How to make exe files from a node.js app?


Question

I have a node app that I wrote, that I run as follows:

node.exe app.js inputArg

Is there some way I can package this into a .exe by itself? So I can just do something like this?

App.exe inputArg

I have some way of faking this by using a batch file, so I can do this:

App.bat inputArg

But this requires that I have all the dependencies and node in that folder, which is not ideal.

1
113
9/6/2016 6:07:24 PM

Accepted Answer

There a few alternatives, both free and commercial. I haven't used any of them but in theory they should work:

Most will require you to keep the batch file as main executable, and then bundle node.exe and your scripts.

Depending on your script, you also have the option to port it to JSDB, which supports an easy way to create executables by simply appending resources to it.

A third quasi-solution is to keep node somewhere like C:\utils and add this folder to your PATH environment variable. Then you can create .bat files in that dir that run node + your preferred scripts - I got coffeescript's coffee working on windows this way. This setup can be automated with a batch file, vb script or installer.

30
11/29/2018 10:27:27 PM

The solution I've used is Roger Wang's node-webkit.

This is a fantastic way to package nodejs apps and distribute them, it even gives you the option to "bundle" the whole app as a single executable. It supports windows, mac and linux.

Here are some docs on the various options for deploying node-webkit apps, but in a nutshell, you do the following:

  1. Zip up all your files, with a package.json in the root
  2. Change the extension from .zip to .nw
  3. copy /b nw.exe+app.nw app.exe

Just as an added note - I've shipped several production box/install cd applications using this, and it's worked great. Same app runs on windows, mac, linux and over the web.


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