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How to run Express inside an Electron app

How to run Express inside an Electron app

You can run your Express app very easily inside your Electron app.

All you need to do is to:

  • place all the files of your Express app inside a new app folder in your_electron_app\resources\app
  • reconfigure the app.js file
  • refactor some relative pathes in your Express app

Configure app.js

You should start your Express app before opening a new BrowserWindow and the load a new mainWindow like this:

const express = require('./express'); //your express app

app.on('ready', function() {
  express();
  mainWindow = new BrowserWindow({
    width: 1280,
    height: 720,
    autoHideMenuBar: true,
    useContentSize: true,
    resizable: false,
  });
  mainWindow.loadURL('http://localhost:5000/');
  mainWindow.focus();

});

Refactor pathes

Pathes in Electron don't work the same way they do in your Express app.

You have to make them all from relative to absolute pathes first.

So instead of doing this:

app.set('views', '/client/views');
app.use(express.static(/client/dist/static));

you have to do this:

app.set('views', __dirname + '/client/views');
app.use(express.static(__dirname + '/client/dist/static'));
@Brijeshlakkad
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Brijeshlakkad commented Mar 17, 2021

Yes, you can have a class that extends EventEmitter and just create a single instance of that class. Use this instance everywhere and listen to the event.

The second way: You can import a function into the file which has express Js from main.js which can be called to manipulates the data of main.js.

@skandonkumar
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skandonkumar commented Mar 17, 2021

Yes, you can have a class that extends EventEmitter and just create a single instance of that class. Use this instance everywhere and listen to the event.

The second way: You can import a function into the file which has express Js from main.js which can be called to manipulates the data of main.js.

I will try the EventEmitter. Thank You

@chriszrc
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chriszrc commented Sep 14, 2022

Starting express in a forked child process works great when you want to keep the main thread from freezing:

const { fork } = require("child_process");

  let ps;
  //...
  ps = fork(`${__dirname}/../out-tsc/server-app/main.js`, [], {
    cwd: `${__dirname}/../`,
  });

@Nestoter
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Nestoter commented Sep 20, 2022

Starting express in a forked child process works great when you want to keep the main thread from freezing:

const { fork } = require("child_process");

  let ps;
  //...
  ps = fork(`${__dirname}/../out-tsc/server-app/main.js`, [], {
    cwd: `${__dirname}/../`,
  });

You are the man.

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