electron-with-express

by frankhale

A simple app that demonstrates spawning an Express app from Electron

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electron-with-express

A simple project demonstrating how to spawn an Express app from Electron as well as providing server logs directly in the Electron app.

Express App:

Express-App

Press 'F1' to show the server log:

Server-Log

Additional Information

The

express-app
folder is just a vanilla Express generated app using
express-generator
. Actually, this used to be the case but I moved the default routes from the routes folder to the root to make it a little easier to follow.

How to run

  1. Clone the code repository.
  2. Open terminal to code repository.
  3. Run
    npm install
    . (See Dependencies above)
  4. Change directories to the express-app folder and run
    npm install
    .
  5. Change directories back to the root of the code repository.
  6. Run
    npm start
    to start the application.

Package with Electron-Packager

If you would like to package this using

electron-packager
you'll need to make the following change:

In index.html (line ~65):

app = require("electron").remote.app),
node = spawn(".\\node_modules\\node\\bin\\node.exe", ["./express-app/bin/www"], {
  cwd: app.getAppPath()
});

This makes sure the path to our local copy of

node.exe
is correct when we run electron to start the app.

That said, I'm assuming the platform is Windows. If other platforms are desirable additional changes are required.

Package with Electron-Packager (ASAR)

In this scenario you will not need to have Node.exe and Node.lib like the README states. Using

child_process.fork
instead of
child_process.spawn
allows our code to work in exactly the same way but Electron will be used to spawn a new process for the Express server instead of our copy of Node.

In

index.html
around line 64 change the code to:
app = require("electron").remote.app),
node = require("child_process").fork(
    `${app.getAppPath()}/express-app/bin/www`,
    [],
    {
      stdio: ["pipe", "pipe", "pipe", "ipc"]
    };

You can then package the code up using the command line:

electron-packager . --overwrite --platform=win32 --arch=x64 --prune=true --out=release-builds --version-string.CompanyName=CE --version-string.FileDescription=CE --version-string.ProductName=\"Electron-With-Express\" --asar

Author(s)

Frank Hale <[email protected]> 28 January 2020

License

MIT - see LICENSE

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