How To Build The Nylas N1 Email Client On Windows 10

After my post which explained how to build the Nylas N1 email client on macOS, here is the second post in the series which focuses on Windows 10 instead.

I had no shortage of issues and error messages trying to build N1 on Windows (and I wasn’t the only one, as the issues I opened in GitHub were often reproduced by others as well), but they all happened because I was trying to use an unsupported version of Visual Studio (2015 Community Edition, in my case) so here is all you need to do to be able to successfully build Nylas N1 on Windows 10.

What you will need

How to build the N1 email client

  1. Make sure python.exe is in your PATH
  2. git clone
  3. cd N1
  4. script\bootstrap.cmd

Now simply wait for the build process to complete (it will take a few minutes).

How to run the N1 email client

After building N1, you can run it with the following command:

electron\electron.exe . --dev


The first time you execute N1, you might have to run this command twice. After only executing it once, I got this weird-looking screen:

Executing it again made N1 start correctly.

So here you go, this is how to successfully build the Nylas N1 email client on Windows. Once you figure out that using Visual Studio 2013 is a requirement and that this is not supposed to work with any other version of Visual Studio, the build process is extremely straightforward and will finally stop throwing build errors at you.


  1. Zach Elderwind

    April 9, 2017 at 3:17 AM

    Hey, I am having troubles running the bootstrap.cmd command. Could you just leave a download link to the install files you were able to create? Thanks!

    • Hey Zach! You are lucky, as Nylas announced a new free plan some time ago:

      Which also means that you can download the official binaries from their website now:


      • Thanks for your quick reply!
        When I went to the link to their download page, it did not download. I tried clicking on the windows icon, but it said that they have not released the windows version yet. Are you able to download it?

        • Ooops, you are right! I forgot that they are only offering the Mac build at the moment :/

          So, here is something interesting: I currently don’t have access to the Windows machine I used while writing this guide, so I fired up a new Windows VM to do this and create the install files for you, and I have run into an issue I have never seen before when running bootstrap.cmd:

          ‘appveyor-retry’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

          Is this the same issue you are having when you run the bootstrap script?

          • Zach Elderwind

            April 10, 2017 at 3:55 PM

            Yup, that is that same issue that I ran into.

          • I figured as much. I managed to find this issue on GitHub, we are not the only ones this is happening to:


            I will take a look and see if I can troubleshoot this. Will keep you posted.

          • Zach Elderwind

            April 10, 2017 at 4:12 PM

            Awesome! Thanks!

          • Ok so this is what I have found: this seems to be a problem with the latest releases of Nylas Mail. I managed to successfully build an older release (0.4.402), but I cannot build the latest one. If you want this old build for version 0.4.402 I can share the compiled files with you somehow, but then I also found a more recent .exe installer on their GitHub page:


            At this point, perhaps it’s easier if you just download that compiled version (or you could also build version 1.5.0 using these instructions, which should work; I am building version 1.5.0 right now and things are looking good so far) and then just update using the app’s built-in updater?

          • Zach Elderwind

            April 10, 2017 at 5:35 PM

            Awesome! Thanks! I am setting it up right now. Do you also happen to know how to host your own sync engine? So that you don’t have to pay for the pro version? Thanks!

          • Zach Elderwind

            April 10, 2017 at 7:42 PM

            How can I install this on my CentOS server? You wrote the article for Ubuntu, which doesn’t work for CentOS. Thanks!

          • I don’t expect the instructions to be much different for CentOS to be honest. If I can find some time I can give that a try and publish a blog post focusing on CentOS though ;)

          • Zach Elderwind

            April 10, 2017 at 7:35 PM

            How can I install this on my CentOS server? You wrote the article for Ubuntu, which doesn’t work for CentOS. Thanks!

          • Zach Elderwind

            April 10, 2017 at 8:35 PM

            Awesome! Do you think I could just follow the instructions on ? Or should I just wait for your blog post?

          • The instruction on the GitHub page of the project will work no matter what the platform, because they use Vagrant to run the Sync Engine. Basically, your Sync Engine will run inside a VM. The guide I wrote is so you can run this without the overhead of an additional VM.

            So if you want to get this running no matter how, you can definitely follow their official instructions. If you want to run the Sync Engine on bare metal, however, you will have to wait for my blog post. Unless you feel adventurous and would like to try to translate my instructions for Ubuntu to CentOS, of course ;)

          • Zach Elderwind

            April 11, 2017 at 5:38 PM

            Cool! I am just going to wait until you make your blog post. Thanks!

          • Awesome. I have added it to my to do list ;) Speak soon!

          • Hey Zach, just a quick heads up that Nylas have just released Nylas Mail 2.0, and now the latest binaries are available for download ;)


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