32.1. msilib — Read and write Microsoft Installer files
The msilib supports the creation of Microsoft Installer (.msi) files.
Because these files often contain an embedded “cabinet” file (.cab), it also
exposes an API to create CAB files. Support for reading .cab files is
currently not implemented; read support for the .msi database is possible.
This package aims to provide complete access to all tables in an .msi file,
therefore, it is a fairly low-level API. Two primary applications of this
package are the distutils command bdist_msi, and the creation of
Python installer package itself (although that currently uses a different
version of msilib).
The package contents can be roughly split into four parts: low-level CAB
routines, low-level MSI routines, higher-level MSI routines, and standard table
Create a new CAB file named cabname. files must be a list of tuples, each
containing the name of the file on disk, and the name of the file inside the CAB
The files are added to the CAB file in the order they appear in the list. All
files are added into a single CAB file, using the MSZIP compression algorithm.
Callbacks to Python for the various steps of MSI creation are currently not
- Return the string representation of a new unique identifier. This wraps the
Windows API functions UuidCreate() and UuidToString().
- Return a new database object by calling MsiOpenDatabase. path is the file
name of the MSI file; persist can be one of the constants
MSIDBOPEN_CREATEDIRECT, MSIDBOPEN_CREATE, MSIDBOPEN_DIRECT,
MSIDBOPEN_READONLY, or MSIDBOPEN_TRANSACT, and may include the flag
MSIDBOPEN_PATCHFILE. See the Microsoft documentation for the meaning of
these flags; depending on the flags, an existing database is opened, or a new
- Return a new record object by calling MSICreateRecord(). count is the
number of fields of the record.
msilib.init_database(name, schema, ProductName, ProductCode, ProductVersion, Manufacturer)
Create and return a new database name, initialize it with schema, and set
the properties ProductName, ProductCode, ProductVersion, and
schema must be a module object containing tables and
_Validation_records attributes; typically, msilib.schema should be
The database will contain just the schema and the validation records when this
msilib.add_data(database, table, records)
Add all records to the table named table in database.
The table argument must be one of the predefined tables in the MSI schema,
e.g. 'Feature', 'File', 'Component', 'Dialog', 'Control',
records should be a list of tuples, each one containing all fields of a
record according to the schema of the table. For optional fields,
None can be passed.
Field values can be int or long numbers, strings, or instances of the Binary
- Represents entries in the Binary table; inserting such an object using
add_data() reads the file named filename into the table.
Add all table content from module to database. module must contain an
attribute tables listing all tables for which content should be added, and one
attribute per table that has the actual content.
This is typically used to install the sequence tables.
msilib.add_stream(database, name, path)
- Add the file path into the _Stream table of database, with the stream
- Return a new UUID, in the format that MSI typically requires (i.e. in curly
braces, and with all hexdigits in upper-case).
32.1.1. Database Objects
- Return a view object, by calling MSIDatabaseOpenView(). sql is the SQL
statement to execute.
- Commit the changes pending in the current transaction, by calling
- Return a new summary information object, by calling
MsiGetSummaryInformation(). count is the maximum number of updated
32.1.2. View Objects
- Execute the SQL query of the view, through MSIViewExecute(). If
params is not None, it is a record describing actual values of the
parameter tokens in the query.
- Return a record describing the columns of the view, through calling
MsiViewGetColumnInfo(). kind can be either MSICOLINFO_NAMES or
- Return a result record of the query, through calling MsiViewFetch().
Modify the view, by calling MsiViewModify(). kind can be one of
MSIMODIFY_SEEK, MSIMODIFY_REFRESH, MSIMODIFY_INSERT,
MSIMODIFY_UPDATE, MSIMODIFY_ASSIGN, MSIMODIFY_REPLACE,
MSIMODIFY_MERGE, MSIMODIFY_DELETE, MSIMODIFY_INSERT_TEMPORARY,
MSIMODIFY_VALIDATE_FIELD, or MSIMODIFY_VALIDATE_DELETE.
data must be a record describing the new data.
- Close the view, through MsiViewClose().
32.1.3. Summary Information Objects
- Return a property of the summary, through MsiSummaryInfoGetProperty().
field is the name of the property, and can be one of the constants
PID_CODEPAGE, PID_TITLE, PID_SUBJECT, PID_AUTHOR,
PID_KEYWORDS, PID_COMMENTS, PID_TEMPLATE, PID_LASTAUTHOR,
PID_REVNUMBER, PID_LASTPRINTED, PID_CREATE_DTM,
PID_LASTSAVE_DTM, PID_PAGECOUNT, PID_WORDCOUNT, PID_CHARCOUNT,
PID_APPNAME, or PID_SECURITY.
- Return the number of summary properties, through
- Set a property through MsiSummaryInfoSetProperty(). field can have the
same values as in GetProperty(), value is the new value of the property.
Possible value types are integer and string.
- Write the modified properties to the summary information stream, using
32.1.4. Record Objects
- Return the number of fields of the record, through
- Return the value of field as an integer where possible. field must
be an integer.
- Return the value of field as a string where possible. field must
be an integer.
- Set field to value through MsiRecordSetString(). field must be an
integer; value a string.
- Set field to the contents of the file named value, through
MsiRecordSetStream(). field must be an integer; value a string.
- Set field to value through MsiRecordSetInteger(). Both field and
value must be an integer.
- Set all fields of the record to 0, through MsiRecordClearData().
All wrappers around MSI functions raise MsiError; the string inside the
exception will contain more detail.
32.1.6. CAB Objects
The class CAB represents a CAB file. During MSI construction, files
will be added simultaneously to the Files table, and to a CAB file. Then,
when all files have been added, the CAB file can be written, then added to the
name is the name of the CAB file in the MSI file.
append(full, file, logical)
Add the file with the pathname full to the CAB file, under the name
logical. If there is already a file named logical, a new file name is
Return the index of the file in the CAB file, and the new name of the file
inside the CAB file.
- Generate a CAB file, add it as a stream to the MSI file, put it into the
Media table, and remove the generated file from the disk.
32.1.7. Directory Objects
class msilib.Directory(database, cab, basedir, physical, logical, default[, componentflags])
Create a new directory in the Directory table. There is a current component at
each point in time for the directory, which is either explicitly created through
start_component(), or implicitly when files are added for the first time.
Files are added into the current component, and into the cab file. To create a
directory, a base directory object needs to be specified (can be None), the
path to the physical directory, and a logical directory name. default
specifies the DefaultDir slot in the directory table. componentflags specifies
the default flags that new components get.
start_component(component=None, feature=None, flags=None, keyfile=None, uuid=None)
- Add an entry to the Component table, and make this component the current
component for this directory. If no component name is given, the directory
name is used. If no feature is given, the current feature is used. If no
flags are given, the directory’s default flags are used. If no keyfile
is given, the KeyPath is left null in the Component table.
add_file(file, src=None, version=None, language=None)
- Add a file to the current component of the directory, starting a new one
if there is no current component. By default, the file name in the source
and the file table will be identical. If the src file is specified, it
is interpreted relative to the current directory. Optionally, a version
and a language can be specified for the entry in the File table.
- Add a list of files to the current component as specified in the glob
pattern. Individual files can be excluded in the exclude list.
- Remove .pyc/.pyo files on uninstall.
class msilib.Feature(db, id, title, desc, display, level=1, parent=None, directory=None, attributes=0)
Add a new record to the Feature table, using the values id, parent.id,
title, desc, display, level, directory, and attributes. The
resulting feature object can be passed to the start_component() method of
- Make this feature the current feature of msilib. New components are
automatically added to the default feature, unless a feature is explicitly
32.1.9. GUI classes
msilib provides several classes that wrap the GUI tables in an MSI
database. However, no standard user interface is provided; use bdist_msi
to create MSI files with a user-interface for installing Python packages.
class msilib.Control(dlg, name)
Base class of the dialog controls. dlg is the dialog object the control
belongs to, and name is the control’s name.
event(event, argument, condition=1, ordering=None)
- Make an entry into the ControlEvent table for this control.
- Make an entry into the EventMapping table for this control.
- Make an entry into the ControlCondition table for this control.
class msilib.RadioButtonGroup(dlg, name, property)
Create a radio button control named name. property is the installer property
that gets set when a radio button is selected.
add(name, x, y, width, height, text, value=None)
- Add a radio button named name to the group, at the coordinates x, y,
width, height, and with the label text. If value is None, it
defaults to name.
class msilib.Dialog(db, name, x, y, w, h, attr, title, first, default, cancel)
Return a new Dialog object. An entry in the Dialog table is made,
with the specified coordinates, dialog attributes, title, name of the first,
default, and cancel controls.
control(name, type, x, y, width, height, attributes, property, text, control_next, help)
Return a new Control object. An entry in the Control table is
made with the specified parameters.
This is a generic method; for specific types, specialized methods are
text(name, x, y, width, height, attributes, text)
- Add and return a Text control.
bitmap(name, x, y, width, height, text)
- Add and return a Bitmap control.
line(name, x, y, width, height)
- Add and return a Line control.
pushbutton(name, x, y, width, height, attributes, text, next_control)
- Add and return a PushButton control.
radiogroup(name, x, y, width, height, attributes, property, text, next_control)
- Add and return a RadioButtonGroup control.
checkbox(name, x, y, width, height, attributes, property, text, next_control)
- Add and return a CheckBox control.
32.1.10. Precomputed tables
msilib provides a few subpackages that contain only schema and table
definitions. Currently, these definitions are based on MSI version 2.0.
- This is the standard MSI schema for MSI 2.0, with the tables variable
providing a list of table definitions, and _Validation_records providing the
data for MSI validation.
- This module contains table contents for the standard sequence tables:
AdminExecuteSequence, AdminUISequence, AdvtExecuteSequence,
InstallExecuteSequence, and InstallUISequence.
- This module contains definitions for the UIText and ActionText tables, for the
standard installer actions.