What methods of installation are people using?

I would like to have some kind of automated installation process, but am not sure which method to use. Just wondering if anybody would like to share what methods they are using. I am thinking about using InstallShield for PC, but it is a bit expensive. I have no idea what I’ll use for Mac though.

I haven’t looked into what I’m going to do for my Windows installations yet, but I’m planning on using the native .msi format since it’s free and super lightweight. On Mac you can use pkgutil to build a package which includes options and pre/post install scripting, requesting root, rebooting, etc.


Cool. Thanks for the link. Do you think it’s a bad idea for me to simply write my own Windows installation program? I mean, I’ve never tried it before, but it doesn’t seem so complicated. I might even make it open source so other people could use it and contribute too. What do you think?

Several things have been mentioned here in the past, some of the favourites being:

I haven’t tried them myself though so YMMV.

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The way I look at it: why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? Apple and Microsoft’s built-in installer tools (and most of the multiple formats in Linux), while very basic, are super lightweight, completely native, and handle most of the tasks you’ll probably ever need - install/remove/repair, copy a bunch of files from the package to a spot in the filesystem, selecting optional components, and signing.

The only time a third party installer application would be needed is if you have some colossal monster of a program (like anything from Autodesk or the Adobe Suite for example) which which may require registry hacks, advanced install-time licensing stuff, or fiddling with system directories.

Heck, a lot of plugins I’ve seen, because they’re often self-contained code bundles, are just put in a zip file with a README telling the user where to copy them. Definitely a lot less professional than taking half a day to script a set of native installers, but I think it’s easier on everyone (developers and consumers alike) vs. over-engineering things.

For osx I use http://s.sudre.free.fr/Software/Packages/about.html
For windows Inno Setup : http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php


Same here, and it works great

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Agree with the suggestions so far.

On Windows: http://nsis.sourceforge.net/Main_Page
On Mac: http://s.sudre.free.fr/Software/Packages/about.html

Packages is a God-send after wrestling with the (now deprecated) Apple PackageMaker!!

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The way I look at it: why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to?

Good point.

For osx I use http://s.sudre.free.fr/Software/Packages/about.html

Looks good.

Thanks all for your answers. I really appreciate it.

The only short-coming I ran into with Packages was that you can’t access the user ~Library path and the system Library path in the same package.