Electrify - Compiling Meteor as a Locally Installable App

Installing Electrify for a Meteor application

Electron ports HTML web applications to native applications for a range of devices, including creating native desktop applications. It's also very easy to get started!

To begin, we must have electron, nodejs, npm, git and meteor installed. Familiarity with these tools is vital for working with Meteor, so make sure you know about these things first.


Electron

npm install -g electrify
  • electron is what we're using! Read more here.
  • electrify is a tool for packaging Meteor apps. Read mode here.

Other requirements for installing and using Electrify with Meteor

Meteor

curl https://install.meteor.com/ | sh

There are many ways to install Meteor, see here.

  • meteor is the JavaScript framework we'll be using for building our application. It provides us with a lot of coding simplifications for some rather conceptually hard problems in web applications; its simplicity has been noted as useful for prototypical projects. Read more here.

NodeJS

apt-get install nodejs build-essentials

There are many ways to install, depending on your OS. Find out which way you need here.

  • nodejs is the package for Node.js, which is a Javascript environment for running JavaScript on the server side. Read more here.

npm

npm should be bundled with the nodejs installation. Check it is by running the command npm -v after installing nodejs.

  • npm is the Node Package Manager. It's a huge collection of open source modules that you can easily add into your Node projects. Read more here.

Using Electrify on a Meteor Application

Let's download a Meteor Todos example project, using a Linux shell (command line) script, to test out Electrifying a project for the first time:


Requirements for this section:

Git

apt-get install git-all

There are many ways to install Git. Check them out here.

  • git is a version control system for files. They can be stored remotely (i.e., online) in public repositories (GitHub being a rather famous one) or private repositories (BitBucket provides limited free private repositories, as an example). Read more [here][5].

#!/usr/bin/bash

# Change this parameter to choose where to clone the repository to.
TODOSPATH="/home/user/development/meteor-todos"

# Download the repository to the $TODOSPATH location.
git clone https://github.com/meteor/todos.git "$TODOSPATH"

# Change directory (`cd`) into the Todos project folder.
cd "$TODOSPATH"

We should now have a project folder named 'meteor-todos', at the location specified within the TODOSPATH parameter. We've also changed directory (cd) into the project folder, so let's add Electrify to this project!

# It's really this simple.
electrify

That's right - a single word command, and our project is ready. Permissions may cause errors for you when trying to run electrify as a command, in wihch case try sudo electrify to override the permissions.

However, do attempt to resolve these permission issues - it is not good practice to unnecessarily sudo (which I'd elaborate upon, but I could write a whole other topic on why that is!)