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From "Andrew McIntyre" <>
Subject Re: Packaging for distribution - replacement for InstallShield functionality?
Date Wed, 22 Nov 2006 05:41:22 GMT
On 11/21/06, Marshall Schor <> wrote:
> I know that Apache projects like to release source code distributions
> but some projects also like to include binary (pre-built) distributions
> as well.  In pre-Apache versions of UIMA, for instance, we used
> Installshield to create one-click (well, maybe 3-click) installers for
> Windows and Linux systems.
> Is there an Apache favorite, open-source equivalent to Installshield -
> something that runs on many platforms, asks the user to accept a license
> and specify an install directory, and then unzips and perhaps runs some
> kind of post-install script to configure things?

The only software I know of for generating a single installer for use
on multiple platforms that is available free for open source projects
is BitRock InstallBuilder. Here's their free-for-open-source

Note, however, that InstallBuilder itself is not a free or open source product.

If you're ok with an installer for Windows only, there are several
projects (Lenya and Tomcat, off the top of my head) that use NSIS, the
Nullsoft Scriptable Installer System to build executable installers
for Windows.  The homepage can be found here:

There is a large body of usage outside the ASF that is documented on
the NSIS website as well. As for other Windows-only options, httpd
distributes an MSI installer for Windows, but I have no knowledge of
how that is actually generated.

It looks like most of the projects that have gone with NSIS installers
have mostly left configuration and installation a more manual process
on Unix platforms, although I've noticed a few projects (httpd, apr,
directory) distributing RPMs.


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