get the latest versions of the node modules deskshell uses then run:

npm update

Then look at the readme for your platform ( Windows Readme | MacOS Readme | Linux Readme )


This project grew out of the excellent work of Milani, Benvie and others on the appjs project. It is very similar in spirit and nature but the source code is based in javascript rather than C++ which the majority of our users are more familiar with. This expands the pool of programmers that can contribute to the project and makes it more accessible for beginners. If you have C++ skills then you are welcome to help us on creating and improving an embedded chromium frontend for deskshell.

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