Electron (software framework)

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Electron Software Framework Logo.svg
Developer(s)GitHub (a Microsoft subsidiary)
Initial release15 July 2013; 6 years ago (2013-07-15)[1]
Stable release
7.1.1 / 8 November 2019; 3 days ago (2019-11-08)[2][3]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC++, JavaScript, Objective-C++, Python and Objective-C
Operating systemWindows, Linux and macOS
PlatformIA-32, x86-64, ARM
LicenseMIT License[4]

Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell[5]) is an open-source framework developed and maintained by GitHub.[6] Electron allows for the development of desktop GUI applications using web technologies: It combines the Chromium rendering engine and the Node.js runtime.[7] Electron is the main GUI framework behind several notable open-source projects including Atom,[8] GitHub Desktop,[9] Light Table,[10] Visual Studio Code,[11] and WordPress Desktop.[12]


Electron applications are composed of multiple processes. There is the "browser" process and several "renderer" processes. The browser process runs the application logic, and can then launch multiple renderer processes, rendering the windows that appear on a user's screen rendering HTML and CSS.

Both the browser and renderer processes can run with Node.js integration if enabled.

Most of Electron's APIs are written in C++ or Objective-C and then exposed directly to the application code through JS bindings[13].


Because Electron applications are web applications running in the Chromium engine, they may be vulnerable to web-related attacks such as cross-site scripting attacks, through the same attack vectors as a browser (E.g. Chromium) or other internal components (Node.js) if using certain versions of Electron.[14] Examples of such vulnerabilities have been fixed in the 1.7.13, 1.8.4, and 2.0.0-beta.5 Electron releases.[15]


Electron have been criticized because applications programmed in this framework (like Atom and Visual Studio Code) spent much more RAM than other similar applications (Sublime Text).[citation needed] Applications in Electron comes with a pre-bundled Chromium, so tools that used to be very simple (i.e. terminal, clipboard) get bloated in Electron. [16] Other criticism is focused at that Electron applications are not native which leads to lack of integration. [17]

Software using Electron[edit]

A number of desktop applications are built with Electron including:[18]



On October 27, 2017, the community released a port called Electron.NET for the .NET Core framework. This is an open source project that enables native Electron APIs using the C# programming language. The .NET developer remains in their usual ecosystem, rather than using JavaScript.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "electron/electron". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Release Notes". github.com. GitHub. 8 November 2019.
  3. ^ https://electronjs.org/releases
  4. ^ "electron/LICENSE at master". GitHub. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  5. ^ Sawicki, Kevin (23 April 2015). "Atom Shell is now Electron". Atom. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  6. ^ "electron/electron". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Electron Internals: Using Node as a Library | Electron Blog". electronjs.org. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  8. ^ "atom/atom". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  9. ^ "GitHub Desktop". GitHub. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  10. ^ Horner, Gabriel (10 December 2015). "Light Table 0.8.0". lighttable.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  11. ^ James, Mike (23 November 2015). "Visual Studio Code - Now With Added Extensions". I Programmer. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  12. ^ "GitHub Repository". Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  13. ^ "From native to JavaScript in Electron | Electron Blog". electronjs.org. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Electron nodeIntegration Bypass". 10 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Webview Vulnerability Fix". 21 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Electron considered harmful". Drew DeVault's Blog. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  17. ^ Beyer, Casper. "Electron is Cancer". Commit Log. Medium. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g "Apps". Electron. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  19. ^ Sawicki, Kevin (23 April 2015). "Atom Shell is now Electron". Electron. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  20. ^ "CrashPlan for Small Business version 6.7". Code42 CrashPlan Release Notes. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Etcher". Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  22. ^ Haack, Phil (16 May 2017). "Announcing Git Integration for Atom and GitHub Desktop Beta". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  23. ^ "Electron Helper and branding". Techcommunity.microsoft.com. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Building hybrid applications with Electron". Several People Are Coding. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  25. ^ "symphonyoss/SymphonyElectron". GitHub. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  26. ^ Bright, Peter (29 April 2015). "Microsoft's new Code editor is built on Google's Chromium". Ars Technica. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Open Source project".
  28. ^ "wireapp/wire-desktop". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.

External links[edit]