How to configure installer to span multiple disc

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How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby ree » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:38 am

Hello!

I need to configure an installer that will span multiple disc. I am currently using inno setup and would like to move to using installjammer, this is the configuration in inno setup:
DiskSpanning=true
SlicesPerDisk=1
DiskSliceSize=600000000

From looking at installjammer documentation, I think I just need to set 'Build Separate Archives' to yes.
However, I am unable to find the equivalent for setting SlicesPerDisk and DiskSliceSize.
Is there an equivalent configuration to this using installjammer?

As always, thank you for your active management of this forum.
ree
 
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby damon » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:21 pm

This option doesn't currently exist in InstallJammer. It's something that has to be done by-hand essentially, and I can't think of a great way, currently, to make it happen without a fair bit of work. Spanning discs and CDROM installs in general are on my long term TO DO list, but I just haven't had the time to implement them.

Depending on the setup of your application, this might be possible to accomplish with a little bit of tinkering, but if you've already got it going in Inno, I don't see much gain switching over to IJ and having to rewrite everything. 0-]
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby ree » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:26 pm

Thank you for your prompt response.

Actually, the reason I chose InstallJammer is because it is platform independent. Inno Setup only runs in Windows.
I need to be able to create a windows installer from an application running in HPUX. So far, InstallJammer seems to support everything I need, except for multi-disc span.

Do you have any suggestion on how I should proceed or if it can be accomplished by creating a script or what kind of tinkering I could do?
The application setup will be a normal set of content to be built within the installer.
ree
 
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby damon » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:14 pm

So, the only hard part of spanning CDs is figuring out where to cut the files so that they don't go over the disc size. This is what Inno is doing automatically that IJ does not. In the current versions, it's impossible to jump into the middle of a build and do any of this kind of work, but this could be easily done if you do the work yourself.

Meaning that if you create multiple file groups and add files to them and make sure that each group doesn't go over your disc size, the builder will just build the separate archives as you've designed them and not care about size. If you do that work upfront, all we need to do during installation is mount each archive and install them one-by-one.

It should be possible to do. Almost anything is possible in IJ with enough scripting. 0-] I'll help you out with getting things working if you're willing to put in the work. First things first, build a project and split all your files into file groups that are less than the size of a disc. Once we have that, I can take a look at your project and figure out exactly how to do the rest.

It might take a few tweaks to the core, but they should be fairly simple. All the pieces are there in the installer, it's just the builder that lacks the pieces to do what you want automatically. 0-]
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby ree » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:09 am

I have a couple of questions and confirmation first:
1. If my understanding is correct, the multiple file groups will correspond to each disk then?

2. When I add content files to each file group, they are still uncompressed and so the content size I get to check against the disc size is the uncompressed version. The size will be lower once it is compressed within the installer, this would mean not optimizing the use CD space - but then again, this is better than none.

3. I am thinking we just need to have a variable to set for the diskSize, that way we don't have to work with CD size content to test this effort.
Also, I assume there will be a flag to the builder so it will know to build each file group into it's own archive? Or is this what is Build Separate Archives' already doing?

Thanks, Damon. I'll start working on a test project. So, i just need to provide you with .mpi file and zip of data to use, right? anything else?
ree
 
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby damon » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:59 am

Yes, each file group will show be of uncompressed size, so it will take a little tweaking to get the file groups right. If you make each file group about 700M, you should be safe as long as most of the files can be compressed even a little bit. Yes, it's not the most efficient use of disk space, but that's what we've got to work with. 0-]

The Build Separate Archives option means to build each file group as a separate archive, and then the installer knows to mount those archives on startup. What we will be doing is mounting them separately as we reach each disc.

Play around with it and then send me your project file. I don't need the contents of your application since I can fake up some data to test with. I don't even really care if the data reaches disc size since all I'll be doing is writing up a way to mount the archives as we need them.
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby ree » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:42 pm

Hi Damon,
I have created a test InstallJammer project for this effort.
I created 3 File Groups, 'Content Part 1', 'Content Part 2' and 'Content Part3'.
Attached is the zip file containing the .mpi file.
Thanks again for your effort in helping me make this feature work.

As for my side, the creation of the installer is automated, so before running the install builder, I will have to figure out how to insert each file group in the .mpi file. The number of file groups I need to create will vary depending on the size of the content. Or is there an API to insert File Groups?
Attachments
MultiDiskProject.zip
(6.98 KiB) Downloaded 1023 times
ree
 
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby damon » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:59 pm

There isn't anything you can do from an API during the build phase, but you can easily manipulate the project file before building. What most users have done is just to build a project file with no file groups or files in it, and then just output the proper instructions to the project file to create what you want before doing the build.

So, create something like myproject.mpi.template and copy it to myproject.mpi and then chunk your stuff onto the bottom. If you want to setup your build this way, I can help you out, but it's mostly just looking at a project file for what defines a File Group and then copying those lines to output into the new file.

I'll show you how it's done if you don't figure it out on your own. 0-]
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby ree » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:04 pm

Thanks for the advice. That's actually what i am doing now, using an mpi template and then replacing the template variables before calling the build.
I just need to do the same for the File Groups. Looks like I just need to make sure that the FileGroup ID is unique per FileGroup I insert to the template.

I look forward to trying out whatever you come up with in this multiple disc installer effort. By the way, do you know yet what kind of file outputs it may have - to determine which archive goes to Disc 1, Disc 2, etc.?

Thanks
ree
 
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Re: How to configure installer to span multiple disc

Postby damon » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:07 pm

You're going to end up with a setup.exe somewhere on disc 1 with each file group being a separate archive file on each other disc. That's pretty much it. You can stick anything else you want on the discs, but each archive will be for one disc.
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