Getting started

React NodeGui enables you to create desktop applications with React. You could see it as a lightly modified variant of the Node.js runtime that is focused on desktop applications instead of web servers.

React NodeGui is a react renderer for NodeGui, which is an efficient JavaScript binding to a cross platform graphical user interface (GUI) library Qt. Qt is one of the most mature and efficient library for building desktop applications. This enabled React NodeGui to be extrememly memory and CPU efficient as compared to other popular Javascript Desktop GUI solutions. A hello world app built with React NodeGui runs on less than 20Mb of memory.

Developer environment

To turn your operating system into an environment capable of building desktop apps with React NodeGui, you would need Node.js, npm, a code editor of your choice, and a rudimentary understanding of your operating system's command line client.

Along with these, there are a few operating system dependent instructions that are listed below.

Setting up on macOS

Requirements:

  • React NodeGui supports macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) and up. NodeGui currently only supports 64bit OS.
  • CMake 3.1 and up (Installation instructions can be found here: https://cmake.org/install/)
  • Make, GCC v7
  • Currently supported Node.Js versions are 12.x and up.

We strongly suggest you use some kind of version manager for Node.Js. This would allow you to switch to any version of nodejs quite easily. We recommend nvm: https://github.com/nvm-sh/nvm

Confirm that both node and npm are available by running:

# This command should print the version of Node.js
node -v
# This command should print the version of npm
npm -v

If both commands printed a version number, you are all set! Before you get started, you might want to install a code editor suited for JavaScript development.

Setting up on Windows

React NodeGui supports Windows 7 and later versions – attempting to develop NodeGui applications on earlier versions of Windows might not work. NodeGui currently only supports 64bit OS.

Requirements:

  • Visual studio 2017 and up.
  • CMake 3.1 and up (Installation instructions can be found here: https://cmake.org/install/)
  • Currently supported Node.Js versions are 12.x and up.

We strongly suggest you use some kind of version manager for Node.Js. This would allow you to switch to any version of nodejs quite easily. We recommend nvm: https://github.com/nvm-sh/nvm

We strongly recommend Powershell as preferred terminal in Windows.

Confirm that both node and npm are available by running:

# This command should print the version of Node.js
node -v
# This command should print the version of npm
npm -v

If both commands printed a version number, you are all set! Before you get started, you might want to install a code editor suited for JavaScript development.

Setting up on Linux

React NodeGui currently supports Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian 10 and up. Although other Linux distributions can also be easily supported. NodeGui currently only supports 64bit OS.

Requirements:

  • Make, GCC v7
  • CMake 3.1 and up (Installation instructions can be found here: https://cmake.org/install/)
  • Currently supported Node.Js versions are 12.x and up.
  • On Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros it is advisable to run sudo apt-get update, followed by sudo apt-get install pkg-config build-essential

We strongly suggest you use some kind of version manager for Node.Js. This would allow you to switch to any version of nodejs quite easily. We recommend nvm: https://github.com/nvm-sh/nvm

Confirm that both node and npm are available by running:

# This command should print the version of Node.js
node -v
# This command should print the version of npm
npm -v

If both commands printed a version number, you are all set! Before you get started, you might want to install a code editor suited for JavaScript development.

A Good Editor

We might suggest two free popular editors: GitHub's Atom and Microsoft's Visual Studio Code. Both of them have excellent JavaScript support.

If you are one of the many developers with a strong preference, know that virtually all code editors and IDEs these days support JavaScript.

Hello World

Clone and run the code in this tutorial by using the nodegui/react-nodegui-starter repository.

Note: Running this requires Git and npm.

# Clone the repository
$ git clone https://github.com/nodegui/react-nodegui-starter
# Go into the repository
$ cd react-nodegui-starter
# Install dependencies
$ npm install
# Run the dev server
$ npm run dev
# Run the app on a separate terminal tab or window
$ npm start

That's it!

Congratulations! You've successfully run and modified your first React NodeGui app.

Now what?

If you're curious to learn more about NodeGui, continue on to the tutorial.