Nativefier: from webpage to desktop app

Helguera
Written by Helguera on
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Nativefier: from webpage to desktop app

Introduction

Today I’m going to talk about Nativefier. A very useful tool to turn any web page or application into a desktop program for Windows, MacOS and Linux with just one terminal command.

That sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, I’m not cheating you, the tool really does what I’ve said, but it has a trick.

In this post I have made an article/summary, all the information can be found in the official webpage.

Basic Internal Operation

This tool makes use of Electron, a JavaScript framework developed by GitHub that allows the development of rich desktop applications using web technologies. There are thousands of known applications that make use of this framework (VSCode, Discord, Whatsapp, Etcher…)

Basically, every time you run an application that uses Electron, it generates a new instance of the browser Chromium, which has been developed as open source by Google and is the basis of browsers such as Chrome and Edge.

Installation

Execute the following command in a terminal:

npm install -g nativefier

If you do not have npm on your computer, first install Node JS this link.

Usage

The easiest way is the following, this will generate an executable according to our operating system:

nativefier "urlofthepage.com"

To change de name of the generated application:

nativefier --name "nombre of the app" "urlofthepage.com"

In my personal experience, I have used Nativefier to be able to use Google Tasks as a MacOS application, since officially there is none.

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