Using tagged (stable) Atom alongside compiled Atom


I’d like to be able to have two versions of Atom on my system – one is the standard tagged release that will be auto-updated by Squirrel, and the other one that I build myself from master. I’m not really sure how to go about this since the build script installs to /Applications on my Mac and overwrites stable Atom. I guess I could always rename stable Atom first, but I was wondering if there was something I missed.


Have you tried this suggestion by @postcasio?


Would this mean that I wouldn’t have to compile Atom? Like I’d just clone it somewhere and run the unstable version with atom -r path/to/clone? This would mean though that I would be running unstable Atom with stable Atom shell commands though, which seems not quite the same as having two totally separate installations.

  1. No, I’m pretty sure you’d still have to compile Atom first to get the JavaScript source
  2. I believe what @postcasio was suggesting was running the ./ script from the root of the repository

But I haven’t used this technique … I run released Atom at work and built Atom at home.


To be honest, I’m not sure which way is best. I guess you could build a tagged release and install that, then switch to master and rebuild without installing again. You’ll have a stable version of Atom in your /Applications that will only use your development clone when running in development mode or with -r, and you’ll still be able to use the normal atom shell command.

I don’t know how this would interact with automatic updates. Theoretically you should be able to build without installing and just use the released version of Atom in the same way, I think? I haven’t really done it much, as I use released Atom most of the time, only switching to development when I’m looking at the core. And then I will usually just reinstall when I’m finished.


How would you build without installing? script/build seems to always build and install to /Applications. It would be pretty nice if you could rebuild without installing (maybe with a flag) to /Applications. If that’s not possible right now then maybe that’d be worth a feature request.


I think once you’ve bootstrapped/built the first time, you can just run apm rebuild in the atom directory.


Not sure if this is ideal, but I ended up renaming stable Atom (installed from the pre-built binaries) to Atom Stable, then cloning master and running script/build. Now I have both the stable binary and the master binary in /Applications, and they both seem to work fine. I just can’t have both open at once, unfortunately…

But, ultimately, I may just end up going the @leedohm route and just using built Atom at home and stable at work.