Notepad++ Convert to MSI
There must be some reason
Then I wish someone would explain why MSI is better.
Searching the forum for MSI, I see that I at least once said MSI when I should have said NSIS; whoops. I do see a few times where people were asking about an MSI… though a lot more times of people who apparently have rolled their own MSI, or have (like me) mistakenly called the executable installer an MSI when it’s not. But given that some people roll their own, it’s too bad none of them have shared how they did that.
why MSI is better.
A couple of quick web searches and reading headlines and skimming a couple paragraphs, especially at:
Apparently, MSI are good at integrating with ActiveDirectory setups (so makes it easier for IT to deploy to all users).
NSIS (what Notepad++ uses) and InnoSetup (another common mention) both output EXE, whereas WIX is a free .MSI generator. And there apparently do exist tools (free or otherwise) which claim to be able to take executable installers and convert to MSI installers. InstallShield apparently can generate either, though it seems to embed the MSI in the EXE when it generates an EXE.
I said (in my rephrased version):
means that your question is technically off-topic.
But we obviously found it more interesting upon reflection. My further research provides some links that may allow you to convert the executable to MSI format, or at least gives you further places you can study, to see if those techniques will work in the Notepad++ installer circumstances.
If you ever come back to look at replies, I hope you are able to explain why you want the MSI as opposed to the executable installer. And maybe some day, those who want MSI, or those who are active in the “deployment” realm of IT, can help us make a FAQ entry for “how to easily deploy a customized Notepad++ installation to hundreds of users”, which is where I think your question was eventually leading (and is similar to other requests)
@peterjones I hope to deploy notepad++ through mdt, which is more efficient
@peterjones The main reason a MSI file is asked for is that they are used when distributing software using a deployment solutions in an organisation, most commonly Microsoft SCCM or deploying software using ActiveDirectory.
For example, I repackage software that do not offer a MSI file so that I can distribut them within my organisation by running the installer and a repackage software that analyse what changes the installer makes to the system and then compile those changes to a MSI-file.
The best solution is off cause if a MSI-file is offered from the creator.
With a MSI file we can easy do a silent install, we can repair the software using built in MSI solutions, uninstall silently, version controll, have a log file created and modify settings like disable automatic updates using a Transform file (as it’s something organisations do not want to have enabled as users usually do not have admin access to the local computer and therefor can’t install any updates to the program).
A MSI-file can also easily be converted to a file format compatible with Intune distribution (Microsoft offeres free software for converting).
I hope this explains why IT-professionals ask for MSI-files.
@PeterJones As @Johan-Nyberg has pointed out, providing an MSI allows endpoint management to be streamlined and automated with efficiencies for distributing requested software for DevOps teams and the like.
To directly answer your question, providing an MSI puts less overhead on IT professionals and Orgs with teams using the product to make it easier to digest and distribute in mass. It also would not invalidate the fingerprint provided (GPG Finger Print) due to the lack of file manipulation/conversion needed to make it easier to manage the product through the reasons mentioned above by @Johan-Nyberg. BTW, the Data Security professional in me sincerely thanks you for providing the validation keys on such a highly requested tool in the IT/DevOps sector. Much love on this as a former developer myself as well.
Respectfully, I’ll try not to make this personal, but I would like to provide some constructive criticism if you’d be welcome. If you see an uptick in a request for something, compile some supporting research (which you did eventually) when responding to a request, and try not to immediately demean/negatively challenge someone directly in a communal format. It kind of puts a harmful pretense of wanting to post anything productive or constructive to a cohort that, in nature, should be positive for growth. Not to be too sensitive here, but the tone of your response was very standoffish, and it seems the person might not have English as their first language (blind assumption from sentence structure). I get the frustration of a talked-at post which it seems this started as; I would find a one-sentence “command” demeaning for sure. I have, on several occasions, had to step back, take a breath, and reapproach similarly IT support requests/questions. Again, I only mention this as constructive criticism and you can take it how you’d like; however, I only mean to assist in the progress of the community platform and this request.
Taking a step back at the full scope of this common request sheds light on the possibility of an identified need/growth of the product distribution method that does not seem to be extensive to add, per the provided research, to the product dev pipeline distribution. From an external point of view, the conversion methods seem lightweight to complete and add more availability to your product and its adoption/safe use. To shed more light on MSIs, many competitive/non-competitive platforms are providing MSI distributions to meet the need for scalable/secure distribution methods. Out of the 10 requested baseline apps for our Dev team, this is 1 of 2 that do not directly provide an MSI for efficient and enterprise-level distribution/management methods.
Thank you for your time and the magnificent tool you support. A reply or update on this request would be greatly appreciated.
I have, on occasion, responded possibly too-harshly. That happens, we are all human.
But not to put too fine a point on it: arguing with me won’t change the fact that I am not one of the developers on Notepad++ and can do nothing about this request. As the FAQs (including “Please read this before posting” post, which is at the top of both the General Discussion and Help Wanted categories) explicitly repeat over and over : this Community forum is the Community of Notepad++ users, not developers. We cannot change the codebase or provide new methods of distribution for you. And we have no special “in” with the developer to be able to convince him to implement a given feature request.
The Notepad++ developer has chosen not to distribute it as an MSI. If you think you can convince the developer to make that distribution, go ahead… the FAQs explain where to make feature requests. In fact, there is at least one such feature request open since 2016.
A user in that official-feature-request apparently has started supplying their own MSI-based installer for Notepad++. Because it is not from one of the official sites, I do not endorse that as an “official” download; but if you believe it meets your MSI needs, and if you are able to convince yourself that the user has not done anything beyond the claim of wrapping it in MSI, then it might be the solution you need. Based on the downloads listed as available on that page, that user does not update the MSI very often… but it does have v8.4.2, which is pretty recent. (Again, I make no claim or warrantee regarding the safety or effectiveness of said MSI installer: it is not official, and it is not supported by the developer. I share this solely because I like helping other Notepad++ users, and based on your lengthy writeup, I gather you are likely the kind of person who would make the appropriate safety checks before trusting an unofficial distribution of an application.)
No worries, I understand humanity; I’m human too! I figured I had expressed that in the post and tried to impose that with my dialog just as much as I didn’t read the most apparent post before posting! Thanks for bringing the pinned post to my attention, as I found the post relative to my topic of concern through the search option and did not excavate into the forum structure. I am sure this happens a lot as the posts are indexed by the Google bots crawling the site, and it’s easy to miss.
I never intended to engage in arguing, and I thought my intentions were clear. I just provided more depth into and relevancy to what you had asked for in your question. I offered some constructive criticisms about how you chose to respond to the topic/user, regardless of the representation you hold with the application publisher, but as a community stakeholder.
My apologies for misunderstanding the community platform’s purpose, not only because I missed the pinned post but also because it’s not represented as described on the publisher’s website. Again, only human to assume when things seem to be presented differently in different places.
It makes sense not to waste time or effort conversing about things out of ya’lls control. Thanks for pointing out the open feature request! That seems like the appropriate place to bring attention to the topic for sure. Since I missed the pinned post, I also missed your FAQ Desk link that would have cleared up where to go without question.
Oh damn, as I’m writing, I see your addendum. Thanks for the additional info. I concur on not trusting a non-official installer; personally, I would not want to expose my workspace to an unknown/unnecessary risk.
It looks like I’ll have to try and re-package for MSI. Hopefully, the dev or dev team considers making the update as it seems it would only benefit the growth and breadth of the app,
There’s no easy way to do a MSI package, not mention to the frustration of maintaining 2 formats of installer.
So if a free converter from NSIS to MSI exist, it would be possible for this issue. Otherwise I won’t consider it.
Hey @donho, thanks for your direct reply! I completely understand if you’re doing everything yourself, the overhead must be crazy for a free-to-use product.
Thanks for the fantastic tool; from my experience as a programmer and sys admin, it has made significant waves in the DevOps sector and continues to be one of the most requested apps with my coworkers/users.
Through my brief research, the closest thing to a safe “free” option is this guy: https://emcosoftware.com/msi-package-builder/feature-list
It is definitely not free after the 30-day trial. Still, a perpetual license (one-time purchase) can be had for the different dev tiers, with the lowest level offering the conversion tool and other features at $599usd plus tax. It seems pretty robust, so I may pick it up through my dept. budget to ensure I don’t run into a similar distro issue in the future, but it can be a steep purchase unless heavily used or makes sense to the business model.
Best of luck on everything, and thanks again for your time and effort!
there is no reason that I know of to want it in an MSI installer instead
Along with the ease of performing silent installs/uninstalls via command line and integrating installs into Active Directory policies (mass distribution) - many application management suites (VMWare Workspace One for example) allow greater customization of your installs if you use MSI packages.
Generally speaking, if you are performing remote installs of software, MSIs allow greater flexibility and customization. I can get more technical in the details, but I don’t think that is necessary.
I realise that the moderators / admins of forums aren’t always connected to or part of the development team for the application - but it does seem logical that a forum for the product would be the best place to submit a request or change for that product.
but it does seem logical that a forum for the product would be the best place to submit a request or change for that product.
Well, maybe if a product has only a forum, and no other place to make feature requests. Notepad++ HAS such another place, a github home for issues.
Yes there is an official way to submit this, but it has been ignored since 2016. Status shows “accepted” but it does NOT take 6 years to implement something this minor.
@donho In the GitHub thread linked above someone has already been converting your exe into an MSI installer for years now and says they have offered their code/assistance multiple times with no response from you.
I would use those but they’re not digitally signed and update sporadically (because it’s a third party), it would be so much better if there was an official MSI release :)
This post is deleted!
@PeterJones I know it’s been quite some time since this question has had a response to it…sorry…just ran across it…looking for a .msi of Notepad++…reason being I am installing it via a group policy in Windows Server 2019 and it will not allow me to use a .exe file as a source…only a .msi so this may be 1 reason why people are looking for it.
As Don said last year,
So if a free converter from NSIS to MSI exist, it would be possible for this issue. Otherwise I won’t consider it.
Since Notepad++ is Don’s project, his is the final word on such decisions. There will not be an official MSI created until the conditions he laid out are met.