Electron Versioning

If you’ve been using Node and npm for a while, you are probably aware of Semantic Versioning, or SemVer for short. It’s a convention for specifying version numbers for software that helps communicate intentions to the users of your software.

Overview of Semantic Versioning

Semantic versions are always made up of three numbers:


Semantic version numbers are bumped (incremented) using the following rules:

  • Major is for changes that break backwards compatibility.
  • Minor is for new features that don’t break backwards compatibility.
  • Patch is for bug fixes and other minor changes.

A simple mnemonic for remembering this scheme is as follows:


Electron Versioning

Due to its dependency on Node and Chromium, it is not possible for the Electron project to adhere to a SemVer policy. You should therefore always reference a specific version of Electron.

Electron version numbers are bumped using the following rules:

  • Major is for breaking changes in Electron’s API. If you upgrade from 0.37.0 to 1.0.0, you will have to make changes to your app.
  • Minor is for major Chrome and minor Node upgrades, or significant Electron changes. If you upgrade from 1.5.0 to 1.6.0, your app is supposed to still work, but you might have to work around small changes.
  • Patch is for new features and bug fixes. If you upgrade from 1.6.2 to 1.6.3, your app will continue to work as-is.

We recommend that you set a fixed version when installing Electron from npm:

npm install electron --save-exact --save-dev

The --save-exact flag will add electron to your package.json file without using a ^ or ~, e.g. 1.6.2 instead of ^1.6.2. This practice ensures that all upgrades of Electron are a manual operation made by you, the developer.

Alternatively, you can use the ~ prefix in your SemVer range, like ~1.6.2. This will lock your major and minor version, but allow new patch versions to be installed.

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