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Introduction

Emacs for Windows historically has been distributed in the form of ZIP archives. It is a very compatible way of distribution which allows the software to be used in the cases where the other methods of installation are unavailable. Yet, in some use cases, the full-featured installer makes more sense.

This project is my humble contribution to the Emacs community. It provides all the necessary code to build an MSI-installer for Emacs which features some basic optional integration with the Windows operating system. MSI installers also have some other benefits.

The project is a result of me solving the same task for another project which I help to maintain (Corman Lisp).

All the installers available in the project's download section bundle official, unmodified binaries of Emacs for Windows obtained directly from the main GNU FTP-site.

How to Build the Installer Manually

Building the installer is easy. Please follow these steps:

  1. Download and install WiX 3.x.
  2. Download an Emacs binary ZIP-archive from the main GNU FTP-site (e.g. emacs-26.1-x86_64.zip).
  3. Unpack the archive to the emacs directory.
  4. Run makemsi.bat to build the installer. It might take up to 20 minutes to complete.

A new, properly named installer file (e.g. emacs-26.1-x86_64.msi) and corresponding debugging information file (e.g. emacs-26.1-x86_64.wixpdb) will appear in the project's root directory.

Note to the Fellow Developers

You might want to adapt the installer for a different project. Also, you might want to build your own, pre-configured version of Emacs which suits your needs. It is perfectly fine, especially considering that it is not easy to stumble upon a full installer built using the WiX Toolset. In fact, the project is structured in a way which makes it easier to reuse. Moreover, it is distributed under the terms of CC0 License (basically it is public domain).

If this is your intentions, please, please, replace the UpgradeCode value in the installer\Config.wxi with your own, unique GUID. It is necessary to avoid conflicts with my Emacs installers. Thank you!