Monday, September 19, 2016

Create a Windows Installer using CMake and CPack

CMake can be used to create a Windows installer with CPack and NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System). NSIS can be downloaded from http://nsis.sourceforge.net. This post follows and extends the tutorial from the CMake Wiki at https://cmake.org/Wiki/CMake:Component_Install_With_CPack.

I wanted to build a Windows installer for a 64 bit Visual Studio application that was build-managed using CMake. This post makes use of the example source code downloadable from https://cmake.org/Wiki/File:ComponentExampleStart.zip.

Add in CPACK macros to CMakeLists.txt
  1. Download and extract the example zip file into a folder e.g. D:\Temp\ComponentExampleStart\ as shown below. I then created a build sub-folder build underneath the D:\Temp\ComponentExampleStart\Source\ folder.
  2. Use a text editor and edit the CMakeLists.txt file to add in CPACK macros according to the Wiki. An edited example is shown below.
cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.6.0 FATAL_ERROR)
project(MyLib)

add_library(mylib mylib.cpp)

add_executable(mylibapp mylibapp.cpp)
target_link_libraries(mylibapp mylib)

install(
  TARGETS mylib 
  ARCHIVE
  DESTINATION lib
  COMPONENT libraries
  )
install(
  TARGETS mylibapp
  RUNTIME
  DESTINATION bin
  COMPONENT applications
  )
install(
  FILES mylib.h
  DESTINATION include
  COMPONENT headers
  )
#
# CPACK macros below here
#
set (CPACK_PACKAGE_NAME "MyLib")
set (CPACK_PACKAGE_VENDOR "CMake.org")
set (CPACK_PACKAGE_DESCRIPTION_SUMMARY "MyLib - CPack Component Installation Example")
set (CPACK_PACKAGE_VERSION "1.0.0")
set (CPACK_PACKAGE_VERSION_MAJOR "1")
set (CPACK_PACKAGE_VERSION_MINOR "0")
set (CPACK_PACKAGE_VERSION_PATCH "0")
set (CPACK_PACKAGE_INSTALL_DIRECTORY "CPack Component Example")

# Define components and their display names
set (CPACK_COMPONENTS_ALL applications libraries headers)
set (CPACK_COMPONENT_APPLICATIONS_DISPLAY_NAME "MyLib Applications")
set (CPACK_COMPONENT_LIBRARIES_DISPLAY_NAME "Libraries")
set (CPACK_COMPONENT_HEADERS_DISPLAY_NAME "C++ Headers")

# Human readable component descriptions
set (CPACK_COMPONENT_APPLICATIONS_DESCRIPTION
  "An extremely useful application that makes use of MyLib")
set (CPACK_COMPONENT_LIBRARIES_DESCRIPTION
  "Static libraries used to build programs with MyLib")
set (CPACK_COMPONENT_HEADERS_DESCRIPTION
  "C/C++ header files for use with MyLib")

# Define dependencies between components
set (CPACK_COMPONENT_HEADERS_DEPENDS libraries)

# Define groups
set(CPACK_COMPONENT_APPLICATIONS_GROUP "Runtime")
set(CPACK_COMPONENT_LIBRARIES_GROUP "Development")
set(CPACK_COMPONENT_HEADERS_GROUP "Development")

set(CPACK_COMPONENT_GROUP_DEVELOPMENT_DESCRIPTION
   "All of the tools you'll ever need to develop software")

# Define NSIS installation types
set(CPACK_ALL_INSTALL_TYPES Full Developer)
set(CPACK_COMPONENT_LIBRARIES_INSTALL_TYPES Developer Full)
set(CPACK_COMPONENT_HEADERS_INSTALL_TYPES Developer Full)
set(CPACK_COMPONENT_APPLICATIONS_INSTALL_TYPES Full)
 
# Must be after the last CPACK macros
include(CPack)

Generate the Visual Studio solution

  1. Open up a Command Prompt. Change to the build directory.

    D:> cd \temp\ComponentExampleStart\Source\build
  2. Use the cmake command to generate the build files.

    D:> cmake -G "Visual Studio 14 2015 Win64" ..

    The build files are generated.
Build the Visual Studio solution and generate the installer
  1. Using Visual Studio, open up the generated solution e.g. MyLib.sln.

  2. Since I wanted a release build, in Visual Studio I changed from Debug to Release, as shown below. Then I selected Build.

    The release binaries are generated.
  3. Next, in the Solution Explorer, select and mouse right click on the PACKAGE project.

    A pop down menu appears.
  4. Choose Build.



    CPack processing message appears.


    The NSIS installer is generated.


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