InnoSetup

InnoSetup is a powerful script based Windows setup builder. Once you get the hang of it it will serve all your installation needs.


Summary
Our Score

License Free
Link http://www.jrsoftware.org/isdl.php
Very powerful – many advanced features
No GUI – scripting required
Details

After looking at several other free products in this category, InnoSetup remains to be my top recommendation. It is not a tool for users looking for a GUI-based simple setup creator, it is more addressing those developers that want to have full control over their setup routine and are not shy of working with a text based configuration file.

InnoSetup was originally released in 1997 and has developed immensely since then. It surely beats many commercial contenders in this area and has proven to be very capable and stable.

InnoSetup’s GUI is basically an editor/compiler for the configuration file that contains all your settings for the setup routine you are creating. The text file format is very similar to that of an INI file and thus less cumbersome to work with than with an XML file like in Ghost Installer Free.

The help file is excellent and well structured and makes it much easier to learn about the available settings. The editor supports color coding, making it more convenient to work with. I don’t think I have to list all the features of a professional setup project but I did not find anything yet that InnoSetup wouldn’t be able to support. Source files, target files, shortcuts, dialogs, license acceptance, signed uninstaller, custom forms and much more.

I have used it for several projects over the last years with great success (and no costs). If you like a GUI for this excellent compiler you can find several third party add-ons for that on InnoSetup’s home page as well.

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