How do I create a silent installation MSI package?

When deploying MSI installation packages through GPO or SMS or simply to your clients, you may want to make them silent. This can be done in several ways:

1. Basic user interface through Advanced Installer

Advanced Installer allows you to make the installation package silent by setting the LIMITUI property inside the MSI. This is done automatically when you check the Limit to basic user interface (simple progress and error handling) option in the Install Parameters page.

2. Basic or no user interface through the MSIEXEC command line

When launching the MSI package from the command line you can use multiple "msiexec.exe" parameters which affect the user interface:

  • full UI: /qf (this is the default parameter used by the package)
  • reduced UI: /qr (the user interface does not show any wizard dialogs)
  • basic UI: /qb, /passive (only a progress bar will be shown during the installation)
  • no UI: /qn, /quiet (no UI will be showed during the installation)

Example of a full command line:

msiexec /i c:\path\to\package.msi /quiet /qn

TipOn Windows Vista and above, in order to silently install a package you must use an elevated command prompt. If the package is run from a non-elevated command prompt the install will fail with the "Error 1925. You do not have sufficient privileges to complete this installation for all users of the machine. Log on as administrator and then retry this installation" displayed in the install log.

3. Basic or no user interface through the bootstrapper

If your installation package uses an EXE bootstrapper then you can set it to launch the MSI package with a specific command line. In this command line you can use the same parameters used when launching the MSI with MSIEXEC.

The command line of the MSI package can be specified in the MSI Command Line field on the Configuration tab in the Builds page.

The MSIEXEC parameters can also be used for the bootstrapper (for example test.exe /qn). In this case they will be passed to the MSI package.

TipOn Windows Vista and above, in order the install the package silently the installation package should run elevated. This can be achieved by using the "Run as administrator" context menu option from Windows Explorer or by setting the execution level to Run as administrator in the Installation Options section of the Install Parameters. In this case when launching the installation package the UAC prompt will appear asking for elevated rights.