How to run a script in WiX with a custom action – simplest possible example


Newbie WiX question: How do I
1. Copy a single-use shell script to temp along with the installer

  <Binary Id='permissions.cmd' src='permissions.cmd'/>  

2. Find and run that script at the end of the install.

<CustomAction Id='SetFolderPermissions' BinaryKey='permissions.cmd' 
    ExeCommand='permissions.cmd' Return='ignore'/>  

    <Custom Action="SetFolderPermissions" Sequence='1'/>

I think I have at least three problems:

  • I can't find permissions.cmd to run it – do I need [TEMPDIR]permissions.cmd or something?
  • My Sequence comes too soon, before the program is installed.
  • I need cmd /c permissions.cmd somewhere in here, probably near ExeCommand?

In this example permissions.cmd uses cacls.exe to add the interactive user with write permissions to the %ProgramFiles%\Vendor ACL. I could also use secureObject – that question is "How do I add the interactive user to a directory in a localized Windows"?

Best Answer

Here's a working example (for setting permissions, not for running a script):

<Directory Id="TARGETDIR" Name="SourceDir">
  <Directory Id="ProgramFilesFolder" Name="PFiles">
    <Directory Id="BaseDir" Name="MyCo">
      <Directory Id="INSTALLDIR" Name="MyApp" LongName="MyProd">

        <!-- Create the folder, so that ACLs can be set to NetworkService -->
        <Component Id="TheDestFolder" Guid="{333374B0-FFFF-4F9F-8CB1-D9737F658D51}"
                   DiskId="1"  KeyPath="yes">
          <CreateFolder Directory="INSTALLDIR">
            <Permission User="NetworkService"


Note that this is using 'Extended="Yes"' in the Permission tag, so it's using the SecureObjects table and custom action not the LockPermissions table (see WiX docs for Permission Element). In this example the permissions applied to the MyProd directory by SecureObjects are inherited by subdirectories, which is not the case when LockPermissions is used.

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