easy way to run code inside of a headless electron window from the CLI

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import electronSpawn from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/electron-spawn';



run code easily inside of headless electron (chromium) windows from the command line


$ npm i electron-prebuilt -g
$ npm i electron-spawn -g
$ echo "console.log('hello')" > foo.js
$ electron-spawn foo.js

you can also export a function that takes arguments to get all the arguments passed in to your program:

$ echo "module.exports = function (args) { console.log(args) }" > foo.js
$ electron-spawn foo.js bar baz
# outputs ['bar', 'baz']

or you can use process.argv like an ordinary node program:

$ echo 'console.log(process.argv.slice(2))' > hello.js
$ electron-spawn hello.js beep boop
# outputs: ['beep', 'boop']

process.stdin works too:

process.stdin.on('data', function (buf) {
  console.log('buf=', buf)
$ echo beep boop | electron-spawn stdin.js
buf= <Buffer 62 65 65 70 20 62 6f 6f 70 0a>


var spawn = require('electron-spawn')

return a function that spawn electron

var electron = spawn(scriptname[, params..., execOptions])

returns a child process running electron with the given scriptname

params are a list of arguments passed to the process

execOptions is an object literal to set options on how the process gets spawned

var spawn = require('electron-spawn')
var electron = spawn('foo.js', 'bar', 'baz', {
  detached: true
electron.stderr.on('data', function (data) {
electron.stdout.on('data', function (data) {


  • cannot automatically yet exit your program like how node does when you have no more activity on the event loop
    But in your script you can call require('electron').remote.app.quit() to quit when it's done:
module.exports = function (args) {
  var img = new Image()
  img.onload = function () {
  img.src = 'http://example.com/cat.gif'

or you can call process.exit() like an ordinary node program.