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What is Neutralinojs? Alternative to Electron

If you are looking for alternatives for Electron, Then you should give it a try to Neutralinojs. So today, I am going to help you found the best for you!

We will cover the following things:-

  • What is Neutralinojs?
  • What is better?
  • How to get started?

What is Neutralionjs?

Neutralinojs is a lightweight and portable desktop application development framework. It lets you develop lightweight cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Apps built with Neutralinojs can run on Linux, macOS, Windows, and Web.

So Neutralino or Neutralinojs is a better way of creating desktop applications with web technologies. Neutralionjs was created because Electron a popular desktop application tool is hated by developers for being memory hungry. So Neutralionjs solves this problem by being lightweight and easier to develop.

What is better?

It is a little hard to judge, even if Neutralionjs is faster than the electron. It is still immature and doesn't support nodejs even it is built on top of the nodejs.

These things can change the view of common developers about using a framework, I agree that there can be some way around for using nodejs.

So Neutralionjs is good for using as a side project or some fun project. As it is still new and still needs a large community around to progress.

Electron is better and more reliable as comparison to Neutralionjs.

How to get started?

So if you want to get started with Neutralionjs right away, Then follow the instructions to start a new project.

You can use Neu Cli built by Neutralionjs developers.

Type following commands in the terminal to get started.

 # Creating a new app
 $ npm i -g @neutralinojs/neu
 $ neu create hello-world
 $ cd hello-world
 $ neu run

 # Building your app
 $ neu build
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

You can checkout Elecrue, It is a CLI for generating starter code for Electron or Neutralionjs with React or Vue. I am the maintainer of Elecrue. You can star it ⭐ for staying updated with Elecrue's progress.

Conclusion

Electron is not bad

Electron is good as ram is there to be used by on-running programs but if you don't want your app to use a load of ram then you can try Neutralionjs. Otherwise, Electron is good for getting started with desktop applications if you are a web developer.
You can read this article on Electron Apps Aren’t That Bad

Neutralionjs is just new way of creating

I have just scratched the surface about Neutralionjs. It is a maintained open-source project, So you can contribute and make it even better 🌱.
You can check the documentation of the Neutralionjs to learn more about it.

If you have any feedback or any suggestions, Then do let me know by commenting. And Follow me on GitHub.

Have a good day,
Rajvir Singh

Discussion (13)

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oscarablinger profile image
Oscar Ablinger

I've not heard of Neutralino before now, so this was very interesting. I'll look at it some more.
But…

I am pretty sure you are convinced right now, but if you are not convinced yet. Then let me tell you that if a build size of Electron is 180Mb then with Neutralionjs, it comes down to 2Mb.

Yeah, I'm not convinced. Smaller package size is nice, but it has to come at a price. Why is it so much smaller? I'd assume because it's less powerful? It's 5 years younger than Electron so the support is probably worse and there might not be as mature as electron.
Based on the linked repository it doesn't use node package managers so that's a major downside.
And quite frankly, I don't really care about (desktop) program size that much – internet connections are pretty decent by now and disk space is plenty.

Simply Neutralionjs is better and faster than any other desktop framework right now If you take a glance at these benchmarks. You will get a grasp of how blazing fast Neutralionjs is.

These benchmarks mention nothing of speed. The only similar statistic mentioned is "start duration" for an empty project which is just a ? for neutralino. And "better" is also very subjective. Lot's of things can influence that: instability, bad APIs, platform inconsistencies, no development support etc..

I just feel like if it was smaller and faster and better in every way, I'd've heard of it in the last 5 years every time electron was mentioned.
And the showcased projects on the website are only example projects, so I don't know if anyone even seriously uses it yet.


Now, I don't want to discourage you from posting. None of these questions need to be addressed by your post. It's completely fine to just make a quick post and tell us about a cool new project. Maybe you're even right and it's everything you promised.
Just if you want to convince us (or maybe just me?) that neutralino is better than Electron, you'll need more than file size. I'd love a more in-depth comparison of the two.

I feel a bit bad for being so negative in my comment. I just felt like there needs to be some more backing up those claims. :/

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timfish profile image
Tim Fish

The article mentions that Electron "is hated by developers" because of RAM usage but I can't see how Neutralino can improve on this. For starters, on Windows if you're lucky, it'll use Edge Chromium which is going to use almost an identical amount of RAM to Google Chrome or Electron.

We've been shipping an Electron app to 200k customers for 4+ years and not a single customer has even mentioned Electron and nobody has complained about the download size. This suggests that users generally don't care as long as an app works well. For this reason, I've decided that I no longer care that a few opinionated developers hate Electron. It's not even relevant when considering the business case for an app πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

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rajvirsingh1313 profile image
Rajvir Singh Author

Yeah you are right, Even I think too it doesn't matter as ram is there to be used. As I mentioned in Which is better part.

Neutralion is not like all out best, But it seems Neutralion developers are trying to get Neutralion best in performance wise so I think it will out performance the electron, But even so as you mentioned it dones't matter at the end to customers. So yeah it comes to developer. Btw Thanks for writing comment

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rajvirsingh1313 profile image
Rajvir Singh Author

Yeah @oscar Ablinger you are completely right, thanks for spoting my mistake. I will add more clarfication in the What is better part as I just didn't wrote it correctly. And I will surely make a new article in depth about what is better.

Sorry, And Thanks for taking time and telling me my stupid mistakes. I will surely fix them this noon. Thanks alot

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oscarablinger profile image
Oscar Ablinger

I wouldn't call it a stupid mistake. It happens pretty quickly to oversell certain things – I certainly did before too.

Anyways, when you publish your new post, please update me here :)

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rajvirsingh1313 profile image
Rajvir Singh Author

Thanks Alot

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rajvirsingh1313 profile image
Rajvir Singh Author • Edited on

I am taking survey for conluding my research for the article so can you fill it out? w8wlf2cr6no.typeform.com/to/BBYoZNSY

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rajvirsingh1313 profile image
Rajvir Singh Author

Done I have updated this article, I am gona write a new article covering all the frameworks for creating desktop applications with web dev tools

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mattis profile image
Mattis

Neutralino doesnt support Node. So its basically useless. Its just a website in an exe file.

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rajvirsingh1313 profile image
Rajvir Singh Author

Yeah you are right, sorry that I didn't covered that due to my lack of research. I am really really sorry. I have updated the article, and soon I will write a new article covering all the desktop applications frameworks with solid research.

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deninpaulv profile image
Denin Paul

Damn this seems promising, even though I aint a dev. Great article mahn!

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rajvirsingh1313 profile image
Rajvir Singh Author

Thanks bro

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rajvirsingh1313 profile image
Rajvir Singh Author

I hope you all found this article helpful, If you guys have any feedback about my writing style or presentation style, I will surely hear.
Have a good day,
Rajvir Singh