Cross Platform HTML5 Desktop GUI Using Electron

Build GUI For Desktop Applications Using Node.js And Electron

Node.js is an open-source cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment. Electron is an open source project that embeds Chromium and Node.js to create desktop applications.

Electron is maintained by the OpenJS Foundation which was founded in 2019 from a merger of JS Foundation and Node.js Foundation.

Electron requires a basic understanding of JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

Electron may be used for a future desktop only version of Learning PHP eBook.

This tutorial will create a simple multiplatform GUI application that can be used as a starting template.

For this example, I will assume that Node.js is installed with your preferred package manager. You do not need to know JavaScript or HTML programming, as it is easy to grasp the basic tasks and follow along.

Install Electron Via NPM

npm install -g electron-prebuilt
electron --version

Create package.json File

npm init

Package (Answers) Details
Name Description Answer
package name Application Name my-electron-app
version Application Version 1.0.0
description Application Description Hello World!
entry point Main File Holding Node.JS handlers main.js
test command Testing command to run before building the application
git repository GIT SCM Repositoru
keywords Keywords relevant to the application for easier searching
author Enter your name Edward Ojambo
license License for the application MIT
Is this OK? Approve displayed output to create package.json yes

Manually Add Start Script To package.json File

  "name": "my-electron-app",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "Hello World!",
  "main": "main.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1",
    "start": "electron ."
  "author": "Edward Ojambo",
  "license": "MIT"

Create main.js File

const { app, BrowserWindow } = require('electron/main')
const path = require('node:path')

function createWindow () {
  const win = new BrowserWindow({
    width: 800,
    height: 600


app.whenReady().then(() => {

  app.on('activate', () => {
    if (BrowserWindow.getAllWindows().length === 0) {

app.on('window-all-closed', () => {
  if (process.platform !== 'darwin') {

Create Static Index.HTML File

<!DOCTYPE html>
      <meta charset = "UTF-8">
      <title>Hello World!</title>
      <h1>Hello World!</h1>

Build And Run

npm start


You will see a window open that resembles other desktop applications.


Cross Platform Node.js package.json
Cross Platform Node.js package.json

Cross Platform Node.js Electron GUI Window
Cross Platform Node.js Electron GUI Window


In summary, Node.js and Electron can be used to create cross platform GUI applications. Node.js with Electron can be used for the GUI portion and the rest of the application can use another platform or programming language.


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