Build Instructions (Windows)

Follow the guidelines below for building Electron on Windows.


If you don't currently have a Windows installation, has timebombed versions of Windows that you can use to build Electron.

Building Electron is done entirely with command-line scripts and cannot be done with Visual Studio. You can develop Electron with any editor but support for building with Visual Studio will come in the future.

Note: Even though Visual Studio is not used for building, it's still required because we need the build toolchains it provides.

Note: Visual Studio 2015 will not work. Please make sure to get MSVS 2013.

Getting the Code

$ git clone


The bootstrap script will download all necessary build dependencies and create the build project files. Notice that we're using ninja to build Electron so there is no Visual Studio project generated.

$ cd electron
$ python script\ -v


Build both Release and Debug targets:

$ python script\

You can also only build the Debug target:

$ python script\ -c D

After building is done, you can find electron.exe under out\D (debug target) or under out\R (release target).

64bit Build

To build for the 64bit target, you need to pass --target_arch=x64 when running the bootstrap script:

$ python script\ -v --target_arch=x64

The other building steps are exactly the same.


Test your changes conform to the project coding style using:

$ python script\

Test functionality using:

$ python script\

Tests that include native modules (e.g. runas) can't be executed with the debug build (see #2558 for details), but they will work with the release build.

To run the tests with the release build use:

$ python script\ -R


Command xxxx not found

If you encountered an error like Command xxxx not found, you may try to use the VS2012 Command Prompt console to execute the build scripts.

Fatal internal compiler error: C1001

Make sure you have the latest Visual Studio update installed.

Assertion failed: ((handle))->activecnt >= 0

If building under Cygwin, you may see failed with following error:

Assertion failed: ((handle))->activecnt >= 0, file src\win\pipe.c, line 1430

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "script/", line 87, in <module>
  File "script/", line 22, in main
  File "script/", line 56, in update_node_modules
    execute([NPM, 'install'])
  File "/home/zcbenz/codes/raven/script/lib/", line 118, in execute
    raise e
subprocess.CalledProcessError: Command '['npm.cmd', 'install']' returned non-zero exit status 3

This is caused by a bug when using Cygwin Python and Win32 Node together. The solution is to use the Win32 Python to execute the bootstrap script (assuming you have installed Python under C:\Python27):

$ /cygdrive/c/Python27/python.exe script/

LNK1181: cannot open input file 'kernel32.lib'

Try reinstalling 32bit Node.js.

Error: ENOENT, stat 'C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\npm'

Simply making that directory should fix the problem:

$ mkdir ~\AppData\Roaming\npm

node-gyp is not recognized as an internal or external command

You may get this error if you are using Git Bash for building, you should use PowerShell or VS2012 Command Prompt instead.