End Result

How it looks (in Ubuntu) in Startup Menu:

Electron Apps in Ubuntu

How it looks when opened as an App (electron-apps-ubuntu.png)

Electron Feedly App

Motivation

I recently started using a Ubuntu Desktop. However, quite a few apps are missing in Ubuntu.

Therefore, I have to use their web version.

Tools

How to Setup

Install Electron Globally

Electron runs chrome internally, but we can run it like a desktop app. ()

Firstly, you need to make sure that you have electron installed globally. For my case (I use yarn), I do:

yarn global add electron

then make sure that it’s in your path. For my case, it’s:

➜ which electron
/home/songyy/.yarn/bin/electron

Create Electron Executable Folder

Let’s take Feedly(https://feedly.com/) for example.

Create Folder

Create a separate folder, let’s call it feedly. Let’s say we created the app in path /home/songyy/fast/desktop-apps/feedly.

Create JS File

Then, create an index.js file within this folder:

'use strict';

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


function createWindow() {
    const win = new BrowserWindow({
        webPreferences: {
        }
    })

    win.loadURL('https://www.feedly.com/')
}

app.whenReady().then(createWindow)

depends on what your target webapp is, you might want to put the URL in win.loadURL differently.

Run it with Electron

in the folder where you’ve created the index.js file, run:

electron .

The electron app would run without problem, loading the target website

Create a Desktop Launcher

Make Sure Launcher Folder Exist

In Ubuntu, a desktop launcher is defined via a .desktop file. A good location is ~/.local/share/applications/.

If this location doesn’t exist in your Ubuntu machine, you can create it via:

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/applications/

Find a good Icon

You need to find a good icon for the Desktop App, so that it’s easy to identify the App. For the case of Feedly, you can simply search for feedly icon png, and you’ll be able to find some good result.

Copy this file into your feedly folder for the Electron execution. For my case, it’s in path

/home/songyy/fast/desktop-apps/feedly/icon.png

Create Desktop Launcher

After that, create the desktop file in the launcher folder:

cat > ~/.local/share/applications/Feedly.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Version=0.1
Name=Feedly
Comment=Feedly Website
Exec=/home/songyy/.yarn/bin/electron /home/songyy/fast/desktop-apps/feedly
Icon=/home/songyy/fast/desktop-apps/feedly/icon.png
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Utility;Application;

Note that you need to change accordingly, under the Exec part

All Done

Congrats, now you have an super light-weighted desktop app for the web app now.