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Matteo Monti February 2016

How to automatically update a deployed Node JS Electron program

I think the title should be quite self-explanatory. I am developing a Node JS app using Atom Electron. What I would need is a way to deploy my application in a cross-platform way (Mac OS X, Windows and Linux), while making it capable of automatically updating itself, without having to ask for administration privileges.

Here is what I would like to happen:

  • The application gets installed by my users, possibly via an easy-to-use installer.
  • I keep developing my app, adding new features, and so on.
  • At some point, I release a new version of my code, I pack it somehow and upload it somewhere.
  • All the clients that are currently online, or whenever a client gets back online, they download the new version, install it, and restart automatically, without having to ask for administration privileges.

As far as I know, there are apps that are capable of doing such a thing. For example, Google Chrome automatically installs updates without having to continuously ask for administrative privileges or, even worse, making its users download new installers all the time.

Is there an elegant and cross platform way to do such a thing? What would be the best solution for my problem?

If this is matters in any way, let me add that my project is completely open source, so I don't care about protecting my code in any way from being read.


Alessandro Loziobiz Bisi February 2016

Take a look at this excellent blog post about this.

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Asked in February 2016
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