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Silent installation of applications (silent install)

Silent installation is such a process in which you sit quietly and look at the screen where the software installation process takes place without your participation, provided that it is generally visible. At the same time, the installer does not bother you with questions like Do you agree with the license agreement ?. Installation options are used by default. those. those that the installer offers when installing the software in the usual way.

The disadvantages of a silent installation include all kinds of panels in browsers and E-Bay tags on the desktop, since most of these bonuses are included in the installation by default. But this is rather an exception, although not rare. Read more about silent installation in this article.

In fact, silent installation is a very convenient procedure that saves time and simplifies the life of the system administrator. For example, I use silent install mode after a clean OS installation.

The silent installation mode is activated using the parameters or (as they are also called) keys. If you do not know what it is, you can fill the knowledge gap with the help of this article: BAT files. The procedure can be launched in several ways:

From the command line using options.
Similarly, via the bat-file (com-file).
Via the SFX archive with the configuration file.
There are a lot of keys. Which key you need to use depends on the installer. Those. any program, in simple terms, is a folder with files, and a special collector (a system for creating software installers) packs all this stuff into one installation file. And it depends on which collector was used – which key will trigger silent installation mode. The most famous systems for creating installers:

Install shield
WISE Installer
NSIS
Inno setup
More information about SSI and their keys can be found here. You can also try to find the key you need using special software – Universal Silent Switch Finder or read the documentation on the developers website of the program for which you are looking for keys.

During experiments with silent installation, I came across the following parameters for starting silent installation mode:

/ silent
/ verysilent
/ quiet
/ qb
/ qn
/ qr
/ passive
/ s
/ S
/ qn REBOOT = ReallySuppress
/ s / v “/ qn REBOOT = ReallySuppress
Keys for canceling a reboot:

/ norestart
/ noreboot
Avast Anti-Virus has the option of silent installation in the corporate version. In the free (Home) version, according to the developers, there is no silent installation. However, if you are aware of how the InstallShield installer works, you will understand that this statement is not true, since this installer itself supports the / S silent installation key. So all the products made on its basis – too. And Avast Home is no exception.

To start a silent installation of the 7Zip archiver (NSIS collector), you need to run the installer with the / S switch. Put the 7Zip installer (7z.exe) in the root of drive C. Then open the Start ›Run menu (or + R) and enter the following command in the form:

C: 7z.exe / S
The archiver will install without dialog boxes and signs of external activity.

However, it happens that the installer is assembled non-standardly and it simply does not have keys to start a silent installation. These exceptions include Avira Antivir. Quietly, you can only unzip the contents of the installer into a temporary directory (minus one window), and then everything. In this case, you have to create special self-extracting archives with instructions files inside. Here the situation is a little more complicated.

Silent installation using sfx archives
Above, I mentioned cases where the option with keys may not work. The silent installation mode may simply not be provided by the developer. In this case, quite often you can get out of the situation using sfx archives. Sfx archive is a self-extracting archive.

One of its advantages is that you do not need an archiver to unpack it. In addition, with the help of it you can significantly expand the capabilities of a silent installation, and the possibility of installing software in general.

For example, immediately after unpacking, the sfx archive allows you to run one or more unpacked files, delete files after operations, and much more. These operations involve configuration files containing commands (for example, BAT files).

Using commands, you can simulate a silent installation process. Many installers, including the one mentioned in the previous Avira article, can work with instruction files (pick them up), provided that the instruction is in the same directory as the installer. More information about instructions (commands indicated in the configs) can be found on the website of the program developer or on the relevant forums.

To outline the configuration file (for those who are not up to date) below is an example of such a file for Firefox Portable

[FirefoxPortable]
FirefoxDirectory = Appfirefox
ProfileDirectory = Dataprofile
SettingsDirectory = Datasettings
PluginsDirectory = Dataplugins
FirefoxExecutable = firefox.exe
AdditionalParameters =
LocalHomepage = index.html
DisableSplashScreen = false
AllowMultipleInstances = false

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