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A complete solution to package and build a ready for distribution Electron app for macOS, Windows and Linux with “auto update” support out of the box.

  • NPM packages management:
  • Code Signing on a CI server or development machine.
  • Auto Update ready application packaging.
  • Numerous target formats:
    • All platforms: 7z, zip, tar.xz, tar.lz, tar.gz, tar.bz2, dir (unpacked directory).
    • macOS: dmg, pkg, mas, mas-dev.
    • Linux: AppImage, snap, debian package (deb), rpm, freebsd, pacman, p5p, apk.
    • Windows: nsis (Installer), nsis-web (Web installer), portable (portable app without installation), AppX (Windows Store), Squirrel.Windows.
  • Publishing artifacts to GitHub Releases, Amazon S3, DigitalOcean Spaces and Bintray.
  • Advanced building:
    • Pack in a distributable format already packaged app.
    • Separate build steps.
    • Build and publish in parallel, using hard links on CI server to reduce IO and disk space usage.
    • electron-compile support (compile for release-time on the fly on build).
  • Docker images to build Electron app for Linux or Windows on any platform.
  • Proton Native support.
  • Downloads all required tools files on demand automatically (e.g. to code sign windows application, to make AppX), no need to setup.
Question Answer
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Yarn is strongly recommended instead of npm.

yarn add electron-builder --dev

Note for PNPM

In order to use with pnpm, you’ll need to adjust your .npmrc to use any one the following approaches in order for your dependencies to be bundled correctly (ref: #6389):


Note: Setting shamefully-hoist to true is the same as setting public-hoist-pattern to *.

Note for Yarn 3

Yarn 3 use PnP by default, but electron-builder still need node-modules(ref: yarnpkg/berry#4804). Add configuration in the .yarnrc.yaml as follows:

nodeLinker: "node-modules"
will declare to use node-modules instead of PnP.


Quick Setup Guide

electron-webpack-quick-start is a recommended way to create a new Electron application.

  1. Specify the standard fields in the application package.jsonname, description, version and author.

  2. Specify the build configuration in the package.json as follows:

    "build": {
      "appId": "",
      "mac": {
        "category": ""
    See all options. Option files to indicate which files should be packed in the final application, including the entry file, maybe required.

  3. Add icons.

  4. Add the scripts key to the development package.json:

    "scripts": {
      "pack": "electron-builder --dir",
      "dist": "electron-builder"
    Then you can run yarn dist (to package in a distributable format (e.g. dmg, windows installer, deb package)) or yarn run pack (only generates the package directory without really packaging it. This is useful for testing purposes).

    To ensure your native dependencies always matched the electron version, simply add script "postinstall": "electron-builder install-app-deps" to your package.json.

  5. If you have native addons of your own that are part of the application (not as a dependency), set nodeGypRebuild to true.

Please note that everything is packaged into an asar archive by default.

For an app that will be shipped to production, you should sign your application. See Where to buy code signing certificates.

Programmatic Usage

See node_modules/electron-builder/out/index.d.ts. Typings for TypeScript are provided and also can be found here.

Code snippit provided below is also shown “in action” here as well.

"use strict"

const builder = require("electron-builder")
const Platform = builder.Platform

// Promise is returned{
  targets: Platform.MAC.createTarget(),
  config: {
   "//": "build options, see"
  .then(() => {
    // handle result
  .catch((error) => {
    // handle error

Pack Only in a Distributable Format

You can use electron-builder only to pack your electron app in a AppImage, Snaps, Debian package, NSIS, macOS installer component package (pkg) and other distributable formats.

./node_modules/.bin/electron-builder --prepackaged <packed dir>

--projectDir (the path to project directory) option also can be useful.


Set the DEBUG environment variable to debug what electron-builder is doing:


FPM_DEBUG env to add more details about building linux targets (except snap and appimage).


On Windows the environment variable is set using the set command.

set DEBUG=electron-builder


PowerShell uses different syntax to set environment variables.