How can I build Blender as an installer on Windows

I’m well versed in building Blender on Windows in various configurations, and currently I run the result directly from the Release folder. This works fine and has served me well over the years. Now, due to changes in local requirements, I am thinking of distributing Blender (with our source code modifications) within the team through automatic installation. We know how to automate that and do this with other applications already. What I don’t know is how to compile an installer from source.

In other words, how would I create something like a blender_installer.exe that users could run themselves and install Blender locally on their machines? Is there something like a make installer command?

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The Blender release build uses cpack -G WIX -C Release for generating the installer. You may need to work through various issues yourself to get this working though, this is not something we provide support for.

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If you go this route, please make adjustments to these two lines (85-86) in your codebase, so the installers won’t collide with ours


Thanks for the heads-up, after installing the Wix Toolset creating the Installer Package worked just fine! Also the hints from @LazyDodo were welcome, we can now install our modified version side-by-side with official ones!

So far everything is working great, the only thing I can’t make happen is to create a link with a parameter next to it. I’d like to create a link on the Windows Desktop running the following command: blender-launcher.exe --app-template my_nice_template via the installer.

Can you please give me a hint on where to look for a solution?

Afaik nothing in cmake will take care of that for you, I’ve never done it for the blender installer but since it’s just a wix installer, you can likely do it in the template

reading material: How To: Create a Shortcut on the Start Menu | WiX Toolset

file you’ll need to be messing in : lib\win64_vc15\package\installer_wix\WIX.template