Tool to compress on Linux a bunch of install files for Windows


Viviana Vc

Hi all,

I have the following requirement: provide an Windows installer to a
company, where the administrator should be able to change a file in the
package, let's say readme.txt, having just a Linux machine.

So I was thinking to the following steps:
1) - I can create an uncompressed package (so it will contain the msi,
setup.exe and all additional files but they are all uncompressed into a
2) - provide this directory to the administrator
3) - the admin can replace whatever files he wants
4) - in order to distribute it to the Windows users, he will compress
them into a package, using his Linux machine

So, my problem is the step 4). Is there on Linux a tool that could do
what the previously "InstallShield package for the Web" was doing?
Meaning to pack together a bunch of files into a finalSetup.exe and set
to run one of the files from the package (for instance the .msi or the
setup.exe) if the finalSetup.exe is run? (So the package is for Windows,
just the compressing everything together should be done on Linux). Is
there such a tool on Linux?

Thanks in advance,


How about using PFTW inside an emulator such as WINE or VMWare?

This would be the easiest way to get what you want....

Viviana Vc

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Linux. I just have to provide a
solution for Linux admins :)

So, yes as WINE is free I could suggest this as a solution. Let's see if
my bosses agree :)



You can use an SFX file. I just tested it in Linux
and it worked fine. Using PowerArchiver 6 (the
last free version) on Suse10, under Wine .9.5,
I put a Windows EXE into a new zip file. Then go
to the menu, Actions -> Create EXE file. You get
an option to create an SFX from the zip (a self
executing zip file). An SFX is the zip with an EXE
front end pasted onto it. The extension is EXE.
When the file is run you have an option to choose
where the zip unpacks to and you can choose a
file to run after unpacking. I ran a test by putting a
small exe into the zip, creating the SFX, assigning
the small exe as the file to run after unpacking,
then running the SFX. On both Windows and Linux
the result was successful - the contained EXE ran
and it's window opened.

You don't have to use PowerArchiver, but you
can, and the free v. 6 is still available online. But
most zip programs can make SFX files.
(One note: PA on Linux defaulted to creating a
TAR file. A TAR cannot be used for an SFX. You
have to make sure it saves as ZIP.)

I'm also posting this to your Linux posts. You
really should posted them together instead of
multi-posting. People are working on your question
separately over there.

Stefan Krueger [MVP]

The problem with this is that the information stored in the File table in
the msi database (such as version, file size, and also the hash value) may
no longer match the actual file.

Stefan Krueger
Microsoft Windows Installer MVP

Please post your questions in the newsgroup or vist one of these web sites:

Windows Installer FAQ -

InstallSite - Resources for Setup Developers (GERMAN)

Viviana Vc

I'm also posting this to your Linux posts. You
really should posted them together instead of
multi-posting. People are working on your question
separately over there.

Yes, I know, my mistake :(

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