Suppressing Console Windows for Custom Actions



If you have authored a custom action into your installer package and are
annoyed by the console window that always pops up when the custom action runs,
it’s because the custom action executable is running under the console

When you link your object files with the VC++ linker you can
specify the subsystem using the

. If you’re using the C# or VB.NET compilers the

/target switch
allows you to specify which subsystem to use for the
executable. However you specify the subsystem or however it’s determined depending on
which entry point you use, you shouldn’t use the console subsystem for custom
actions if you don’t want the console window to appear, unless you have a good
reason for it. For example, maybe you just want to reuse a console application
that you’re installing such as for
custom action type 18
or any custom action using msidbCustomActionTypeExe (0x01).

In most cases you should consider running under the Windows subsystem. No
window is created unless you create a window yourself and you can still

allocate a console
if necessary.

If you already have a console EXE you want to use, you can cause the window
not to be displayed by passing certain parameters to APIs like the CreateProcess
function. When calling CreateProcess pass CREATE_NO_WINDOW (0x08000000).
WiX defines the CAQuietExec custom
action function that does this and redirects standard handles as well.

Heath Stewart

Senior Software Engineer

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