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IzPack Java Software Installer - homepage

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Overview

IzPack is an installers generator for the Java platform. It produces lightweight installers that can be run on any operating system where a Java virtual machine is available. Depending on the operating system, it can be launched by a double-click or a simple 'java -jar installer.jar' on a shell. The most common use is to distribute applications for the Java platform, but you can also use it for other kinds of projects. The main benefit of IzPack is that it provides a clean and unique way of distributing a project to users using different operating systems. IzPack is reported to run on :

  • Unix-like systems, mostly Linux and BSD
  • MacOS X
  • Windows variants

A big care has been put in making IzPack as small as possible in order to reduce the weight of IzPack itself in the final installer archive. Also, IzPack has been designed around modularity and flexibility. As a consequence, you are able to specify how your installer should be by selecting the panels that you want to show to the final user. Sometimes there are even several panels for the same usage so that you can pick the one that suits the best your needs. If ever you don't find your way through the available panels, you can still develop your own ones with the nice and easy IzPack API. There's even an embedded XML parser !

Main features

  • XML-based installer descriptors
  • Uses the maximum Jar archives compression level
  • Jakarta Ant integration
  • Great flexibility and modularity, it is very easy to extend IzPack
  • No native code is required, but you can extend IzPack with native code
  • Shortcuts creation system
  • Flexible and powerful user input panel
  • Automatic uninstaller creation
  • Easy localization with XML langpacks: 16 langpacks are provided by default
  • Variable substitution system
  • OS-specific scripts interaction

Licensing issues

After having read all of this, you might ask: "Ok, if it's that good, how much does it cost ?". The short answer is: "nothing".

The long answer is: IzPack is an Open Source/Free Software released under the terms of the Apache License 2.0. You can use it to distribute any kind of project, but please remember that if you modify IzPack, you have to respect the Apache License 2.0. Please also note that OpenSource/Free Software does not mean that is has to be available for free. It is downloadable for free because I have decided to do so.