WARNING: This module has been renamed to nw-builder. Install using nw-builder instead, node-webkit-builder will no longer be updated.
Last updated 5 years ago by adam-lynch .
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node-webkit-builder NPM version Build Status Dependency Status


Lets you build your node-webkit apps for mac, win and linux via cli. It will download the prebuilt binaries for a newest version, unpacks it, creates a release folder, create the app.nw file for a specified directory and copies the app.nw file where it belongs.


npm install node-webkit-builder --save-dev
npm install node-webkit-builder -g
Grunt and Gulp Plugins

Yes, there is also a Grunt Plugin. For Gulp, just use the module :)


Usage: nwbuild [options] [path]

  -p, --platforms      Platforms to build, comma-sperated, can be: win32,win64,osx32,osx64,linux32,linux64   ['osx32', 'osx64', 'win32', 'win64']
  -v, --version        The nw version, eg. 0.8.4                                             [default: "latest"]
  -r, --run            Runs node-webkit for the current platform                            [default: false]  
  -o, --buildDir       The build folder                                                      [default: "./build"]
  -f, --forceDownload  Force download of node-webkit                                         [default: false]
  --quiet              Disables logging                                                      [default: false]

Run node-webkit

During development you can run node-webkit with nwbuild -r path/to/your/younwapp/

Or use the module:

var NwBuilder = require('node-webkit-builder');
var nw = new NwBuilder({
    files: './path/to/nwfiles/**/**', // use the glob format
    platforms: ['osx32', 'osx64', 'win32', 'win64']

//Log stuff you want

nw.on('log',  console.log);

// Build returns a promise () {
   console.log('all done!');
}).catch(function (error) {

build also supports callbacks: {
    if(err) console.log(err);


options.files Required

Type: String
Default value: null

The path to your node webkit app. It supports simple-glob so you can do stuff like ['foo/*.js', '!foo/bar.js', 'foo/bar.js'].


Type: String Default value: 'latest'

The version of node-webkit you want to use. Per default it looks up the latest version. Here is a list of all available releases


Type: Array
Default value: ['osx32', 'osx64', 'win32', 'win64']

The platforms you want to build. Can be ['win32', 'win64', 'osx32', 'osx64', 'linux32', 'linux64']

The values ['win', 'osx', 'linux'] can also be used and will build both the 32 and 64 bit versions of the specified platforms.


Type: String
Default value: false

The Name of your node-webkit app. If this value is set to null, it will autodetect the name form your projects package.json. This will be used to generate a plist file for mac.


Type: String
Default value: false

The version of your node-webkit app. If this value is set to null, it will autodetect the version form your projects package.json. This will be used to generate a plist file for mac.


Type: String
Default value: ./build

This is where the releases are saved.


Type: String
Default value: ./cache

This is where the cached node-webkit downloads are


Type: String or function Default value: default

How you want to save your build.

  • default [appName]
  • versioned [appName] -v[appVersion]
  • timestamped [appName] - [timestamp];
  • A function with options as scope (e.g function () {return this.appVersion;} )


Type: Boolean
Default value: false

This will delete everything in your build_dir directory, including the cached downloaded prebuilt binaries


Type: String
Default value: false

MAC ONLY: The path to your credits.html file. If your don't provide your own it will use the one provided by node-webkit


Type: String
Default value: false

MAC ONLY: The path to your ICNS icon file. If your don't provide your own it will use the one provided by node-webkit


Type: Boolean
Default value: false

MAC ONLY: Use a app.nw folder instead of ZIP file, this significantly improves the startup speed of applications on mac, since no decompressing is needed. Builds on other platforms will still use ZIP files.


Type: String or Object
Default value: false

MAC ONLY: Pass a string containing the path to your own plist file. If a string isn't passed, a plist file will be generated from your package.json. Pass an object to overwrite or add properties to the generated plist file.


Type: String
Default value: null

WINDOWS ONLY: The path to your ICO icon file. If your don't provide your own it will use the one provided by node-webkit. If you are building on MAC or LINUX you must have Wine installed to use this option.

Manifest Options


Allows you to specify platform-specific manifest values. Example manifest:

    "name": "nw-demo",
    "version": "0.1.0",
    "main": "index.html",
    "window": {
        "frame": false,
        "toolbar": false
    "platformOverrides": {
        "win": {
            "window": {
                "toolbar": true
        "win32": {
            "window": {
                "frame": true,
                "toolbar": false
        "win64": {
            "window": {
                "frame": true
        "osx": {
        "osx32": {
        "osx64": {
        "linux": {
        "linux32": {
        "linux64": {

The platform-specific options will override the others only when building that platform only and the platformOverrides property will be removed.

For example, when building for Windows, the manifest generated and put into the end app (from the manifest above) would be:

    "name": "nw-demo",
    "version": "0.1.0",
    "main": "index.html",
    "window": {
        "frame": true,
        "toolbar": false

Additionally, when specifying multiple version of the same platform such as "win", "win32", and "win64", changes will be applied such that "win" applies to both "win32" and "win64", while "win32" and "win64" apply only to the specified version. Also note that "win32" and "win64" can further override changes made in "win".

See #85 and #94 for more information. If you need this during development too, see platform-overrides and gulp-platform-overrides. There is no Grunt plugin, yet.

## Troubleshooting

OSX ulimit

Darwin (OS X kernel) has a low limit for file descriptors (256 per process) by default, so you might get an EMFILE error or an error mentioning "too many open files" if youtry to open more file descriptors than this.

To get around it, run ulimit -n 1024 (or add it to your ~/.bash_profile). For more information, see henvic/osx-ulimit.



Release History

  • 2015-05-05 1.0.12 when using latest NW.js version, it's first validated that it's not an alpha version (fixes #222). Plus a fix for the winIco & macIcns command line options
  • 2015-01-29 1.0.8 fixed EMFILE errors (see #147 #148)
  • 2015-01-21 1.0.7 fixed about screen when copyright is not supplied
  • 2015-01-15 1.0.6 fixed downloads for nw.js version 0.12.0-alpha1
  • 2015-01-15 1.0.5 fixed downloads for node-webkit versions < 0.12.0-alpha
  • 2014-12-12 1.0.0 64-bit support, improved platform-overrides and no more EMFILE errors.
  • 2014-12-07 0.4.0 macPlist CFBundleIdentifier is generated from package.json (see #131)
  • 2014-11-14 0.3.0 macPlist option improvements (see #96)
  • 2014-10-30 0.2.0 adds support for platform-specific manifest overrides (see #94)
  • 2014-08-19 0.1.2 adds a progress bar to downloads, fixes downloading through a proxy, fixed winIco, bug fixes
  • 2014-08-01 0.1.0 use app filename for generated executables, optimized version checking, (known issue: winIco on windows)
  • 2014-07-31 0.0.4 fixed compatibility with nodewebkit 0.10.0
  • 2014-04-20 Added run option, bug fixes
  • 2014-04-13 Preview Release


MIT License

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