Recipe: standalone microStudio app

Here is my current recipe to package a standalone app of microStudio. This is just an experiment for now as a few changes are also necessary in the code of microStudio itself. Currently the packaged microStudio will allow you to install an executable, which works without connection to internet and which renders 100% like the microStudio website. Of course some of the features do not really make sense in this context, like creating an account, having an empty Explore section (where you can "publish" your projects just for yourself)... There are thus a few changes to make, that will use a dedicated flag standalone: true in the config file probably. That's not the hardest part. The hardest part was to make microStudio fully work as an Electron app and it seems that we are almost there!

Also note that this is still very experimental. The projects you create in microStudio-standalone are actually stored somewhere but I have no idea where! I will fix that later by specifying a correct location for user files.

In order to create my Electron app, I used this tutorial:


I also took inspiration from this example:


Make sure you have node / npm installed

Check that you have node and npm installed:

node -v
npm -v

Create the application

Create a folder, jump in it and initialize your project:

mkdir microstudio-standalone && cd microstudio-standalone
npm init

You will be asked for some information. Set main.js to be your entry point (it can be easily changed afterwards as well). Add an author and a description or you won't be able to package the app.

Install the electron npm:

npm install --save-dev electron

In the file "package.json", create the "start" command as follows:

  "scripts": {
    "start": "electron ."

Clone microStudio

It is time to clone microStudio and install the packages it depends on:

git clone https://github.com/pmgl/microstudio.git
cd microstudio/server
npm install

Create file main.js

Back in the microstudio-standalone main folder, I created this main file for our app:

const electron = require('electron')
const { app, BrowserWindow } = electron

function createWindow (port) {
  const display = electron.screen.getPrimaryDisplay()
  const win = new BrowserWindow({
    width: display.size.width*0.8,
    height: display.size.height*0.8

  win.webContents.on('new-window', function(e, url) {


app.whenReady().then(() => {
  var Server = require("./microstudio/server/server.js")
  var app_data = app.getPath("userData");
  var config = {
    "standalone": true,
    "app_data": app_data,
    "port": 31520
  } ;
  var server = new Server(config,function() {
    createWindow(server.PORT) ;
  }) ;

The code above does this:

  • when the app is ready, start the microStudio server (local server, running on port 31520)
  • once the server is started, create the application window and open it on http://localhost:31520

Once all this is done, you should be able to start the app in dev mode:

npm start

Package the app

Once this is working, you can package the app using electron-forge. First install electron-forge:

npm install --save-dev @electron-forge/cli
npx electron-forge import

On Linux systems (Ubuntu, Pi OS ...), you will probably need to install rpm before you can package the app. You do that as follows:

sudo apt install rpm

You can now run this to package your application:

npm run make


  • I have a hard time creating a correct installer for Windows. Electron-forge wants you to use Squirrel.Windows. Squirrel claims to provide the best user experience by installing the software quickly without requiring any user interaction. The problem is that the install isn't really quick, it takes quite a long time, without any proper feedback to the user who will just think it failed.

For now I will just build a folder for Windows, you can run from there or install manually

This is all done as of today! (November 3rd)

  • set server to listen only to local requests httpserver.listen(port,"localhost") and add a callback to .listen(port,scope,callback)
  • set a callback on class Server to listen when the app is ready before launching the window
  • Solve node-canvas problem or maybe replace it with jimp
  • ensure all external links have _target="blank"
  • fix Explore and Community sections (links to microstudio.dev)
  • set a correct path for user files
  • auto-create standalone user
  • remove log-out features
  • remove publishing features
  • remove online collaboration features
  • find a proper installer for Windows
  • include translation exports to enable complete support for all languages

This is a great news, that standalone version is in development! Thank you for your hard work and good luck with further development! Take your time, don't be in haste! "Better later, but better", like people in my country says. Best regards! And one more time - thank you!

Recipes works as expected on windows. It will be a great have microStudio as stand alone software for local dev when no internet connection is available. If I can suggest a thing, I'd love to have it as a portable application, without the need to install it. Just run an exe that take care of everything and start to have fun.

I have updated the recipe, it's all working fine and the newest microStudio on Github is ready to produce the best standalone experience :-)

Gillis, hi!

Great work, i just yesterday night install nodeJS (npm included ;) ).

As localhost:8080 its works great!

But as wolfdigital.ru:8080 can't run project (every else works great!).

I shared port to my router & internet dish (its GSM-like 3G-4G device), rerouting incoming 8080 port to my local computer (like i made for server, but 80 & 443 for http & https)...

So here we got some issues...

The overall studio works great except "run" project... Projects dos't run (just black screen & "microScript 2.0 - beta" in console).

Followed by link (upside right, QR or direct) do the same...

What i do in installing:

I followed instructions in MicroStudio GIT & nodeJS site (from link in GIT) - completely (not an instruction are skipped).

The point is - my friend afraid to start in microstudio.dev in some point, so I create time-part "server" for him to bee cool about and play programming when microstudio.dev is down (like yesterday). So can be nigrated to official one lately ;)

I have idea: maybe this because e-mail verification impossible? Do unverificated accounts alive for long-term & allowed to run programs?

@WolfDigital I think there are still too many microstudio.dev / microstudio.io links hardcoded in the code, when you are in production mode ; something I need to work on. Also you need to create a configuration for Greenlock which is being used to enable HTTPS (through LetsEncrypt).

But there is another way which may be easier to set up: use an nginx server as reverse proxy, in front of your microStudio server running in "local" mode on port 8080. This probably works, BUT:

/!\ /!\ WARNING If you are making an installation of microStudio on a public server and plan to have real world users connect to it, you have to be very careful to configure the server correctly with 2 different domain names ; one will be used for users to log in and the other will be used to run projects. If this is not properly configured, your install may be vulnerable to exploits allowing one user to access credentials of another user.

Let me know if this is just a test or if you really want to run a public instance of microStudio, in which case I will have to make some fixes to allow proper configuration of domain names in production mode.

Total dream: What about iOS version of microStudio?

@gilles, i figured out that projects can run via wolfdigital.ru, but it takes a lot of time, inspector shows spamming with: Uncaught TypeError: navigator.getGamepads is not a function (682+ reports and increasing +120/260 every second), so there may be a point why its run after so much time.

Can you check if the same happens when you use different browsers?
And if possible then please post it on the discord channel under #bugs

Live Long and Tinker

Well I be...

Try Opera (default use FireFox for much reasons - most is my lovely Linux (Ubuntu not latest, because dont like much updates per day in my hard drive, leading him faster to death :) ) and a magic hapend! It worked! :)

Well, its seem problem in browser code (will ask friend to try in Windows: FireFox, Edge, Opera & Chrome [to be sure]).

About posting to Discord - sorry, but i seem to be old for these youngster stuff ;)

Will update this post after some tests (and teaching friend to use inspector and copypaste me correct lines).

Browser Status
Internet Explorer Black screen (site not showing at all)
Chrome All Ok
FireFox (all) Studio Ok, run project - black screen
iOS Safari All Ok
Linux Opera All Ok

There is a known problem with FF, Gilles is already working on it. Are you using the online version?

Yes, mostly.

Problem in only shows in local 'server' then its called from 'outside' (after first router, local network or internet - same result) & only on FF.

Comment from Sebastian on Discord:

Yeah, FF blocks gamepad by default. I think it was addressed by @Gilles in one of the latest updates. There would be option to allow gamepad for domain in FF options, too? Maybe?

Let's see what @gilles can figure out :)

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