NSIS

By | August 26, 2019

NSIS stands for Nullsoft Scriptable Install System. It is a professional script-driven open source system to create installers for Microsoft Windows and an alternative to commercial products like InstallShield. Here I present step by step how to create simple Windows installer for my project usb-cubby which saves passwords and personal information in encrypted way. First of all I downloaded and installed NSIS. Installed NSIS is 32-bit application and in C:\Program Files (x86) looks like this:
NSIS in Program Files (x86)
Next I created simple NSI script for usb-cubby installation packaging. I will not explain all syntax details of NSI scripting language, it is pretty simple for more details visit Scripting Reference. My NSI scripts has basic functions: specifies list of installation sequences defined by insertmacro, defines installer file name OutFile, name of installation directory InstallDir, installation section with input file and one callback function .onInstSuccess which displays a message box:


!include MUI.nsh
!include “FileFunc.nsh”
!include “LogicLib.nsh”
!include “WordFunc.nsh”
Name “usb-cubby Installer”
OutFile “usb-cubbySetup.exe”
Caption “usb-cubby setup”
!insertmacro MUI_PAGE_WELCOME
!insertmacro MUI_PAGE_INSTFILES
!insertmacro MUI_UNPAGE_CONFIRM
!insertmacro MUI_UNPAGE_INSTFILES
!insertmacro MUI_LANGUAGE “English”
InstallDir “$PROGRAMFILES\usb-cubby\”
;Installer Sections
Section “Install” SecInstall
SetOutPath “$INSTDIR”
File usb-cubby.exe
SectionEnd
Function .onInstSuccess
MessageBox MB_OK “You have successfully installed usb-cubby.exe in $INSTDIR.”
FunctionEnd



The script was saved as usb-cubby.nsi file.

To create installer right click on the usb-cubby.nsi file in File Explorer and select “Compile NSIS script” from context menu:
Start NSIS script compiling

Output of script compilation:
Output of NSIS script compilation

Compilation shows warning that uninstaller section is not found, it is because it is not specified in the script code. The result of script compilation is usb-cubbySetup.exe, this file can be opened by 7z utility to view its contents:
Output of NSIS script compilation

To install usb-cubby.exe double click on usb-cubbySetup.exe file and follow the steps defined in the usb-cubby.nsi script:
Installation

Installed

When installation is completed check the usb-cubby is installed in directory defined in NSIS script:

usb-cubby installed

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