Using the Chrome DevTools console as a REPL for an Electron app

I figured out how to use the Chrome DevTools to execute JavaScript interactively inside the Electron main process. I always like having a REPL for exploring APIs, and this means I can explore the Electron and Node.js APIs interactively.

Simon_Willison’s_Weblog_and_DevTools_-_Node_js_and_Inspect_with_Chrome_Developer_Tools says you need to run:

electron --inspect=5858 your/app

I start Electron by running npm start, so I modified my package.json to include this:

  "scripts": {
    "start": "electron --inspect=5858 ."

Then I ran npm start.

To connect the debugger, open Google Chrome and visit chrome://inspect/ - then click the "Open dedicated DevTools for Node" link.

In that window, select the "Connection" tab and add a connection to localhost:5858:


Switch back to the "Console" tab and you can start interacting with the Electron environment.

I tried this and it worked:

const { app, Menu, BrowserWindow, dialog } = require("electron");
new BrowserWindow({height: 100, width: 100}).loadURL("");

Created 2021-08-31T14:09:41-07:00 · Edit