Dependency Management

When creating electron applications, dependency management can be a little different for specific cases. To make sure everybody is on the same page, make sure to take a look at the below documentation.

Using yarn

As previously mentioned, the use of the yarn package manager is strongly recommened, as opposed to npm. Aside from a more stable dependency tree, one other major benefit to using yarn is the ability to clean your node_modules to help eliminate redudant files that will help reduce your application's final build size.

package.json

dependencies

These dependencies will be included in your final production application. If your application needs a certain module to function, then install it here!

devDependencies

These dependecies will not be included in your final production application. Here you can install modules needed specifically for development, like build scripts, task runners, webpack accessories, etc.

Installing Native Node Modules

When using native node modules, those written in C/C++, we need to ensure they are built against electron's packaged node version. We can use electron-builder's install-app-deps command to rebuild those modules to resolve any conflicts we might run into.

Running install-app-deps
yarn add electron-builder --dev
./node_modules/.bin/electron-builder install-app-deps

It may also be worth adding a package.json script for this command if you plan on using it often (yarn rebuild-deps).

{
  "scripts": {
    "rebuild-deps": "electron-builder install-app-deps"
  }
}

If you choose not to use electron-builder as your build tool, you can still run the command using npx without side affects.

# Using `npm@^5.2.0`
npx electron-builder install-app-deps

Final Notes

If you do expect your application to use native node modules, it is highly recommened to use electron-builder for your build tool as it handles these conflicts for you during the build step.

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