Node.js gRPC Library


  • node: This requires node to be installed, version 4.0 or above. If you instead have the nodejs executable on Debian, you should install the nodejs-legacy package.

  • Note: If you installed node via a package manager and the version is still less than 4.0, try directly installing it from


Install the gRPC NPM package

npm install grpc


The following command can be used to build from source when installing the package from npm:

npm install grpc --build-from-source

The --build-from-source option will work even when installing another package that depends on grpc. To build only grpc from source, you can use the argument --build-from-source=grpc.


The official electron documentation recommends to build all of your native packages from source. While the reasons behind this are technically good - many native extensions won't be packaged to work properly with electron - the gRPC source code is fairly difficult to build from source due to its complex nature, and we're also providing working electron pre-built binaries. Therefore, we recommend that you do not follow this model for using gRPC with electron. Also, for the same reason, electron-rebuild will always build from source. We advise you to not use this tool if you are depending on gRPC. Please note that there's not just one way to get native extensions running in electron, and that there's never any silver bullet for anything. The following instructions try to cater about some of the most generic ways, but different edge cases might require different methodologies.

The best to get gRPC to work with electron is to do this, possibly in your postinstall script of your package.json file:

npm rebuild --target=2.0.0 --runtime=electron --dist-url=

Note that the 2.0.0 above is the electron runtime version number. You will need to update this every time you go on a different version of the runtime.

If you have more native dependencies than gRPC, and they work better when built from source, you can explicitely specify which extension to build the following way:

npm rebuild --build-from-source=sqlite3 --target=2.0.0 --runtime=electron --dist-url=

This way, if you depend on both grpc and sqlite3, only the sqlite3 package will be rebuilt from source, leaving the grpc package to use its precompiled binaries.


  1. Clone the grpc-node Git Repository.
  2. Run git submodule update --init --recursive from the repository root.
  3. Run cd packages/grpc-native-core.
  4. Run npm install --build-from-source.

  5. Note: On Windows, this might fail due to nodejs issue #4932 in which case, you will see something like the following in npm install's output (towards the very beginning):

      Building the projects in this solution one at a time. To enable parallel build, please add the "/m" switch.
       "..\IMPORTANT: Due to https:\\nodejs\node\issues\4932, to build this library on Windows, you must first remove C:\Users\jenkins\.node-gyp\4.4.0\include\node\openssl"

    To fix this, you will have to delete the folder C:\Users\<username>\.node-gyp\<node_version>\include\node\openssl and retry npm install


You can configure the location from which the pre-compiled binaries are downloaded during installation.

npm install --grpc_node_binary_host_mirror=

Or defining grpc_node_binary_host_mirror in your .npmrc.


See the API Documentation.


To run the test suite, simply run npm test in the install location.