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cra-craco-electron-example

cra-craco-electron-example demonstrates how to set up a react project (using TypeScript) and build it for both the Web and as a standalone electron app.

Medium post: https://medium.com/@andrew.rapo/using-create-react-app-craco-to-build-apps-for-both-the-web-and-electron-8f4ab827877f

This project was bootstrapped with Create React App, like...

create-react-app cra-craco-electron-example --typescript

In this project the @craco/craco module is used to override the create-react-app default webpack config instructing it to build for the electron-renderer. This allows the app to run in electron AND have access to the filesystem, etc. See: craco.config.js

let target = 'web';
if (process.env.REACT_APP_MODE === 'electron') {
  target = 'electron-renderer'
}
console.log(`craco.config.js: setting webpack target to: ${target}`);

module.exports = {
    webpack: {
        configure: {
            target: target
        }
    }
};

environment variables

Environment variables are used at runtime to enable/disable features depending on what the browser or Electron supports.

.env.web

REACT_APP_NAME=myApp
REACT_APP_MODE=web

.env.electron

REACT_APP_NAME=myApp
REACT_APP_MODE=electron

at runtime...

let fs: any;
if (process.env.REACT_APP_MODE == 'electron') {
    console.log(`REQUIRING fs-extra`);
    fs = require('fs-extra');
}

export default class TestFs {

    static getDirectoryListing(): string {
        if (process.env.REACT_APP_MODE == 'electron') {
            let files = fs.readdirSync('.');
            return JSON.stringify(files, null, 2);
        } else {
            return 'Directory listing is not available in the browser.'
        }
    }
}

prerequisites

  • install node (i.e. v8.12.0)
  • install yarn

install

yarn

web

To develop for the Web and automatically launch a browser window for development...

yarn start:web

To build for the Web...

yarn build:web

electron

To build for the electron, launch an electron window and reload electron automatically while developing...

yarn watch:electron

and in another console tab...

yarn start:electron-dev

electron 5 compatibility

mainWindow = new BrowserWindow({width: 1024, height: 768});

change to:
mainWindow = new BrowserWindow({width: 1024, height: 768, webPreferences: { nodeIntegration: true }});

electron 6 compatibility

// Deprecated
require('fs')
// Replace with
require('electron').remote.require('fs')

electron-builder

To build a native application (i.e. for MacOS)...

yarn build:electron
yarn dist

Then launch the dmg found in the dist folder or open the app in dist/mac

Other available Scripts (Create React App)

In the project directory, you can run:

npm start

Runs the app in the development mode.
Open http://localhost:3000 to view it in the browser.

The page will reload if you make edits.
You will also see any lint errors in the console.

npm test

Launches the test runner in the interactive watch mode.
See the section about running tests for more information.

npm run build

Builds the app for production to the build folder.
It correctly bundles React in production mode and optimizes the build for the best performance.

The build is minified and the filenames include the hashes.
Your app is ready to be deployed!

See the section about deployment for more information.

npm run eject

Note: this is a one-way operation. Once you eject, you can’t go back!

If you aren’t satisfied with the build tool and configuration choices, you can eject at any time. This command will remove the single build dependency from your project.

Instead, it will copy all the configuration files and the transitive dependencies (Webpack, Babel, ESLint, etc) right into your project so you have full control over them. All of the commands except eject will still work, but they will point to the copied scripts so you can tweak them. At this point you’re on your own.

You don’t have to ever use eject. The curated feature set is suitable for small and middle deployments, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to use this feature. However we understand that this tool wouldn’t be useful if you couldn’t customize it when you are ready for it.

Learn More

You can learn more in the Create React App documentation.

To learn React, check out the React documentation.

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