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Customize and Automate Installation of a Suited Installer

Primary Software: NI Installers>>Installer Framework
Primary Software Version: 3.1
Primary Software Fixed Version: N/A
Secondary Software: N/A

I have a software suite installer as opposed to a single product installer or package file. How can I customize and automate or create a batch of the installation to distribute National Instruments software?

Suites are multi-product software bundles, like the Developer Suite or Software Platform Bundle. For single product installers, such as LabVIEW or Device Drivers, refer to KnowledgeBase 4CJDP38M. To determine whether your installer is a suited installer or single product installer, refer to KnowledgeBase 4CJDR18M.

Suited Installers Overview
Suited software installers contain multiple individual installers in a sub-directory named Distributions. Suited installers simplify installation by allowing configuration of all software up front. This front-loading prevents the installation from waiting for user input between each individual software installation.

You can view the complete list of installer options at any time by using the following command:

setup /h

There is also an image attached at the bottom of this page with the list of commands that you can use.

Customizing Installations
National Instruments installers use a configuration file, called a spec file, as a replacement for the configuration dialogues. This spec file can contain information about the user, serial number information, which features to install and to not install, etc.
  • Create the spec file:
    The installer can be run in a spec file generation mode. In this mode, you can enter in user information, the serial number, and select each feature that you want to have installed or not installed. You can also leave fields to a default value. You can run the installer in spec file generation mode using the following command:

    setup /generatespecfile [spec file location]

    The installation dialog will appear. Once you walk through all of the dialogs, a spec file will be created which you can use to install the software silently.

  • Running the installer with the spec file:
    The installer can be run in silent mode with the spec file by using the following command:

    setup /applyspecfile [spec file location] /q /acceptlicenses yes

  • Using spec files with web-based installers:
    A spec file can be used with a web-based installer, but the installer must first be extracted and all the products you want to use in the spec file must be downloaded. Once extraction is complete, it can be used with a spec file as described in the previous item. For more information on web-based installers, visit and enter the Info Code webbasedinstallers. Complete the following steps to extract a web based-installer:

    1. Download the web-based installer.
    2. Run the installer.
    3. Download all the products you want to use in the spec files. (You do not have to install the software.)
    4. Exit the installer.
    5. Run the installer with the /generatespecfile option, being sure to enable for installation only the products that you downloaded in the previous step.
Download all selected products
Use /DownloadAllNoInstall to download all products in the web-based installer. Use this option in conjunction with a Volume License Installer created using web-based installers to download all products in the suite. Installers linked to the suite but not included in the suite itself, such as driver software, will not be downloaded when using this option. For more information about using web-based installers in Volume License Installers, visit and enter the Info Code webbasedVLIs.

Logging installation activities
Use /log to create a log of all installation activities.

Silent Installation
For a typical silent installation, use the /q and /acceptlicenses arguments. For example:

setup.exe /applyspecfile [spec file location] /q /acceptlicenses yes 

This command silently installs all software in the suite with the spec file configuration. If this is a web-based installer, silent installation cannot be done unless all products enabled by default in the Product Selection tree are already dowloaded. For more information about web-based installers, visit and enter the Info Code webbasedinstallers.

Silent installations can automatically disable the Windows 8 Fast Startup feature. For more information, refer to KnowledgeBase 5ZUEMHS1.

In order to install multiple disks, you need to set up your folder names to match the labels in the spec file.  The names of the folders can be found in the volumeLabel tag of the spec file. 

Product Notifications
Installers with versions 2.7 or greater contact the NI server to check if a known issue will occur upon installation. If an issue will occur, the Installer will notify you and allow you to abort installation. You can modify the notification behavior with the following command-line options:

/confirmCriticalWarnings - Allows the installer to continue if critical warnings are found. This option does not allow installation to continue if fatal conditions are found. This command line argument is valid only when the /q option is used

/disableNotificationCheck - Disables checking for product notifications

Legacy Considerations
You cannot customize the configuration of the top-level setup executable of a suited installer if your installer is older than version 2.6.1. Refer to KnowledgeBase 4CJDR18M to determine the version of your National Instruments Installer. However, you can work around this limitation by creating a customized spec file for each of the individual single installers contained within the suited installers sub-directories.

Related Links:
KnowledgeBase 4CJDP38M: Automating the Installation of a Single Installer
KnowledgeBase 4CJDR18M: How Can I Determine the Type and Version of my National Instruments Installer?
KnowledgeBase 5Z99QLUS: Why do I get Error 1935 when attempting to install NI software?
KnowledgeBase 5Z99J9US: Why is Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 required before installing National Instruments software?



Report Date: 12/17/2007
Last Updated: 10/11/2017
Document ID: 4GGGDQH0

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