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What is Inno Setup?

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InstallerExpert created the topic: what is Inno Setup?
Inno Setup is an open source script-driven installation system created in Delphi by Jordan Russell. The first version was released in 1997.


Since Jordan Russell wasn’t satisfied with InstallShield Express which he had received upon purchase of Borland Delphi, he decided to make his own installer.[citation needed] At first, Inno Setup was little known. The first public version was 1.09.[citation needed].

To make an installation package with version 1.09, an “ISS.TXT” file needed to be created in the installation directory. In the file, the user needed to supply variables and values which are still used in Inno Setup today. These variables served as the configuration of the installation package but many other features could not be changed. The installation compiler had no editor and was more of a shell to compile scripts.

Throughout Inno Setup’s development, it was becoming more widely used. Since Inno Setup was and still is free and open source, many software companies started switching to the open source solution in software installation[citation needed]. Since Inno Setup was based around scripting, fans of Inno Setup started ISTool and ScriptMaker to aid in visual and simpler ways to make installations for Inno Setup.

Inno Setup has won many awards including the Shareware Industry Awards three times in a row – from 2002 to 2004.

Many people have taken Inno Setup source code and used it to develop third-party versions of Inno Setup. An example is My Inno Setup Extensions by Martijn Laan. In June 2003 My Inno Setup Extensions was incorporated into Inno Setup.


* Support for all modern versions of Microsoft Windows – 95, NT 4.0, 98, 2000, Me, XP, Server 2003, XP 64-bit, XP Professional and Vista. (No service packs are required.)
* Extensive support for installation of 64-bit applications on the 64-bit editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Both the x64 and Itanium architectures are supported.
* Prior versions supported Windows NT 3.51 (Before v3.0) and Windows 3.X (Before v1.3)
* Supports creation of a single EXE to install programs for easy online distribution.
* Supports disk spanning.
* Customizable setup types, e.g. Full, Minimal, Custom.
* Complete uninstall capabilities.
* Integrated support for “deflate”, bzip2, and 7-Zip LZMA file compression. The installer has the ability to compare file version info, replace in-use files, use shared file counting, register DLL/OCXs and type libraries, and install fonts.
* Creation of shortcuts, including in the Start Menu and on the desktop.
* Creation of registry and .INI entries.
* Integrated Pascal scripting engine.
* Support for multilingual installs.
* Support for passworded and encrypted installs.
* Silent install and uninstall.
* Full source code is available (Borland Delphi 2.0-5.0).
* Supports Unicode and right-to-left languages.

Missing features

* Does not support Modify/Repair type operations.
* Does not support Vista Administrator Elevation on demand (only when required for installation directory or registry manipulation).

Inno Setup is an open source script-driven installation system created in Delphi by Jordan Russell.

Inno Setup at Wikipedia

The Inno Setup Extensions Knowledge Base (ISXKB) aims to support users of this installation system by providing a source of information, code snippets, guide lines, and ready-to-use solutions.

There are currently 147 articles in the ISXKB. You can search the ISXKB, browse through a list with all articles, or view them sorted by category. A list sorted by article popularity is also available as well as all special pages.

If you would like to help improve and extend the ISXKB Help:Editing_pages is the place to go. Note that because of spamming now only trusted users can change and add pages, but it’s easy to become one (if you’re not a spammer ;-). Help:Editing_pages explains how.

If you are a developer and you’re using Inno Setup as your deployment application feel free to add your software to the subcategory it belongs to under the Inno Setup users category, or create a subcategory if you think it doesn’t fit anywhere else.

Rajesh Kumar