Build Instructions (Linux)

Follow the guidelines below for building Electron on Linux.


  • Python 2.7.x. Some distributions like CentOS still use Python 2.6.x so you may need to check your Python version with python -V.
  • Node.js v0.12.x. There are various ways to install Node. You can download source code from Node.js and compile from source. Doing so permits installing Node on your own home directory as a standard user. Or try repositories such as NodeSource.
  • Clang 3.4 or later.
  • Development headers of GTK+ and libnotify.

On Ubuntu, install the following libraries:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential clang libdbus-1-dev libgtk2.0-dev \
                       libnotify-dev libgnome-keyring-dev libgconf2-dev \
                       libasound2-dev libcap-dev libcups2-dev libxtst-dev \
                       libxss1 libnss3-dev gcc-multilib g++-multilib

On Fedora, install the following libraries:

$ sudo yum install clang dbus-devel gtk2-devel libnotify-devel libgnome-keyring-devel \
                   xorg-x11-server-utils libcap-devel cups-devel libXtst-devel \
                   alsa-lib-devel libXrandr-devel GConf2-devel nss-devel

Other distributions may offer similar packages for installation via package managers such as pacman. Or one can compile from source code.

If You Use Virtual Machines For Building

If you plan to build Electron on a virtual machine you will need a fixed-size device container of at least 25 gigabytes in size.

Getting the Code

$ git clone


The bootstrap script will download all necessary build dependencies and create the build project files. You must have Python 2.7.x for the script to succeed. Downloading certain files can take a long time. Notice that we are using ninja to build Electron so there is no Makefile generated.

$ cd electron
$ ./script/ -v

Cross compilation

If you want to build for an arm target you should also install the following dependencies:

$ sudo apt-get install libc6-dev-armhf-cross linux-libc-dev-armhf-cross \

And to cross compile for arm or ia32 targets, you should pass the --target_arch parameter to the script:

$ ./script/ -v --target_arch=arm


If you would like to build both Release and Debug targets:

$ ./script/

This script will cause a very large Electron executable to be placed in the directory out/R. The file size is in excess of 1.3 gigabytes. This happens because the Release target binary contains debugging symbols. To reduce the file size, run the script:

$ ./script/

This will put a working distribution with much smaller file sizes in the dist directory. After running the script, you may want to remove the 1.3+ gigabyte binary which is still in out/R.

You can also build the Debug target only:

$ ./script/ -c D

After building is done, you can find the electron debug binary under out/D.


To clean the build files:

$ ./script/


Make sure you have installed all of the build dependencies.

Error While Loading Shared Libraries:

Prebulit clang will try to link to Depending on the host architecture, symlink to appropriate libncurses:

$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/


Test your changes conform to the project coding style using:

$ ./script/

Test functionality using:

$ ./script/