Executable installers are the natural format for binary distributions on Windows. They display a nice graphical user interface, display some information about the module distribution to be installed taken from the metadata in the setup script, let the user select a few options, and start or cancel the installation.
Since the metadata is taken from the setup script, creating Windows installers is usually as easy as running:
python setup.py bdist_wininst
bdist command with the --formats option:
python setup.py bdist --formats=wininst
If you have a pure module distribution (only containing pure Python modules and packages), the resulting installer will be version independent and have a name like foo-1.0.win32.exe. These installers can even be created on Unix or Mac OS platforms.
If you have a non-pure distribution, the extensions can only be created on a Windows platform, and will be Python version dependent. The installer filename will reflect this and now has the form foo-1.0.win32-py2.0.exe. You have to create a separate installer for every Python version you want to support.
The installer will try to compile pure modules into bytecode after
installation on the target system in normal and optimizing mode. If
you don't want this to happen for some reason, you can run the
bdist_wininst command with the
--no-target-compile and/or the
By default the installer will display the cool ``Python Powered'' logo when it is run, but you can also supply your own bitmap which must be a Windows .bmp file with the --bitmap option.
The installer will also display a large title on the desktop background window when it is run, which is constructed from the name of your distribution and the version number. This can be changed to another text by using the --title option.
The installer file will be written to the ``distribution directory'' -- normally dist/, but customizable with the --dist-dir option.
Starting with Python 2.3, a postinstallation script can be specified which the --install-script option. The basename of the script must be specified, and the script filename must also be listed in the scripts argument to the setup function.
This script will be run at installation time on the target system
after all the files have been copied, with
argv set to
-install, and again at uninstallation time before the
files are removed with
argv set to -remove.
The installation script runs embedded in the windows installer, every
sys.stderr) is redirected into a
buffer and will be displayed in the GUI after the script has finished.
Some functions especially useful in this context are available as additional built-in functions in the installation script.
"CSIDL_APPDATA" "CSIDL_COMMON_STARTMENU" "CSIDL_STARTMENU" "CSIDL_COMMON_DESKTOPDIRECTORY" "CSIDL_DESKTOPDIRECTORY" "CSIDL_COMMON_STARTUP" "CSIDL_STARTUP" "CSIDL_COMMON_PROGRAMS" "CSIDL_PROGRAMS" "CSIDL_FONTS"
If the folder cannot be retrieved, OSError is raised.
Which folders are available depends on the exact Windows version, and probably also the configuration. For details refer to Microsoft's documentation of the SHGetSpecialFolderPath() function.
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