Using Native Node Modules

The native Node modules are supported by Electron, but since Electron is using a different V8 version from official Node, you have to manually specify the location of Electron's headers when building native modules.

Native Node Module Compatibility

Native modules might break when Node starts using a new version of V8. To make sure the module you're interested in will work with Electron, you should check if it supports the internal Node version used by Electron. You can check what version of Node is used in Electron by looking it up in the releases page or by using process.version (see Quick Start for example).

Consider using NAN for your own modules, since it makes it easier to support multiple versions of Node. It's also helpful for porting old modules to newer versions of Node so they can work with Electron.

How to Install Native Modules

Three ways to install native modules:

The Easy Way

The most straightforward way to rebuild native modules is via the electron-rebuild package, which handles the manual steps of downloading headers and building native modules:

npm install --save-dev electron-rebuild

# Every time you run "npm install", run this

# On Windows if you have trouble, try:

The npm Way

You can also use npm to install modules. The steps are exactly the same with Node modules, except that you need to setup some environment variables:

export npm_config_disturl=
export npm_config_target=0.33.1
export npm_config_arch=x64
export npm_config_runtime=electron
HOME=~/.electron-gyp npm install module-name

The node-gyp Way

To build Node modules with headers of Electron, you need to tell node-gyp where to download headers and which version to use:

$ cd /path-to-module/
$ HOME=~/.electron-gyp node-gyp rebuild --target=0.29.1 --arch=x64 --dist-url=

The HOME=~/.electron-gyp changes where to find development headers. The --target=0.29.1 is version of Electron. The --dist-url=... specifies where to download the headers. The --arch=x64 says the module is built for 64bit system.