Content Verification

The “content verification” feature, or “app signing”, prevents loading unsigned files with your official binary. Given a keypair, ‘verified_contents.json’ is the signature for the application files. It’s created with the tool ‘’ and the private key (private_key.pem file). The public key is built into NW.js binary. To run the signed application, use nw --verify-content=enforce_strict . in the application directory. It will show the simple page. In the next, try to modify index.html a little bit and run it again. NW will report the file is corrupted and quit immediately.


This feature doesn’t prevent someone from hacking your app and loading it with other NW binaries. Consider writing some of your features with C++ and load it with Node.js module, NaCl or compile your JS to binary with nwjc

Sign an application

To sign an application with the demo keypair, do the following:

  1. change to application directory
  2. make sure verified_contents.json or computed_hashes.json is not there (you can just remove them)
  3. run payload.exe; it will generate payload.json, which serves as input for
  4. run python > /tmp/verified_contents.json (it’s important that the tmp destination directory is not application directory)
  5. move the generated verified_contents.json file to application dir and it’s done.

Rebuild to use your own keypair

To use your own keypair you’ll need to rebuild the NW binary. And the argument for --verify-content= in the command line need to be set to enforce_strict by default in your build.

  1. generate your keypair: openssl genrsa -out private_key.pem 2048
    (the output file contains both the private and public key)
  2. run python; it will convert the public key to C source code.
  3. put the generated source code in
    content/nw/src/; replace the default key.
  4. change the default value for the command line argument: change line no.73 in that file to:
    Mode experiment_value = ContentVerifierDelegate::ENFORCE_STRICT;
  5. build the NW binary.

Tools, sample application and the demo private key is under tools/sign directory. The demo private key is paired with the public key built into the official NW binaries.