cargo-wix: A cargo subcommand to create Windows installers
A subcommand for Cargo that builds a Windows installer (msi) using the Wix Toolset from the release build of a Rust binary project. It also supports signing the Windows installer if a code signing certificate is available using the SignTool application available in the Windows 10 SDK.
Start a command prompt (cmd.exe) and then execute the following commands:
C:\>cargo install cargo-wix C:\>cd Path\To\Project C:\Path\To\Project\>cargo wix init C:\Path\To\Project\>cargo wix
The Windows installer (msi) for the project will be in the
C:\Path\To\Project\target\wix folder. Please see the Documentation for more advanced usage, configuration, and customization.
The cargo-wix project can be installed on any platform supported by the Rust programming language, but the Wix Toolset is Windows only; thus, this project is only useful when installed on a Windows machine. Ensure the following dependencies are installed before proceeding. Note, Cargo is installed automatically when installing the Rust programming language. The
stable-x86_64-pc-windows-msvc toolchain is recommended.
After installing and configuring the dependencies, execute the following command to install the
C:\> cargo install cargo-wix
C:\Path\to\Project> cargo wix init
This will create the
wix folder in the project's root (along side the
Cargo.toml file) and then it will create the
wix\main.wxs file from the WiX Source (wxs) embedded within the subcommand. The generated
wix\main.wxs file can be used without modification with the following command to create an installer for the project:
C:\Path\to\Project> cargo wix
cargo wix subcommand without any arguments searches for a
wix\main.wxs file, relative to the project's root. It will compile the
wix\main.wxs file and then link the object file (
target\wix\build\main.wixobj) to create the Windows installer (msi). The installer will be located in the
target\wix folder. All artifacts of the installer compilation and linking process are placed within the
target\wix folder. Paths in the
wix\main.wxs file should be relative to the project's root, i.e. the same location as the
Cargo.toml manifest file.
A different WiX Source (wxs) file from the
wix\main.wxs file can be used by specifying a path to it as an argument to the subcommand as follows:
C:\Path\to\Project> cargo wix Path\to\WiX\Source\File.wxs
You can also automatically run the installer after creating it by specifying the
C:\Path\to\Project> cargo wix --install
print <template> subcommand, which prints one of the embedded templates to stdout, can be used to create the
main.wxs file. A WXS template file specifically designed to work with this subcommand is embedded within the
cargo-wix binary during installation. Use the following commands to create a WiX Source file and use it to create an installer with this subcommand.
C:\Path\to\Project> cargo wix print wxs > example.wxs C:\Path\to\Project> cargo wix example.wxs
The WiX source file can be customized using a text editor, but modification of the XML preprocessor variables should be avoided to ensure the
cargo wix command works properly.
To sign the installer (msi) as part of the build process, ensure the
signtool command is available in the PATH system environment variable or use the Developer Prompt that was installed with the Windows 10 SDK, and use the
sign sub-subcommand as follows:
C:\Path\to\Project> cargo wix sign
-h,--help flag to display information about additional options and features.
C:\Path\to\Project> cargo wix -h
There are set environment variables that can be used to help debug a failing test. The
CARGO_WIX_TEST_PERSIST environment variable can be set to persist the temporary directories that are created during integration tests. This allows the developer to inspect the contents of the temporary directory to better understand what the test was doing. The
CARGO_WIX_TEST_PERSIST environment variable accepts any value. Unsetting the environment variable will delete the temporary directories after each test. The
CARGO_WIX_TEST_LOG environment variable is sets the log level while running an integration test. It accepts an integer value between 0 and 5, with 0 turning off logging, and 5 displaying all log statements (ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG, and TRACE). Log statements are not captured during tests, so this environment variable should be used only when running an integration test in isolation to prevent "swampping" the terminal/console with statements. Finally, the
CARGO_WIX_TEST_NO_CAPTURE environment variable accepts any value and will display the output from the WiX Toolset compiler (candle.exe) and linker (light.exe) when running an integration test. Similar to the
CARGO_WIX_TEST_LOG environment variable, this variable should only be used in isolation to prevent "swamping" the terminal/console with the output from the WiX Toolset commands. By default, the output is captured by the test not cargo's test framework; thus, the
cargo test -- --nocapture command has no affect. Example of setting and unsetting all of the environment variables for running a specific test:
C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> set CARGO_WIX_TEST_PERSIST=1 C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> set CARGO_WIX_TEST_LOG=5 C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> set CARGO_WIX_TEST_NO_CAPTURE=1 C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> cargo test <TEST NAME> C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> set "CARGO_WIX_TEST_NO_CAPTURE=" C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> set "CARGO_WIX_TEST_LOG=" C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> set "CARGO_WIX_TEST_PERSIST="
<TEST NAME> is replaced with the name of an integration test. The last three lines/commands are optional and unsets the three environment variables to avoid additional tests from also persisting, logging, and dumping output to the terminal/console. Note, the
-- --nocapture option is not needed to display the logging statements or the output from the WiX Toolset compiler (candle.exe) and linker (light.exe). Here is the same example with Powershell:
PS C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> $env:CARGO_WIX_TEST_PERSIST=1; $env:CARGO_WIX_TEST_LOG=5; $env:CARGO_WIX_TEST_NO_CAPTURE=1; PS C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> cargo test <TEST NAME> PS C:\Path\to\Cargo\Wix> Remove-Item Env:\CARGO_WIX_TEST_PERSIST; Remove-Item Env:\CARGO_WIX_TEST_LOG; Remove-Item Env:\CARGO_WIX_TEST_NO_CAPTURE