Packaging simple *.msi packages



Pre-requisites: to build WAPT packages, the WAPT development environment must be installed;


From WAPT version 1.3.12 and above, a new package template creation wizard is available to help you make basic packages. For more information on package creation using package wizard, please refer to the documentation for creating packages from the WAPT console.

  • Download the TightVNC MSI installer

  • look up documentation relating to silent flags;

    msiexec /i tightvnc-2.7.1-setup-64bit.msi /quiet /norestart

    This command should install TightVNC with its default parameters. However, MSI allows you to customize the behavior of the installed software with MSI properties. The global syntax is:

    msiexec /i tightvnc-2.7.1-setup-64bit.msi /quiet /norestart PROPERTY1=value1 PROPERTY2=value2 PROPERTY3=value3
  • launch a Windows Command Line utility cmd.exe as Local Administrator;

Windows Command Line utility launched as Local Administrator

Windows Command Line utility launched as Local Administrator

  • instantiate a package from the pre-defined MSI template;
wapt-get make-template c:\download\file.msi <yourprefix>-tightvnc

Exemple with TightVNC:

wapt-get make-template C:\Users\User\Downloads\tightvnc-2.8.5-gpl-setup-64bit.msi tis-tightvnc

Template created. You can build the WAPT package by launching
  C:\Program Files (x86)\wapt\wapt-get.exe build-package C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc-wapt
You can build and upload the WAPT package by launching
  C:\Program Files (x86)\wapt\wapt-get.exe build-upload C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc-wapt

Customizing the package

PyScripter opens with the new project, ready to be customized and built.

PyScripter with TightVNC project opened

PyScripter with TightVNC project opened


Using the automatic template has the following effects:

  • it creates a WAPT package folder in C:\waptdev;
  • it copies the MSI setup file in that directory;
  • it creates a generic file;
  • it creates the control file containing the WAPT package meta-informations;
  • it creates the PyScripter project file containing pre-configured WAPT related helpers;


Then it’s possible to:

  • check and complete control file informations;
  • add additional files (x86 version of the installer, configuration files, etc);
  • customize setup instructions in;
  • make changes to the control file as necessary (Setting up your WAPT development and test environment);
package      : tis-tightvnc
version      : 2.7.0-1
architecture : all
section      : base
priority     : optional
maintainer   : Tranquil-IT Systems
description  : package for TightVNC
depends      :
conflicts    :
sources      : 


You may observe that a subversion (-1; dash+number one) has been added. It is the WAPT packaging version.

This allows to preserve the software version when iteratively improving the WAPT package.

  • check the file;

In the file, you will have to check whether the uninstall key automatically that has been filled matches the MSI and that the silent arguments work correctly.

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
from setuphelpers import *

uninstallkey = ["{8B9896FC-B4F2-44CD-8B6E-78A0B1851B59}"]

def install():
    print('installing tis-tightvnc')
    run(r'"tightvnc-2.8.5-gpl-setup-64bit.msi" /q /norestart')


Since WAPT version 1.3.12, install_msi_if_needed is the function used by default when creating a package Template from a MSI.

In this example, we will use the run function to show the evolution of the package. The function install_msi_if_needed is explained in the documentation related to advanced packaging of MSI based WAPT packages.
  • test installing the package on you development computer;

A major advantage of PyScripter and WAPT is to be able to test WAPT packages locally, to improve them quickly and iteratively.

Test installing the package from you development computer

Test installing the package from you development computer

Settings Value Description
install Execute Launch the software installation with its arguments from
install Debug Launch the line by line debugger.
remove Execute Launch the uninstallation.
-i build-upload Execute Increment the WAPT packaging version, build the package and upload it on the WAPT repository.

Build and upload the package

Once the project has been created, build the package without modifications from the Windows command prompt.

wapt-get build-upload -i c:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc-wapt


When executing that command, here is what is really happening:

  • the manifest.sha256 file containing the list of files included in the package is created;
  • it compresses the folder C:\waptdevtis-tightvnc-wapt with a canonical name;
  • it adds the signature (requires the private key);
  • it loads the WAPT package onto the WAPT repository using HTTPS;
  • it recreates the https://srvwapt.mydomain.lan/wapt/Packages index to take into account the new or updated package;

The package is now ready to be deployed.


wapt-get -i build-upload C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc-wapt

Building  C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc-wapt
Package tis-tightvnc (= content:
...done. Package filename C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc_2.8.5.0-1_all.wapt
Signing C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc_2.8.5.0-1_all.wapt

7-Zip [64] 16.04 : Copyright (c) 1999-2016 Igor Pavlov : 2016-10-04

Open archive: C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc_2.8.5.0-1_all.wapt
Path = C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc_2.8.5.0-1_all.wapt
Type = zip
Physical Size = 1756458

Updating archive: C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc_2.8.5.0-1_all.wapt

Items to compress: 0

Files read from disk: 0
Archive size: 1755509 bytes (1715 KiB)
Everything is Ok
Package C:\waptdev\tis-tightvnc_2.8.5.0-1_all.wapt signed : signature :

Uploading files...
WAPT Server user :admin
WAPT Server password :
Status : OK, tis-tightvnc_2.8.5.0-1_all.wapt uploaded, 1 packages analysed

It is also possible to execute build-upload directly from the Run Configurations panel in PyScripter:

Option "-i build-upload" of PyScripter project

Option “-i build-upload” of PyScripter project