What possibilities exist to build an installer for a windows application on Linux (install target=windows, build environment=Linux)

After playing around with NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Installation System) for a few days, I really feel the pain it's use brings me. No wonder, the authors claim it's scripting implementation is a "mixture of PHP and Assembly".

So, I hope there is something better to write installation procedures to get Windows programs installed, while creating the installation package on Linux.

But I did not find anything yet. Wix looks promising, but seems not really to run on Linux, Python can create .msi files - but only when running on Windows.

Izpack is out of the game because it requires Java for the installer to run on the target system.

Our app to be installed is a python app (and I'm even thinking about scripting the whole install myself in Python).

Any other ideas?

Forgot to say: Free/OpenSource apps preferred. Not only because of cost, because of the power to control and adjust everything. We might be willing to pay professional support if it helps us getting to our goals fast, but we also want to have full control over the build system.

13.10.2009 21:26:51

You might try looking at InstallAnywhere, but it may require Java.

13.10.2009 21:34:13
Requiring Java on the packaging system would be O.K., on the target system not. unfortunately, I cannot see any hint on the requirements of InstallAnywhere on the side of the system that is used to build the package. And even for a free evaluation they require me to enter an enormous ammount of personal data. So, I don't like this option.
Henning 15.10.2009 12:54:34
You have to buy InstallAnywhere to get the auto packaging of java in the installer. The standard version was about 1600€ some years ago. A good product worked fine for me (was it ten ?) years ago
neuro 18.08.2010 15:06:20

You may be interested by BitRock

19.06.2011 19:45:24
Thanks, even though it's commercial (just added the OpenSource preference in the question) it looks quite promising (and they even issue free licenses for OpenSource projects).
Henning 15.10.2009 12:55:50
Yes, we can provide you with a free license if your project is open source. If you are a small company/solo developer we provide significant discounts, just drop us a line.
Daniel Lopez 4.11.2009 08:54:59

Try running InnoSetup under Wine. It should work unless you have some very specific needs. InnoSetup is open source, BTW.

15.10.2009 12:52:50

It seems that pyinstaller might do the trick. I'm also looking for something like what you need. I have not tried it yet ...

18.08.2010 15:09:45