Geertjan's Blog

  • March 5, 2010

Generate a NetBeans Platform Installer with NetBeans IDE 6.9

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
If you've been looking through the last few development builds of the upcoming NetBeans IDE 6.9, this'll not be news to you:

Yes, you'll be able to use the IDE to generate the installers of your NetBeans Platform applications.

After making a selection in the above dialog, you'll right-click on the application's project node in the Projects window and then choose this menu item:

And then, after a few moments, you'll have a new installer ready to be distributed to your end users:

The installer is created on the same infrastructure as the installer used by NetBeans IDE, so you'll not be surprised at the result:

In the end, your users will have your application installed via this installer generated by NetBeans IDE.

The one remaining question I have is to what extent the installer can be customized—can the icon be changed, can the text be modified, can additional panels be added to the generated installer? Hoping to find out soon.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 33 )
  • RunningTracker Friday, March 5, 2010

    That's a really nice feature !! I have been waiting for this for some months :-)

  • adam Friday, March 5, 2010

    This is great news! I have been fighting with izpack for many years and have wished netbeans had for about the same amount of time. It is nice to see that new things like this are being included, now if only we can get some public apis for other things, like the bugtrackers, so the community can add support for those other than jira or bugzilla. I have wanted trac integration since this feature first appeared, but, it seems the apis are not public.

  • Aljoscha Rittner Saturday, March 6, 2010

    Hi Geertjan!

    This is an absolute fantastic news. I followed the changes in source and wiki in the past. And I've been waiting for this for a long time.

    seeU in weihenstephan, next week :-)

    br, josh.

  • lumnis Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Am I correct, that this will create a wizard based installer, similar to the one netbeans comes with?

    While this seems acceptable for windows users (they don't know better), it is not the way things are done on Linux. Linux has got a package management system and bypassing this should always be the last option for installing any programs.

  • Martinus Ady H Monday, March 8, 2010

    Can this feature enable in stand alone swing project not just in NB Platform Application ? :D

  • jack Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Is this a port of the openinstaller project?

  • Alied Pérez Martínez Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    So, I no longer need the Open Installer Generate Suite Installer plug-in?


    one question:

    When I distribute the installer, do I need the zip it generates, or just the executable. I mean, the Windows executable is self-contained, I guess, and the zip is just a Zip like NetBeans' zip I download to update.

    And, talking of other subject (in Spanish you'd say <spanish>"hablando como los locos"</spanish>, literally "talking like crazy people" when you want to change to a unrelated subject in the very moment, but I know not a slang for that in English) Do you have plans to train on the NetBeans Platform here in Argentina?

    Sorry if this is not the place to ask for.

    Thanks for showing me the path. It is now my task to go through it.

  • Javier Ortiz Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Is this the build-launchers target in suite.xml?

  • Dmitry Lipin Sunday, March 28, 2010

    > Can this feature enable in stand alone swing project not just in NB Platform Application ?

    Not yet, probably in next NB release. Or on 6.9 Beta UC one day... who knows:)

    >Is this a port of the openinstaller project?

    No it is not related to openInstaller. It is built based on NBI, the installer framework used for NetBeans IDE (http://wiki.netbeans.org/NBI).

    > When I distribute the installer, do I need the zip it generates, or just the executable.

    Yes, you need just the executable to distribute the installer.

    > I mean, the Windows executable is self-contained, I guess, and the zip is just a Zip like NetBeans' zip I download to update.


    > Is this the build-launchers target in suite.xml?

    No. Unfortunately it can't be built now from command-line in a straightforward way - and there is no target in suite.xml for that.

  • Vadiraj Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Cool thing.... Now NetBeans platform developers feel home !!

  • Benjamin Klass Saturday, April 17, 2010

    How about Free BSD and PC BSD for generating ports and PBIs. That would be cool. And plus Free BSD is a lot more popular than Solaris!

  • guest Friday, May 28, 2010

    > How about Free BSD and PC BSD for generating ports and PBIs.

    That would be interesting :) Please file an enhancement


    Patches or additional info about how to generate "port" is welcome :)

  • Victor Hokonya Friday, July 2, 2010

    for web applications are you able to create installers also and can you be able add external files in the installer?

  • Partha Pratim Baral Friday, July 2, 2010

    I am using NetBeans 6.9. Here i am able to create installer of some netbeans module applications i.e i want to mean

    File->NewProjects->NetBeansModule->PaintApplication-> Here i can see in Project Window 1)Paint module 2) Paint Application.

    When i right click on Paint Application one option is there that is Build Installer.

    But this process is not suit for any other application which i have developed earlier except those are form NetBeans Modules.

    Please help me. I am in a serious problem.

  • Geertjan Wielenga Friday, July 2, 2010

    Read the blog entry again. It is specifically about NetBeans Platform applications. Not any other applications. If you want to find out about installers for other applications, you're in the wrong place. From now onwards, questions that do not relate to this blog entry (i.e., this blog entry is about installers for NetBeans Platform aplications) will be ignored and the person who asked the question will be blacklisted so that you will not be able to leave comments in this blog ever again.

  • Ewan Heming Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Hi Geertjan,

    I'm using Netbeans 6.9 to create an application with the Maven Netbeans Platform Application Archetype but this option doesn't appear to be available. Can it only be used with Ant based projects? If so then is it going to be possible for me to run it using Maven Ant Run or something else?

    Many Thanks,


  • Aljoscha Rittner Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Their is an experimental Maven version for the suite installer in the hg repository.

    br, josh.

  • Ewan Heming Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    In fact, after looking into this further I can see that the final release doesn't have this feature for Ant projects either. There's just Ant targets to build either a zip, jnlp or mac distribution. Do you know why the Linux, Solaris and Windows installers were pulled in the end?

  • Geertjan Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Don't understand your question. Installer support is fine. For Maven, "NetBeans Plugin Development" should be installed and activated. Please make sure org.netbeans.apisupport.installer.maven is listed among started modules in messages.log.

  • Ewan Heming Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Thanks for that. The module wasn't activated. Do you mind answering these types of newbe questions or is there a forum that would be more suitable?

    I've been using Netbeans IDE for 6 years but It's taken me some time to get into RCP because of the high learning curve. It seems like a great platform that has some elegant solutions to the long standing problems that usually make me cringe whenever I think about UI development. The Lookup pattern is particularly useful but taken me some time to get my head around.

  • Geertjan Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Yes, the forum is MUCH better. dev AT platform DOT netbeans DOT org. Thanks.

  • Tom Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Geertjan, This is great, but there is something I am having trouble with. When I run the installer for my NB RCP app on a client machine, the Install To folder name defaults to the app.name=value, that is entered in the Branding Name in the Project Properties.

    The problem is, I can't format this field. For example my app is called "My App", but the Branding Name field does not allow for upper case letters or spaces. So my app installs to "C:\\Program Files\\my_app" but I want to install to "C:\\Program Files\\My App"

    My RCP app uses the file path to find files located in the "C:\\Program Files\\My App" folder, so when I install on the client machine my app does not work.

    I am probably just missing something? Is there a way I can specify a Install To folder like "C:\\Program Files\\My App"

    Thanks. Netbeans is awesome!!!


  • Gabriele Saturday, August 7, 2010

    this is very handy, but couldn't the setup be crossplatform? So that I distribute a single jar?

  • Dan Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    "No. Unfortunately it can't be built now from command-line in a straightforward way - and there is no target in suite.xml for that."

    Are there any near term plans to expose that function as an ant target? If not, is the not-so-straightforward way documented anywhere?


  • dev_prob Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Respected sir,

    I created desktop application using netbeans platform application 6.9.1(having some modules). I created installer of it using Build Installers option in netbeans. All things are fine.When i do the setup using this installer it creates many folders in the specified location. Many of these folder contains jar files of the application modules and platform jar files. My question is any one can decompile the jar and see the code. so how to prevent it? Is there any option in Netbeans Platform application or is there any setting so that we can stop this or we can do something so that we can create the exe like Visual studio. As in visual studio we create setup but there is no source file. I want something like that. Is it possible? Please Help.

    Thanks in Advance.



  • Geertjan Wielenga Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Go here to ask your questions: dev@platform.netbeans.org

  • karthik Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Geertjan , to what extent the installer can be customized ? My requirement is to copy certain files from pre determined folders to target folders during netbeans installation - how do i do that?



  • arya Monday, May 9, 2011
    i am working on netbeans platform application.
    Firstly i used build installer option and created a setup file for windows
    now for second time i did some changes in some modules and again created the installer for windows but when i use to run it,it shows me error that
    "the setup cant be installed because c:/program files already contains terminal folder"
    "terminal' is my project's name
    is there any method to upgrade the pervious setup or i have to uninstall the pervious one and install it again........
  • Fabio Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    What about the uninstaller?

    I created a Netbeans module suite application and I created the installer.

    When I try to use the uninstaller, the uninstaller starts but when I click the "Uninstall" button nothing happens.

    What can I do?

    I'm working on windows XP.

    Thank you for you help


  • Ankur Thursday, March 8, 2012

    i m not able to see the build installer option on my 6.9 IDE.. What to do sir.....??

  • Geertjan Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Stop using 6.9 and use 7.1. Anyway, right-click the application and you'll see a menu item for generating installers.

  • naselay88 Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Hi! :)

    I already knew that Netbeans IDE has the capability to generate Netbeans Platform installers. However, I don't know how to change the LAF of the installer. I tried to find any instructions on how to do it but so far, there are no available resources that discusses my dilemma. I want to know if it's possible to use Netbeans IDE to generate an installer that uses Metal Look & Feel, and even allow customized themes. If it's not capable then what are the alternatives?


  • Ajai Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Hi Geertjan,

    I dont see installer category in the project properties.

    How to I enable it?



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