Penpot Desktop Project

I used the headless SH file from OSX-KVM on GitHub and choice High Sierra.

I went headless because this was on my own server, not my main machine.

It’s on my list todo to have a vm mac os running on my laptop for when I need apps that pollute all over your system like adobe apps. So I haven’t done it myself yet … so keep that in mind.

However I had OSX-KVM on my list to try. A few years ago I was also going to try sosumi (not really updated any more), GitHub - popey/sosumi-snap. At the time people seem to have great luck with it. But not sure if you can simple install from a newer macos installer or you need to go through the update process. This is the an example,, this link shows a lot of cmd line

However as I mentioned I have no idea why you mac-vm is crashing or giving you problems. It could of course be so many things. But the links I shared before can help you get you vm to the minimum setup possible, to save cpu and network traffic maybe.

Anyway, I hope you get it stable for your dev work. Good luck

Well, my plans to purchase a cheap Mac is still in place.
So, a donation would be nice. I only have $200 in savings, but those are general use savings.

Kinda sucks, I’m really broke and do pay for services.

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I hear you Korbs and think people should support you if they fine value in your projects.

Real talk:
I will say that the Penpot desktop project has yet to reach the level for me that would warrant monetary support, I would just run penpot in a local/remote lamp server or vm (But I may be different with the technical skills I have).

I think your timing is unfortunately in a very challenging time in both tech, but also open source projects in general. People might be in consolidation mode, for thing they see as not critical. Many podcast for example are using light micro payment to keep funding coming in. I know none of this is probably helpful during this challenging time for you. But many of us have been in similar situations, especially if trying to build, start or make something.

From my observations of project that succeed, and get funded, they create a strong value prop as to why their project, service, thing will save time, save cost, help communicate, etc for individuals people or vertical. If you can do that people will likely beginning using and supporting the project.

I’ve not done an assessment of your ideal user. But I would say that it’s likely not the same user as penpot web app yet. Perhaps it the Junior UX/UI designer, perhaps it’s none print inkscape users, or maybe it emerging markets like India, African, South American were the cost of adobe subscription is too high (I’ve seen many worry and complain about this happening to figma.)

I would recommend building up a compelling reason for using Penpot Desktop app. I’ve seen some of the ideas you were thinking about with incorporating video/calls, could be amazing, but before including that, is the app stable enough for people to feel safe that they won’t lose there 3 hr of work in?

Now the Good news:

  • More then a few people are asking for a desktop app (how many I have no idea)
  • You have a functioning app that people are testing for you and helping you kills some bugs (not project get this)
  • You have a company that so far is publicly supporting you building a desktop version of their app, many company would not want to give this control away for fear of negatively affecting the brand.
  • You seem to be iterating really fast, which is amazing.
  • I’ve seem many time that an organization eventually hires the contributors of valuable code, design, community engagement (nothing is guaranteed of course and I don’t speak for Penpot obviously).
  • Penpot is currently on the rise, all you need to do is hang on till it start to really take off (I have no idea how long that is), being value part of htat community could allow people to see your work and process, which could lead to consulting jobs or employment offer outside of penpot.
  • You have a way for those that find value or want to fund you, with a link to donate Future Development of Penpot Desktop

I really hope you take this in the spirit it’s meant, in that your hard work will likely pay off with patience, consistency and stability of the desktop app. Image if enough people use PD to the point that penpot would need to have a conversation … :slight_smile: this would be awesome for all. Please keep your head up, don’t waste money on computer when you can likely do it in a vm, do odd jobs, do what ever it take to make you future vision come true (or as close as possible)

Look to companies like Kaleidos, Blender, Inkscape, krita, etc as examples of users throwing money at something they love and would be sad to see go away, build that relationship and you won’t have to worry.

I look forward to the day we can all look back and remember a time when it was just you working on the desktop app, but in the future it will be a team of amazing devs build open platform to win over converts from proprietary software’s and ever rising subscriptions cost.

If this is the wrong tone for this community or people find it somehow not appropriate, I have not issues remove this post. It was late :), but I thought it was worth sharing rather then just saying nothing.

Be well, be coding, be hustling!



Why no Flatpak for Linux distros? One package universal deployment with flatpak.

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I leverage the use of Electron Builder with certain functions, however their support for Flatpak seems to be new, but I’m still looking into it.

It’s easy to compile Penpot Desktop from source code.

Quote from Electron Builder’s doc:

"Currently electron-builder does not support publishing apps to Flatpak repositories like Flathub. This means the Flatpak support in electron-builder is limited to generating single-file bundles which have various limitations compared to app bundles installed from a repository.

For what it’s worth, there are some plans to make it easier to publish Electron apps to Flathub. When that happens, it should be easier to create a Flathub publisher for electron-builder (which would work similary to the other publishers)."

You can view more about that here: Flatpak - electron-builder

Hi Korbs,

I have 2 questions:

  • are you able to keep it up-to-date with the SaaS version? With a reasonable delay.
  • I often have performances issues while moving a lot of objects, etc. Is it better offline?

Thanks for your work.

As any other app I build for desktop, this is based on ElectronJS. I do try to stick to good practice when it comes to performance, as I try to keep in mind low performance computers. But, from my experience, running it offline with your own instance does seem to be better, although my server is a little overkill.

As for keeping it up to date, once we get to a stable release, we may stick with a point releases(other than rolling releases) to just fix bugs and make sure it’s using the latest version of ElectronJS.

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Sorry if I ask a stupid question, but the desktop app works only with the self-hosted, or can I use it if I’m using the Saas from Penpot?

You are able to use it with any Penpot instance, including the one by Penpot itself.

Just set “” in the Instance settings and click Save or the check icon.

Technically with the way it’s built, you could set it to other stuff like Figma and Mockup, it’s mostly an embed with tabs on top.
Although I would like to make sure the app can verify that you are using a Penpot instance.

Ok thank you, then I’ll give it a try, if it performs better that would be an improvement for me.

I’m no used to install Electron apps.

I’ve installed the setup you provide and installed with apt. It goes well, but when I launch the app:

A JavaScript error occurred in the main process
Uncaught Exception:
Error: Cannot find module 'builder-util-runtime'
Require stack:
- /opt/Penpot Desktop/resources/app.asar/node_modules/electron-updater/out/main.js
- /opt/Penpot Desktop/resources/app.asar/src/process/index.js
    at Module._resolveFilename (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1002:15)
    at n._resolveFilename (node:electron/js2c/browser_init:2:109797)
    at Module._load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:848:27)
    at f._load (node:electron/js2c/asar_bundle:2:13330)
    at Module.require (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1068:19)
    at require (node:internal/modules/cjs/helpers:103:18)
    at Object.<anonymous> (/opt/Penpot Desktop/resources/app.asar/node_modules/electron-updater/out/main.js:4:32)
    at Module._compile (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1174:14)
    at Module._extensions..js (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1229:10)
    at Module.load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1044:32)

As I don’t know much about node, I can’t find a way to fix it (and internet doesn’t really help me).

I have node 18.15

This is fixed now, apparently electron updater isn’t compatible with PNPM, which caused this issue.

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Haaaa yes it is working now, thanks!

Hey! Seems like the links are not working at all, there is no such repo, and I’m met with 404 error. Maybe simplify the process for code handling by simply moving project of Desktop App to Github. By the way I can help with handling the signatures for Penpot on MacOS. I have a Developer Signature (paid one), so hit me up if you need help.

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I’ve fixed the link and I have just recently renewed my Apple Developer account. @MattHB


It gives me the same error when I try to access the Preview Mode now in 6th June 2023. Any suggestions how should I fix it, if you have please?

I fix has been added to an unreleased version, should come by June 30th.


Hey there,
the download link for mac doesn’t work. The server seems to be down.

Looks like my power is still out.