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Inno Setup is a free installer for Windows programs by Jordan Russell and Martijn Laan. First introduced in 1997, Inno Setup today rivals and even surpasses many commercial installers in feature set and stability. Features Learn more about what Inno Setup can do. Download Inno Setup.
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One way to make your application more user-friendly is to bundle it with a setup utility (or installer) to automate itsinstallation on your users' computers. Some of these installers also provide an uninstaller so that users can removeyour program when they do not want to use it anymore. The setup wizards here typically create a self-extracting installerwith all your files bundled into the installer itself, as is the norm these days.
Note: if you are distributing your applications by CD or DVD, you may also be interested in theFree Autorun/Autoplay DVD and CD Menu Creation Software,which allows your program CD/DVD to automatically start when your users place them in the DVD drive. Alternatively, you mayprefer to create a website sothat you can distribute the software over the Internet.
For those who have arrived at this page looking for a general purpose software uninstaller to cleanlyremove programs you've installed on your computer, please see theFree Uninstallerspage instead. This page that you're looking at is meant for programmers packaging their software for distribution.
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Free Setup Utilities / Install Wizards
The WiX Toolset (short for Windows Installer XML Toolset) creates installers for Windows systems usingthe Windows Installer (the installation engine that is used by Microsoft products). Apart from making installers,it can also generate patch files, handle prerequisites that your software requires (for example, it can do thingslike install the Visual C++ runtime or NET framework on systems that don't already have it installed), registerexceptions in the Windows Firewall, create SQL Serverdatabases, etc.This is open source software, licensed under the Microsoft Reciprocal License. It started its life as a Microsoft project,before being made open source. It is currently maintained by the .NET Foundation. The toolset is apparently used to packagevarious Microsoft products (including Office, Visual Studio, SQL Server, etc).
Inno Setup is a well-known Windows installer that can create self-extracting SETUP executables. It can alsoinstall an uninstaller for your application files. One nice feature about this program is thatyou can generate your distribution files from either a GUI IDE or from the command line (usefulfor those using makefiles to automate development).The Setup file created is extremely small. The program also supports disk-spanning. Source code for the installer is available. Development is ongoing, andthere is support for other languages. You may use the installer for both commercial and non-commercial programs, free of charge.The installer is apparently used by Delphi and Microsoft Visual Studio Code.
Nullsoft provides a free scriptable installer that you can use to package your applications.The installer only adds 20-40k of overhead to your distributable file. It can compress yourfiles with zip or bzip2, register ActiveX controls (and deregister them as well), run anotherexecutable, call DLLs, create shortcuts, set registry entries, find windows that are open(for example, to detect whether an existing version of your application is currently running),flow control, etc.
This is not strictly an installer in the Windows sense of the word, but a means of packaging your Linux binariesso that it can be executed on anyLinux distribution.All the shared libraries required by your application is bundled together into one file and compressed. Your end-userdoes not need to install anything. In fact, they can even run your package as a non-root user, or execute it from a USB drive.When run, the image is transparently mounted with FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace), and the appropriate program executedwith the bundled shared libraries. Your end-user's system libraries and preferences are not altered. You can choose to eitherstore your application's preferences and data in the usual place (eg, in the user's home directory) or in the appimageitself (useful if you want the program to run from a USB drive). With this program, you can finally create a single bundlefor your application that can be used on any Linux distribution, the way Windows and Mac OS X programs can, without theheadache of packaging for a zillion distributions, each with their own versions of shared libraries and the like.
Spoon Installer is an open source Windows setup utility released under the BSD licence. It creates asingle compressed setup executable file for your applications. Update: it doesn't appear as thoughthis program is still being maintained, since the last update is in 2005.
Free float barrel nut install. A Win32 installer that allows you to add keys to the registry and supports more than one language.It is only for Windows 95, 98 and NT.
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[Update: this program is no longer maintained, and the site does not appear to bebe available any more.]This is a Win32 installer without an uninstaller. Documentation forthe version I checked suggests that it cannot create self-extracting executables.
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Free Installation Programs For Windows
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