Web renderers

When running and building apps for the web, you can choose between two different renderers. This page describes both renderers and how to choose the best one for your needs. The two renderers are:

HTML
Uses a combination of HTML elements, CSS, Canvas elements, and SVG elements. This renderer has a smaller download size.
CanvasKit
Uses Skia compiled to WebAssembly and rendered using WebGL. This renderer is fully consistent with Flutter mobile and desktop, has faster performance, and is less likely to have differences across browsers, but adds about 2MB in download size.

Command line options

The --web-renderer command line option takes one of three values, auto, html, or canvaskit.

  • auto (default) - automatically chooses which renderer to use. This option chooses the HTML renderer when the app is running in a mobile browser, and CanvasKit renderer when the app is running in a desktop browser.
  • html - always use the HTML renderer.
  • canvaskit - always use the CanvasKit renderer.

This flag can be used with the run or build subcommands. For example:

flutter run -d chrome --web-renderer html
flutter build web --web-renderer canvaskit

This flag is ignored when used with a non-browser (mobile or desktop) device target is selected.

Choosing which option to use

Choose the auto option (default) if you are optimizing for download size on mobile browsers and optimizing for performance on desktop browsers.

Choose the html option if you are optimizing download size over performance on both desktop and mobile browsers.

Choose the canvaskit option if you are prioritizing performance and pixel-perfect consistency on both desktop and mobile browsers.

Examples

Run in Chrome using the default renderer option (auto):

flutter run -d chrome

Build your app in release mode, using the default (auto) option:

flutter build web --release

Build your app in release mode, using just the CanvasKit renderer:

flutter build web --web-renderer canvaskit --release

Run your app in profile mode using the HTML renderer:

flutter run -d chrome --web-renderer html --profile