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Non-MSI Setup Authoring Tools

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It's impossible to maintain a complete list of all setup authoring tools here on InstallSite. The list of tools that create Windows Installer (MSI) based setups is updated on a regular basis to keep it as complete as possible, but for non-MSI setups here is a non-exhaustive list of popular tools. For more tools I recommend the following web directory:

dmoz open directory project Computers: Software: System Management: Installers

Setup Tools for Windows


Description from the manufacturer:
This professional tool allows you to create reliable installation programs, ready for distribution, with extreme ease! Now you can forget about time-consuming scripting and manual learning. All you need to do is to fill out the necessary forms and attach the program's files.
Along with the basic features of software installation tools, Actual Installer provides some advanced, such as multilingual installations, customizable dialogs, registry modification, checking the system specifications for their compliance with the program requirements, software prerequisites, file associations, registration of fonts, screensavers and ActiveX components, custom commands and much more! All of these features take just a few minutes to configure and compile into a compact executable file.


Single Developer License:
Product information - Download Trial Version -  Buy Single Developer License

Company License:
Product information - Download Trial Version - Buy Company License

Manufacturer: Softeza Development
License: commercial

WWW Website

Centurion Setup

Information from the manufacturer:
Centurion Setup creates executable installation programs that are self-contained in a single file. A single file is easily downloaded, requires no software such as WinZip to decompress, and ensures that all installation files are present. The installer's overhead is only 645 KB and the compression engine achieves a very high compression ratio. Centurion Setup and the installers that it creates run on all versions of Windows® 95, 98, NT4, 2000, ME, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, and 7, including 64-bit versions. The installer is capable of presenting the user interface in English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, and Afrikaans. All strings that are displayed in the user interface can be edited. Entire languages can be added.

Centurion SetupCenturion Setup

Ready to distribute your software masterpiece? Don't wrestle for weeks with a complicated installation builder. Spend just a few minutes with Centurion Setup, and it will build a professional software installer for Windows in a self-contained, compressed executable. It supports multiple languages, interface customization, DLL installation, patching, password protection, and much more.

Product Information / Trial Download
Buy Standard License     Buy Retail License

Manufacturer: Gammadyne Corp. (USA)
License: Commercial

WWW Product Information / Trial Download


Description from the company:
GkSetup is a setup toolkit that allows you to create professional self-extracting setup files for your application within minutes. It will display your license and readme texts, manages Start Menu entries, and creates an automatic uninstaller. It DLL/OCX registration and there are several language packs available for free.
Windows Installer (MSI) support is only included in the Professional and E-Commerce editions which can create MSI and on-MSI setups from the same project file.

Manufacturer: GkWare e.K. (Germany)
License: Commercial

WWW Web Site

Tarma InstallMate

Description from the company:
InstallMate creates software installers for Windows 32-bit and 64-bit desktop and server platforms, with complete customization of all installer actions and dialogs.

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As a special benefit for users of the InstallSite web site Tarma Software Research offers a 20% discount on the original price. Just enter the special coupon code Installsite-20 when your order.

Product Information / Download Demo

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Manufacturer: Tarma Software Research Pty Ltd (Australia)
License: Commercial

WWW Product Information / Download Demo


Description from the company:
InstallShield, the most popular software installation tool combines power and flexibility with ease-of-use. First-time developers find it easy to create installations, while power users find its depth and flexibility perfect for developing complex software installations. Used on over 500 million PCs worldwide, InstallShield is the market-leading solution for Windows, servers and mobile devices.
While still supporting the traditional InstallScript project type, InstallShield can also build Windows Installer MSI setups.
Multiple runtime languages supported, depending on edition.
Development environment available in English, German and Japanese.

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Premier, Professional, or Express Editions. Full products and upgrades. Books and training courses.

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Manufacturer: Flexera Software
License: Commercial

WWW Web Site

Inno Setup

Description from the manufacturer:
Inno Setup is a free installer for Windows programs. First introduced in 1997, Inno Setup today rivals and even surpasses many commercial installers in feature set and stability. Features include Support for all versions of Windows in use today: Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, Me, 98, 95, and NT 4.0. (No service packs are required.) Extensive support for installation of 64-bit applications on the 64-bit editions of Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. Both the x64 and Itanium architectures are supported. (On the Itanium architecture, Service Pack 1 is required to install in 64-bit mode.) Integrated Pascal scripting engine. Support for multilingual installs. Support for passworded and encrypted installs. Full source code is available (Borland Delphi 2.0-5.0).
Inno Setup may be used completely free of charge, even when deploying commercial applications. However if you wish to show your appreciation and support its development you can make a donation.

Manufacturer: Jordan Russell
License: freeware

WWW Website

NSIS - Nullsoft Scriptable Install System

Description from the manufacturer:
NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System) is a professional open source system to create Windows installers. It is designed to be as small and flexible as possible and is therefore very suitable for internet distribution. NSIS is script-based and allows you to create the logic to handle even the most complex installation tasks. Many plug-ins and scripts are already available: you can create web installers, communicate with Windows and other software components, install or update shared components and more. Unlike other systems that can only generate installers based on a list of files and registry keys, NSIS has a powerful scripting language. This script language is designed for installers and has commands that help you to perform many installation tasks. You can easily add custom logic and handle different upgrades, version checks and more.
One installer can support multiple interface languages. More than 40 translations are already included, but you can also create your own language files. RTL (right-to-left) languages such as Arabic and Hebrew are fully supported.
You can create a single installer that is compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista. The NSIS compiler can be compiled for POSIX platforms like Linux and *BSD. Generated installer will still run on Windows only, but this way they can be generated without Windows or WINE.

License: open source

WWW Website


Description from the manufacturer:
No programming required, QSetup from Pantaray Research makes project packaging fast and easy using our "intuitive" menus. Our unique "Execution Engine" can handle your most challenging installation tasks. It's so easy. No need to read any manual, five minutes with QSetup together with its online exclusive help and you can create your first installation.
QSetup is unique in it's ability to create setup that will AUTO-UPDATE from the Internet when a new version of the program is available. The PRO edition supports multilingual installations without the need to purchase additional language package.
QSetup PRO can produce setup files in the form of an MSI file as well as a traditional EXE file

Manufacturer: Pantaray Research
License: commercial

WWW Website

Visual Installer

Description from the manufacturer:
SamLogic Visual Installer 2012 is an easy-to-use installation software / setup tool that can be used to create a setup package / setup wizard for distribution via a CD, DVD, USB flash drive or the Internet. No programming knowledge is required; you can create your installers visually. Visual Installer can build a redistributable installation program that is compatible with all Windows versions from Windows 98 to the latest Windows 8. Both 32 and 64 bit version of Windows are fully supported.
Visual Installer can import a project file created with Microsoft Visual Studio / Microsoft Visual Basic (Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic 2002 - 2012) and create an installation project / setup package based on that.
Visual Installer includes many special functions which allows it for example to install an Excel Add-In, Word template, AutoCAD profile etc. Visual Installer knows how to configure the system / Registry so these files are automatically found.

Manufacturer: SamLogic Software
License: commercial

WWW Website

Wise Installation Studio

Wise Installation Studio has been discontinued by Symantec Corporation in April 2010.

Cross Platform Setup Tools

Advanced Installer for Java / Advanced Installer Enterprise

Description from the company:
Advanced Installer is the only Windows Installer authoring tool with built-in support for Java applications, integrating them fully into the Windows OS and making them look and feel just like a native application. Using Advanced Installer you can create MSI packages for your Java applications, and allow your application to use the Windows Installer features.
Advanced Installer for Java and Advanced Installer Enterprise editions also have the ability to create packages for installing on Mac OS X. They respect the industry guidelines, supporting all the platform specific features - from folder layout to document types file associations and more. The packages are strictly native, without the overhead of Java installers. The cross-platform installation elements are included, while the Windows-specific ones are ignored. The Mac OS X build is fully customizable with its own file layout, icons, descriptions and more.
(The Professional and Free editions of Advanced Installer only support Windows Installer, not Mac OS X.)

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Manufacturer: Caphyon LTD (Romania), Caphyon LLC (USA)
License: Commercial

WWW Product Information

BitRock InstallBuilder

Description from the company:
BitRock InstallBuilder is a development tool for building cross-platform installers for desktop and server software. With InstallBuilder, you can quickly create dynamic, professional installers for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris and other platforms from a single project file and build environment. In addition to installers, InstallBuilder will generate RPM and Debian packages and multiplatform CDs/DVDs. Automatic update functionality makes it easy to deliver updates directly to users once they have your software installed.

Manufacturer: BitRock S.L.
License: Commercial

WWW Manufacturer Web Site


Description from the company:
InstallAnywhere is the leading multi-platform installation solution for software producers who need to deliver consistent, customized installation experiences for all their supported platforms. InstallAnywhere provides customization options, accessibility support, and advanced installation collaboration tools for creating professional, user-friendly localized installations.
InstallAnywhere sets the standard for commercial multi-platform installations with advanced support for RedHat Enterprise Server, RedHat Advanced Server, Itanium for Windows, SUSE Enterprise Server, Solaris, Linux, HP-UX, Z/OS/OS/390 & SOLARIS, Mac OS X and more. InstallAnywhere also includes tools to help migrate legacy Installshield Multiplatform projects to Installanywhere.

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Manufacturer: Flexera Software
License: Commercial

WWW Web Site




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