install4j Help

Introduction To Install4j

What is install4j?

install4j is a professional tool for building installers for multiple platforms, especially for applications that run on the Java Virtual Machine.

Main features that distinguish install4j are:

  • Flexible configuration of screens and actions

    In your installers you can define your own flow of installer screens and installer actions to gather user input and initialize your installation with it. Configurable form screens allow you to create arbitrary forms that work in GUI and console mode. A rich set of configurable actions handles a variety of tasks and is extensible with the API.
  • Generation of native launchers

    install4j generates native launchers for console, GUI and service executables. These launchers offer variety of features such as flexible module and classpath configuration, version-specific VM parameters, icons, splash screens and much more. At runtime, there is launcher API that interacts with some of these feature and with the variable system of the installer.
  • Auto-update functionality

    The requirements for automatic updates are very individual, so install4j offers a template-base mechanism for update-downloaders. Update downloaders are fully configurable installer applications with their own flow of screens and actions, that can handles interactive auto-update, mandatory auto-update at startup and background update.
  • Bundling of Java Runtime Environments

    Bundling a Java runtime is made easy with the pre-build JRE bundles and the bundle creation tools in install4j. JRE bundles can also be downloaded on the fly if no JRE installation is found.

The install4j UI is delivered as a desktop application. Building installers is not only possible in the IDE, but also with the command line compiler as well as the plugins for Gradle, Maven and Ant.

How do I continue?

The "Concepts" section is intended to be read in sequence, with later help topics building on the content of previous ones. The sections at the end are optional readings that should be consulted if you need certain features.

We appreciate your feedback. If you feel that there's a lack of documentation in a certain area or if you find inaccuracies in the documentation, please don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

If you are using the keyboard for navigation, press F4 to switch between the index and the content area. The keys j and k move between help topics and the keys u and d move up and down when there is a hierarchy of chapters.