Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Embed
What would you like to do?
How to make an electron app using Create-React-App and Electron with Electron-Builder.

Note: This post is a summary of information paraphrased from an excellent blog post by Christian Sepulveda.

Prerequisites

Instructions

Create the app and download the necessary dependencies.

create-react-app my-app
cd my-app
yarn add electron --dev
yarn add electron-builder --dev
yarn global add foreman # for process management
yarn install

Add electron-quick-start's main.js to src folder as electron-starter.js.

Make the mainWindow.loadUrl call look like this instead:

// load the index.html of the app.
const startUrl = process.env.ELECTRON_START_URL || url.format({
    pathname: path.join(__dirname, '/../build/index.html'),
    protocol: 'file:',
    slashes: true
});
mainWindow.loadURL(startUrl);

Create a file called electron-wait-react.js in src directory:

const net = require('net');
const port = process.env.PORT ? (process.env.PORT - 100) : 3000;

process.env.ELECTRON_START_URL = `http://localhost:${port}`;

const client = new net.Socket();

let startedElectron = false;
const tryConnection = () => client.connect({port: port}, () => {
        client.end();
        if(!startedElectron) {
            console.log('starting electron');
            startedElectron = true;
            const exec = require('child_process').exec;
            exec('npm run electron');
        }
    }
);

tryConnection();

client.on('error', (error) => {
    setTimeout(tryConnection, 1000);
});

Ensure that the name, description, author, and version fields of your package.json are filled out. Then make the package.json look like this at the bottom:

"homepage": "./",
  "main": "src/electron-starter.js",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "nf start -p 3000",
    "build": "react-scripts build",
    "test": "react-scripts test --env=jsdom",
    "eject": "react-scripts eject",
    "electron": "electron .",
    "electron-start": "node src/electron-wait-react",
    "react-start": "react-scripts start",
    "pack": "build --dir",
    "dist": "npm run build && build",
    "postinstall": "install-app-deps"
},
"build": {
    "appId": "com.electron.electron-with-create-react-app",
    "win": {
        "iconUrl": "https://cdn2.iconfinder.com/data/icons/designer-skills/128/react-256.png"
    },
    "directories": {
        "buildResources": "public"
    }
}

Note: The electron-builder quick-start instructions can be found here.

Create a file called Procfile in the root folder of the app and put the following code in it:

react: npm run react-start
electron: npm run electron-start

Run using:

yarn start
@kingsukhoi
Copy link

kingsukhoi commented Mar 13, 2018

May I suggest adding npm-run-all to devDependencies and put this in scripts

"start": "run-p \"reactStart\" \"electronStart\"",
    "electronStart":"electron .",
    "reactStart": "react-scripts start",

Also need to add BROWSER="NONE" to your .env file so your browser dosen't open.
This allows electron to start when you run start.

@simonsankar
Copy link

simonsankar commented Apr 6, 2018

@Nahasean94 @mhebrard I think i got a solution.
So i tried just doing yarn dist: didnt work due to the build config specified here not being good enough now.
So i removed it completely and ran yarn dist again: (CRA is now supported by electron-builder so it makes its own proper config), but new problem.
The config looks for an electron.js file in the public folder to run the app.. so basically the electron-starter.js just without the devTools open. So i copied it into the public and renamed it to electron.js and ran yarn dist yet again. This time it worked, it builds the reactscript then the electron part, but be sure to wait for the process to be complete building everything. :D
So to tidy things up, just change the main entry point in your package.json to 'public/electron.js' and use that instead of the electron-starter.js that was in src folder just to avoid using 2 of the same files basically.
Hope this helps! :D

@ofarukcaki
Copy link

ofarukcaki commented May 22, 2018

After building app, when I launched the only thing I see is a white screen with "React App" title. What I'm doing wrong? Any idea

@Ferigit
Copy link

Ferigit commented May 26, 2018

Hi, I am also getting the same problem as @ofarukcaki(blank page with no error in devtools). Could you solve it?

@victorbueno
Copy link

victorbueno commented Jun 8, 2018

Add "extends": null to build block. See Issue 2030

@Howl0s
Copy link

Howl0s commented Jun 22, 2018

@kingsukhoi I get Uncaught Exception: ReferenceError: url is not defined at App.createWindow in a modal on top of a white screen electron app

@skwid138
Copy link

skwid138 commented Oct 13, 2018

Using this gist and what @simonsankar said I created a repo with these changes as to use as a template. Hope it's helpful to someone.

@nayunhwan
Copy link

nayunhwan commented Jan 11, 2019

I created Electron-Create-React-App-TypeScript Repository following this document. Thx a lot! 👍

@zcmgyu
Copy link

zcmgyu commented Feb 5, 2019

I’ve injected electron-prebuilt-compile into project to use ES6 syntax (cannot use spread operator). So I added babel loader as well but Create-react-app will give a warning related to babel config.
If you don’t mind could you please give me some idea to resolve it. (bow)

@HadyZ
Copy link

HadyZ commented Feb 22, 2019

Hi, I moved step by step and I faced these errors can you help?

$ npm start > airport-miami@0.1.0 start C:\Users\Dev\desktop\itxi\React\airport-miami > nf start -p 3000 2:23:22 PM react.1 | > airport-miami@0.1.0 react-start C:\Users\Dev\desktop\ itxi\React\airport-miami 2:23:22 PM react.1 | > BROWSER=none react-scripts start 2:23:22 PM react.1 | 'BROWSER' is not recognized as an internal or external command, 2:23:22 PM react.1 | operable program or batch file. 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm 2:23:22 PM react.1 | ERR! code 2:23:22 PM react.1 | ELIFECYCLE 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm 2:23:22 PM react.1 | ERR! errno 2:23:22 PM react.1 | 1 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm 2:23:22 PM react.1 | ERR! airport-miami@0.1.0 react-start: BROWSER=none re act-scripts start 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm 2:23:22 PM react.1 | ERR! Exit status 1 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm ERR! 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm ERR! Failed at the airport-miami@0.1.0 react-start script. 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm ERR! This is probably not a problem with npm. There is likely additional logging output above. 2:23:22 PM electron.1 | > airport-miami@0.1.0 electron-start C:\Users\Dev\deskt op\itxi\React\airport-miami 2:23:22 PM electron.1 | > node src/start-react 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm ERR! A complete log of this run can be found in: 2:23:22 PM react.1 | npm ERR! 2:23:22 PM react.1 | C:\Users\Dev\AppData\Roaming\npm-cache_logs\2019- 02-22T12_23_22_605Z-debug.log [DONE] Killing all processes with signal SIGINT 2:23:22 PM react.1 Exited with exit code null 2:23:42 PM electron.1 | (node:1068) MaxListenersExceededWarning: Possible Event Emitter memory leak detected. 11 connect listeners added. Use emitter.setMaxList eners() to increase limit

@vince1393
Copy link

vince1393 commented Jan 6, 2020

@simonsankar
I tried what you recommended here and cant seem to figure it out. I've checked out a few of your repos and it looks like your dist command is the same.

the error i keep getting on yarn dist is 'build' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

Did you have any luck solving this?

@mieco
Copy link

mieco commented Jan 9, 2020

@vince1393
I got the same error, and I use electron-builder instead of build, it works for me.

@simonsankar
Copy link

simonsankar commented Jan 13, 2020

@vince1393 Oh man I havent done any electron projects in a while, and I dont think i ran into that issue. Have you tried cloning either https://github.com/simonsankar/cra-electron-starter or https://github.com/skwid138/electron-create-react-app?

@vince1393
Copy link

vince1393 commented Jan 14, 2020

So i managed to get it to build by using electron builder. I switched my scripts to:

"scripts": { "start": "nf start -p 3000", "build": "react-scripts build", "test": "react-scripts test --env=jsdom", "eject": "react-scripts eject", "electron": "electron .", "electron-start": "node src/electron-wait-react", "react-start": "react-scripts start", "pack": "electron-builder --dir", "dist": "react-scripts build && electron-builder --win -p always", "postinstall": "install-app-deps" }

I followed the file structure of this: https://github.com/getstream/winds

If anyone runs into this issue, I have a repo here that builds correctly using yarn dist
https://github.com/vince1393/movie_manager

Thanks @simonsankar and @mieco for your help!

@simonsankar
Copy link

simonsankar commented Jan 16, 2020

Ahh thats great to hear!
I just cloned my starter and on my end it still works
Ill try out your edit next

@truonghongtrieu
Copy link

truonghongtrieu commented Apr 3, 2020

Also need to add BROWSER="NONE" to your .env file so your browser dosen't open.
This allows electron to start when you run start.

Thanks @kingsukhoi
This is exactly what I am looking for:
Adding BROWSER="NONE" prevents the browser from opening so that only the Electron app is running.

@alilou99
Copy link

alilou99 commented Oct 16, 2021

i created on it works , but electron api did not work.
I'm tired of trying so much. Please help me to clone the project (react + electron with work electron api ).

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment