remix-electron-demo

An demo of how to use Electron with Remix

demo screenshot

How

  • Create a Node.js server which serves a Remix app
  • Create an Electron window, load the server URL
  • That’s it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Using Electron APIs

Importing "electron" directly in route files results in Electron trying to get bundled and called in the renderer process.

To circumvent this, I created an electron.server.js file, which re-exports from electron. The .server suffix tells Remix to only load it in the main process. You should use .server for any code that runs in the main process and uses node/electron APIs.

Likewise, for any code running in the renderer process, e.g. using the clipboard module, you can use the .client suffix. Using electron modules will require enabling nodeIntegration on the BrowserWindow.

Motivation

Electron has a comprehensive list of security recommendations to follow when building an app, especially if that app interacts with the web. Which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Using preload.js files to expose specific electron functionality to your app, via globals
  • Using IPC communication
  • Avoiding remote.require (which has since been removed)

These practices can lead to a lot of awkward boilerplate and splitting up related code across multiple files and domains.

With this project and structure, you can freely use Electron APIs in Remix loader functions. It’s a Node process with full Node capabilities, with access to the full Electron API, none of which runs in the browser.

The browser only receives data and renders a view. Additionally, you can neatly colocate your main process code right beside the related renderer code in a route file.

Thinking about it another way: it’s like a normal Remix web app, except Electron is your backend.

GitHub

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