# Installers

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There seems to be very little information about how to write a game installer out there on Google. I realize it is simple to do things like create the necessary directories and decompress your files, but what about things like creating shortcuts on start menus, editing the windows registry (does mac or linux have anything analogous?), etc? There appear to be software tools out there for writing professional installers, but they appear to either cost thousands of dollars for a license or else work for only one platform. I guess having multiple installers that all look different wouldn't be fatal. In that case I just need to find one that installs for Mac OS. Does anyone have any links to information on writing quick & dirty installers, for various platforms?

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You could use Inno Setup:
Quote:
 Is it really free of charge, even for commercial use?Yes, it 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.

I think it's only for Windows, but you can package it with say, a Linux installer and a Mac installer. No one installer will work for all platforms, it will need to be recompiled for another.

If you really want to create your own you should look into functions for the language you're using for editing registry values, and find a compression library also free for commercial use (or \$ if you're willing to spend a bit of money).

EDIT: I was Googling around and found this: it appears to be both free for commercial use and it's crossplatform.

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I recommend nullsoft installer:

http://nsis.sourceforge.net/Main_Page

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OK, thanks for your help guys. I am writing cross-platform software with SDL and figured I could write a cross-platform installer too, but I guess not. I'll just have to look for separate installers for each platform even though the program being installed will be identical.

InstallJammer looks good, I will have to play around with it. Thanks.

I have looked at NSIS, I had dismissed it at first since it was only windows but I might as well take another look.

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If your using a debian based linux operating system you can search for build-helper. It will make a debian package for you so all you have to do is host the .deb file yourself or get it into one of the official repos.