MSI Cygwin installer

Tristan Juricek
Fri Feb 22 15:56:00 GMT 2002

Hello, I'm new to this list, and a cursory search for "MSI" brought up only
one item.

A little background: My company currently is using Cygwin's toolset as a
replacement for the Visual Studio build environment.  It's my job to manage
the distribution.  We are also looking into possibly packing up some of the
tools with our product as well.

I've been wondering if anyone has considered or has worked on a Cygwin MSI
installer.  Though there are some restrictions and it may be more difficult
to automate, the administrative capabilities more than make up for it (at
least for my tasks).  I'm going ahead and wrapping the installers myself for
our internal usage, but I'd also like to gauge interest in developing an
MSI-based installation system.

The main task would be setting up the mechanism for actually generating the
compiled msi and msm files.  The SDK provides basic facilities, but using a
scripting tool like Wise For Windows Installer (I personally can't stand
ISWI) is a tremendous time saver.  Nonetheless, I don't know of any free
tools for compiling msi files.  Generating a new set of free tools to
compile those files may require a bit of work.

Right now, for my company's internal installer, I've moved to the following
1. Each tarfile that comprises part of the distribution gets repackaged into
a merge module (msm).
2. There is an msi installer for each one of the "logical" groupings of
packages - base, devel, admin, archive, etc.
3. There is a final single msi installer that calls the logical group
installers via an embedded custom action.

This setup allows for the ability to patch in new versions of the different
tools quickly.  However, you still need to have the set of available tools
compiled into the installer itself - I don't know if it's even possible to
add components and features while attempting an installation.

In any case, I'd like to hear opinions or ideas about setting up a new
MSI-based installation system.  Especially if anyone would be interested in
using or developing this kind of effort.


PS - Microsoft's documentation page for reference:
<>  (Setup and System
Administration -> Setup -> Windows Installer -> SDK Documentation -> Windows

Tristan Juricek

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Cygwin-apps mailing list