Installing Custom Apps

Ninite doesn't have built-in support for custom apps, but by using Ninite Pro's /silent switch you can accomplish most of the same goals. One of the most straightforward ways to do this is to make a setup.bat script that can silently install your custom apps and then runs a silent Ninite Pro installer for the apps we support.

This radically simplifies the maintenance needed for such a setup script since the Ninite apps will automatically be kept up to date by us. Also, some of the apps available on Ninite cannot be reliably and cleanly installed from the command line without Ninite. Luckily all of Ninite's advanced automation technology works great in the background with the /silent switch.

NetBeans Example

Let's build a setup script for a hypothetical developer machine. We'll install Chrome, Dropbox, JDK, and NetBeans.

The first three apps are available in Ninite One, so we can install those with the /select switch. They'll always be up-to-date and install silently and properly.

NetBeans is not on Ninite right now, so we'll have to download one of their installers from http://netbeans.org/downloads/. We'll save it in the same directory as Ninite One and name it netbeans.exe.

Now we just need to write our developer_setup.bat file. We'll put this in it:

@echo off

rem This script assumes it's in a directory with a copy of Ninite One,
rem available at http://ninite.com/one with a Ninite Pro account.
rem You should also place your NetBeans installer in this same
rem directory and name it netbeans.exe

echo Installing Chrome...
NiniteOne.exe /select Chrome /silent report.txt
rem echo the contents of report.txt but skip the first line
for /f "skip=1 delims=" %%l in (report.txt) do echo %%l
echo.

echo Installing Dropbox...
NiniteOne.exe /select Dropbox /silent report.txt
for /f "skip=1 delims=" %%l in (report.txt) do echo %%l
echo.

echo Installing JDK...
NiniteOne.exe /select JDK /silent report.txt
for /f "skip=1 delims=" %%l in (report.txt) do echo %%l
echo.

echo Installing NetBeans...
netbeans.exe --silent
echo Done!

And here's a downloadable version: developer_setup.bat

Of course, the details will vary depending on what custom apps you want to install instead of or in addition to NetBeans.

Why Isn't This Built-In to Ninite?

Some users ask us why they can't just give Ninite download URLs for any app and have it automatically installed. Unfortunately there's a lot more to getting an app installing properly than just that. Sometimes we even have to update our C++ client to add whole new automation features.

Any custom installer feature we built into Ninite would be more limited and at least as complicated as just building a setup.bat file that combines a /silent Ninite installer and other custom setup commands.

The setup.bat plus /silent mode approach is also more flexible since you could do other things in a batch file, like custom app configuration or registry key setup. We also like this approach since /silent mode is an extremely versatile feature that allows not just custom apps, but all sorts of other integration with automation and RMM tools.


Please Note

These features are only available in Ninite Pro.

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