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Tip of the Week Archive 

Tip 26: Modifying installation options (including Windows Silent Installation)

Note, this tip is superseded by the instructions for the new MSI installer.

Our installer was built using InnoSetup which allows numerous silent installation options to be used.

The relevant command line parameters that are most likely to be useful are:


which makes it all happen silently,


which specifies the directory for installation, and you might also possibly want to set the name of the Folder Group for the Windows start menu (it will otherwise use a default which is likely to be "BlueJ 2.1.3" or the applicable version number )

/GROUP="BlueJ 2.1.3"

so the whole command would be something like:

bluejsetup-213.exe /VERYSILENT /DIR="c:\bluej213" /GROUP="BlueJ 2.1.3"

We have limited feedback on how this has worked for people, so we'd be interested in knowing how this works out for you if you give it a try.

As Innosetups documentation seems to be mainly in the form of a help file that comes with its distribution I've pasted below the whole range of command line parameters possible. Beyond the ones mentioned above, I have limited experience in the others.



The Setup program accepts optional command line parameters. These can be useful to system administrators, and to other programs calling the Setup program.

Disables the This will install... Do you wish to continue? prompt at the beginning of Setup. Of course, this will have no effect if the DisableStartupPrompt [Setup] section directive was set to yes.

Instructs Setup to be silent or very silent. When Setup is silent the wizard and the background window are not displayed but the installation progress window is. When a setup is very silent this installation progress window is not displayed. Everything else is normal so for example error messages during installation are displayed and the startup prompt is (if you haven't disabled it with DisableStartupPrompt or the '/SP-' command line option explained above)

If a restart is necessary and the '/NORESTART' command isn't used (see below) and Setup is silent, it will display a Reboot now? message box. If it's very silent it will reboot without asking.

Instructs Setup to suppress message boxes. Only has an effect when combined with '/SILENT' and '/VERYSILENT'. The default response in situations where there's a choice is:
-Yes in a 'Keep newer file?' situation.
-No in a 'File exists, confirm overwrite.' situation.
-Abort in Abort/Retry situations.
-Cancel in Retry/Cancel situations.
-Yes (=continue) in a DiskSpaceWarning/DirExists/DirDoesntExist/NoUninstallWarning/ExitSetupMessage/ConfirmUninstall situation.
-Yes (=restart) in a FinishedRestartMessage/UninstalledAndNeedsRestart situation.

5 message boxes are not suppressible:
-The About Setup message box.
-The Exit Setup? message box.
-The FileNotInDir2 message box displayed when Setup requires a new disk to be inserted and the disk was not found.
-Any (error) message box displayed before Setup (or Uninstall) could read the command line parameters.
-Any message box displayed by [Code] support function MsgBox.

Causes Setup to create a log file in the user's TEMP directory detailing file installation and [Run] actions taken during the installation process. This can be a helpful debugging aid. For example, if you suspect a file isn't being replaced when you believe it should be (or vice versa), the log file will tell you if the file was really skipped, and why.

The log file is created with a unique name based on the current date. (It will not overwrite or append to existing files.) The information contained in the log file is technical in nature and therefore not intended to be understandable by end users. Nor is it designed to be machine-parseable; the format of the file is subject to change without notice.

Same as /LOG, except it allows you to specify a fixed path/filename to use for the log file. If a file with the specified name already exists it will be overwritten. If the file cannot be created, Setup will abort with an error message.

Prevents the user from cancelling during the installation process, by disabling the Cancel button and ignoring clicks on the close button. Useful along with '/SILENT' or '/VERYSILENT'.

Instructs Setup not to reboot even if it's necessary.

Specifies the custom exit code that Setup is to return when a restart is needed. Useful along with '/NORESTART'. Also see Setup Exit Codes.

Instructs Setup to load the settings from the specified file after having checked the command line. This file can be prepared using the '/SAVEINF=' command as explained below.

Don't forget to use quotes if the filename contains spaces.

Instructs Setup to save installation settings to the specified file. Don't forget to use quotes if the filename contains spaces.

Specifies the language to use. language specifies the internal name of the language as specified in a [Languages] section entry. When a valid /LANG parameter is used, the Select Language dialog
will be suppressed.

Overrides the default directory name displayed on the Select Destination Location wizard page. A fully qualified pathname must be specified.

/GROUP="folder name"
Overrides the default folder name displayed on the Select Start Menu Folder wizard page. If the [Setup] section directive DisableProgramGroupPage was set to yes, this command line parameter is ignored.

Instructs Setup to initially check the Don't create any icons check box on the Select Start Menu Folder wizard page.

/COMPONENTS="comma separated list of component names" Overrides the default components settings. Using this command line parameter causes Setup to automatically select a custom type.

Specifies the password to use. If the [Setup] section directive Password was not set, this command line parameter is ignored. When an invalid password is specified, this command line parameter is also ignored.


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