nRF Connect for Desktop

Developer documentation





NordicSemiconductor/pc-nrfconnect-docs on GitHub


File system location

nRF Connect stores apps in the following directory:

Official apps

Official apps are uploaded to When clicking on Install in the launcher, the app tarball is downloaded from and extracted to .nrfconnect-apps/node_modules.

Local apps

Apps that are unofficial or in development are retrieved from the .nrfconnect-apps/local directory. Adding an app here will make it appear in the nRF Connect launcher, so that you can test it.

Properties in package.json

The following package.json properties should be configured by nRF Connect apps:

Property Description
name The name used to identify the app. The recommended naming convention is pc-nrfconnect-<appname>, as this makes it easier to identify it as an nRF Connect app.
displayName The name shown in the nRF Connect launcher and in the app’s window title.
description The description shown in the nRF Connect launcher.
version The current version of the app. Should be a valid semver string. The nRF Connect launcher will display an upgrade button when new versions of the app are made available on the server.
main The entry file of the app, which is loaded by nRF Connect. When using a bundler like esbuild, this should point to the created bundle file, typically in the dist/ directory.
engines.nrfconnect The nRF Connect version(s) the app supports. Should be a valid semver range. The launcher will show a warning if this is missing or incompatible.
files The files to include when publishing the app on the npm registry. Make sure that this contains everything the app needs at runtime, e.g. code, icon, and resources.

Other than these, we also recommend setting at least license, homepage, author, and repository.url.

App icon

If there is an icon.png file in the app directory, then this will appear next to the app in the nRF Connect launcher and in the app’s window title. The default nRF Connect icon is used if no such file exists.

The icon is displayed at 40x40 pixels in the nRF Connect launcher, so make sure the icon is displaying nicely at that size.


Usually, apps will depend on other modules from the npm registry. Dependencies can be specified in the app’s package.json file.

As a general rule, apps should use devDependencies instead of dependencies when possible. This will keep the app’s size to a minimum. At build time, esbuild will bundle all the code that the app needs to run, so the dependencies are normally only needed at build time.

Some modules may not be possible to bundle with esbuild. This could be native modules or modules that use some special syntax that esbuild does not support. In this case, the module should be added to dependencies instead of devDependencies, and also added to bundledDependencies so that it is included in the tarball that is published to npm.


pc-nrfconnect-shared provides a script run-esbuild to run esbuild with a configuration that is ready to use. The nRF Connect boilerplate app defines scripts to run esbuild to build the app.

Normally, app developers should not need to edit this, but you are free to bundle apps in another way if that suits you better.


Apps can import a few modules from nRF Connect. The default esbuild configuration ignores these by adding them as external, as they are available at runtime. The same is automatically done for any dependencies from package.json.

Release notes

All official apps should have a file When running npm run nordic-publish it is automatically uploaded to and the users see it in the launcher as release notes of the app.