node-webkit vs. atom-shell vs. brackets-shell


✔ Linux: 32bit / 64bit
✔ Windows: 32bit / 64bit
✔ Mac 10.7+: 32bit / 64bit

  • entry point: web page (package.json)
  • patched Chromium
    (can take some time before new Chromium builds are pulled in)
  • Node & web context(s)

✔ Linux: 32bit / 64bit
✔ Windows: 32bit
✔ Mac: 64bit

  • entry point: JavaScript script
    create browser window manually
  • more like the Node.js runtime (APIs are more low level)
  • libchromiumcontent (improves building from source)
  • multi-context
By Adobe Systems Incorporated [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

✘ Linux1
✘ Windows1
✘ Mac1

The brackets-shell is only maintained for use by the Brackets project. Although some people have definitely had success using it as an app shell for other projects, we don’t provide any official support for that and we haven’t done a ton of work to make the app shell easily reusable. Many people will likely find it easier to use a project like node-webkit, which is more generic by design.2

Further readings

1 The specified platforms refer to the currently (27/12/14) available prebuilt binaries:

  • node-webkit: v0.11.4: (Dec 24, 2014, based off of Node v0.11.13, Chromium 38.0.2125.104)
  • atom-shell: v0.20.2 (Dec 22, 2014)
  • brackets-shell: release-1.1 (Dec 18, 2014)
    You either need to build from source, or grab the latest Brackets installer and run the shell from that.