Deploying Your Application

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You've created your application in Lazarus, tested within the IDE. Now it's time to deploy it to test it on a specific platform.


Windows Deployment


Inno Setup [1] is a free installer for Windows programs. It may be used completely free of charge, even when deploying commercial applications, full Delphi source code is available. See Inno Setup for more details and links to the Lazarus installer that is written using Inno.


  • Inno supports all versions of Windows in use today -- Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, 7, 8. The latest version that can create installers for Windows versions before Windows 2000 is version 5.4. See [2]
  • It can compare file version info, replace in-use files, use shared file counting.
  • It can register DLL/OCXs and type libraries
  • It can install fonts.
  • It can create shortcuts anywhere, including in the Start Menu and on the desktop.
  • It can create registry and .INI entries
  • It has integrated Pascal scripting engine that allows e.g. manipulation of COM/ActiveX objects (e.g. MS Word), setting firewall rules etc.
  • It supports multilingual installs
  • It supports passworded and encrypted installs
  • It supports silent install and uninstall.

While it is free for use, Inno Setup is copyrighted software, not public domain software. There are some restrictions on distribution and use; see the file for details.

Inno Setup is used to create the Lazarus installer for Windows.


HJ-Install is a freeware installer for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000 and XP. It is created with Internet distributed, CD-Rom, single-floppy and multi-floppy installations in mind, but it can also be used in network situations and as a stand-alone scripting engine. The installer is small and adds only 138 Kb. It doesn't support changing the registry and ini files, and un-install. See

LizaJet Installer

LizaJet Installer is a commercial installer, but a free edition is available. Uses Object Pascal for scripting. See

NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System)

A professional open source system to create Windows installers. A full-featured NSIS installer has an overhead of only 34 KB. See and

Windows Installer XML (WiX) toolset

A toolset that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code. The toolset supports a command line environment that developers may integrate into their build processes to build MSI and MSM setup packages. See

Unix Deployment

Creating a RPM Package on Linux

On Linux, the best way to deploy applications is by using the native package system. Of the many package systems available, RPM (RedHat Package Manager) is the most commonly utilized format, and is defined as the standard one in the Linux Standard Base.

To create a RPM file, you need to create a spec text file with the information necessary to build the software, and also an environment to build that spec. The best editor to create RPM packages is Emacs, because it recognizes the spec extension, highlights the text appropriately and even has a menu option to build rpm packages.

To build the rpm file use either the emacs menu or this command line (man rpmbuild for more information):

rpmbuild -ba --clean $HOME/RPM/SPECS/myprogram.spec

Setting up your build environment

RPM Packages are installed as root to the base system (/ directory), but an accident as root can destroy your machine. To avoid this, packages can be build as a normal user. The build process includes a real install, to make sure the package works, but this install is made to a fake root directory represented by the $RPM_BUILD_ROOT variable.

First, go to your home directory (or another directory inside it) and create the following directory structure:


RPM/BUILD - This directory is utilized by RPM to build the package.

RPM/RPMS - Here you can find binary RPMs after you build them.

RPM/SOURCES - Place your compressed tar files and patches here.

RPM/SPECS - Place all your spec files here.

RPM/SRPMS - Here you can find source RPMs after you build them.

Next you will need to create a configuration file to tell rpm builder software where he can find your build directories. Go to your home directory and create a file named .rpmmacros and place the text below on it. Make sure to change the directories to the correct ones on your system.

%_topdir                /home/felipe/RPM/
%_tmppath               /home/felipe/tmp

%_signature             gpg
%_gpg_name              Mandrakelinux
%_gpg_path              ~/.gnupg

Creating a binary only package

The easiest way to create a RPM package is to make it install already compiled software. There are some reason why we might want to avoid compiling the software in the spec file:

  • It requires creating a Makefile and makefiles are complex
  • Some packages don't have any binary software in them, so they don't need to be built.

Each RPM Package contains a single compressed tar archive. Place the archive under the RPM/SOURCES directory. Zip, gz and bz2 compressions should work ok. The file can either contain the full source of the project if you with to create a source and a binary package or a directory with the files already in place, like if they were installed in the user machine, if you with to create a binary only package.

To build a binary package open a spec file with Emacs text editor. On Emacs open the menu "RPM spec" --> "RPM Build" --> "Build Binary Package". This will create a .rpm file under the directory RPM/RPMS

Below is a spec file that doesn't build the software. In this case the software is a Braille Course composed of html and Macromedia Flash files. Flash files cannot be build on Linux, so it's not possible to create a source package in this case.

%define name    braillevirtual 
%define version 1.0 
%define release mdk 
%define dir     braillevirtual
%define root    /home/felipe/tmp/ROOT/

Summary:   Curso On-Line de Braille
Name:      %{name}
Version:   %{version}
Release:   %{release}
Vendor:    Laboratório de Brinquedos da Faculdade de Educação da USP
License:   Distribuível livremente
Group:     Books/Other
Packager:  Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
Source0:   home/felipe/Programacao/SOURCES/braillevirtual.tar.bz2
BuildRoot: %{root}

O Braille Virtual é um curso on-line público e gratuito destinado à difusão e ensino do sistema Braille de leitura e escrita para cegos a pessoas que vêem. É orientado especialmente a pais, crianças, professores e funcionários de escolas inclusivas e pretende facilitar a comunicação entre estas pessoas e as pessoas com cegueira.

cp braillevirtual.tar.bz2 $RPM_BUILD_DIR
rm -rf %{dir}
rm -f braillevirtual.tar
bunzip2 -d braillevirtual.tar.bz2
tar -xvf braillevirtual.tar

rm -rf $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/usr/share/%{dir}
cp -r $RPM_BUILD_DIR/%{dir} $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/usr/share/

rm -rf $RPM_BUILD_DIR/*.*



* Mon Oct 24 2005 1.0-mdk.noarch.rpm

- Nova atualização do pacote de instalação. Inclusão dos exercícios avançados.

* Wed May 12 2005 1.0-mdk.noarch.rpm

- Atualizei o pacote para refletir as mudanças no site. Várias pequenas mudanças.

* Sun May 05 2005 1.0-1mdk.i586.rpm

- O pacote de instalação do braille Virtual para linux é criado.

Creating a source and binary package

Linux distributions only accept RPM packages that can build the software. This will probably require creating build scripts and/or a Makefile. For more information see the section Deploying_Your_Application#Creating_a_Makefile_for_your_Lazarus_software.

You need to use the %build section to compile the software.

Below is an example of a spec file capable of building the software. Be very careful when studing this as every little detail is important and follows a precise pattern.

Name:           magnifier
Version:        3.2.1
Release:        1
Summary:        Virtual Magnifying Glass
Group:          Accessibility
License:        GPL Version 2
BuildRoot:      %{_tmppath}/%{name}-%{version}-%{release}-root-%(%{__id_u} -n)
BuildRequires:  fpc >= 2.0.2, lazarus >= 0.9.12
Requires:       ImageMagick


Virtual Magnifying Glass is a free, open source, multiplatform, screen magnification tool. It is simple, customizable, and easy-to-use.

%setup -q magnifier

make TARGET=%{_target_cpu}





* Wed Feb 15 2006 Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho <felipemonteiro.carvalho at> - 3.2-mdk.i386.rpm
- The Linux RPM package is created.

Creating a Debian Package on Linux

There is a tutorial written by IBM:

And there is an IDE plugin here:

Automating the creation of RPM and DEB packages

To simplify the work of creating RPM and DEB packages one can create a script which generates them, just like is done here:


GUInseng is a a GTK+ based installer for Linux released under GPL.

The Zero Install system

The Zero Install system is a Python based install system that aims to provide a better way of installing software than traditional systems (tarballs, apt-get, bundles, setup.exe, etc).

Creating a Makefile for your Lazarus software

The following is a command line build system for a Lazarus software. This is particularly useful if you wish to create an RPM package suitable for including on GNU/Linux distributions. The comments on the files should explain what each part does.

# Detects and parses the architecture

ARCH=$(uname -m)

case "$ARCH" in

 "i686") ARCH="i386";;

 "i586") ARCH="i386";;

 "i486") ARCH="i386";;


echo "Target architecture: $ARCH"

# Detects and parses the OS


echo "Target operating system: $OS"

# Command line to build the sofware

fpc -S2cgi -OG1 -gl -WG -vewnhi -l -Fu/usr/lib/lazarus/components/opengl/gtk2x11/ -Fi/usr/lib/lazarus/components/opengl/gtk2x11/include/ -Fu/usr/lib/lazarus/components/jpeg/ -Fu/usr/lib/lazarus/lcl/units/$ARCH-$OS/ -Fu/usr/lib/lazarus/lcl/units/$ARCH-$OS/ -Fu/usr/lib/lazarus/lcl/units/$ARCH-$OS/gtk2/ -Fu/usr/lib/lazarus/packager/units/$ARCH-$OS/ -Fu. -o./magnifier -dLCL -dLCLgtk2 magnifier.dpr

# Parses command line options. Currently supported options are:
# DESTDIR		Destination root directory


for arg; do

  case $arg in




# Does the install
# "mkdir -p" is equivalent to ForceDirectories pascal function

mkdir -p $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier

cp ./topleft.bmp $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/
cp ./topright.bmp $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/
cp ./bottomleft.bmp $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/
cp ./bottomright.bmp $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/
cp ./top.bmp $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/
cp ./left.bmp $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/
cp ./bottom.bmp $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/
cp ./right.bmp $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/
cp ./icon3.ico $DESTDIR/usr/share/magnifier/

mkdir -p $DESTDIR/usr/bin

cp ./magnifier $DESTDIR/usr/bin/

rm -rf *.o
rm -rf *.ppu

rm -rf *.pas~
rm -rf *.sh~
rm -rf *.bak

rm -rf *~

rm -rf magnifier

# Don´t use "rm -rf" in here, because you should only remove the files you created
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/topleft.bmp
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/topright.bmp
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/bottomleft.bmp
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/bottomright.bmp
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/top.bmp
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/left.bmp
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/bottom.bmp
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/right.bmp
rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/icon3.ico

rm -f /usr/share/magnifier/magnifier

rm -f /usr/bin/magnifier

rmdir /usr/share/magnifier


# Targets

# The First target is the one build when there is nothing on make command line




Mac OS X Deployment

An Application Bundle

See Application Bundle for information on how to create an application bundle (a directory with application files that is treated by OS X as an executable program).

Most OS X programs are distributed as a disk image file (.dmg extension). Normally you download or copy a program's disk image to your Mac and double-click it. This mounts the disk image and opens a window on the desktop, where you'll typically see an application bundle as described in the previous point. To install, a user simply drags the bundle to the hard drive, typically into his or the general Applications folder. Therefore, many disk images present a link to the general Applications folder for easier dragging. "Uninstalling" is by deleting the bundle.

Once the installation is complete, you eject (unmount) the mounted disk image, for example by dragging it to the trash. You can also delete the .dmg file by dragging it to the trash as well.

Your bonus points is, if the application can also run directly from the (read-only) disk image.

You can also read this guide to create a fancy disk image.

Using PackageMaker on Mac OS X

If you absolutely require that several files are installed in different locations, then (and only then!) should you create a package file (.pkg extension). This package file can then be moved, downloaded or emailed. Once the end user has it, they can double-click the package and the is launched, which will perform the installation.

The installer .pkg file is actually a directory, as is the resulting application bundle (.app extension) that it copies to the Applications folder. To the user, .pkg and .app files look and act like ordinary files, but they're really directories whose details have been hidden from the user. You can see what's inside a .pkg or .app file by entering normal cd commands in a terminal window (for example, cd or by Ctrl-clicking the file and choosing Show Package Contents from the popup menu.

You create .pkg files using PackageMaker, which is installed along with the Xcode tools in /Developer/Applications/Utilities. With PackageMaker, you select the folder containing the files you want to package and set other installation options, for example whether a password must be entered to install the program. Note that the folder you select can be an .app file. Choose File | Create Package to create the .pkg file. You can also save your settings for future use in PackageMaker by choosing File | Save to create a .pmsp file that you name (.pmproj with later versions).

To create a .dmg file, run the OS X Disk Utility, which is installed in /Applications/ Utilities. Select Images | New | Image from Folder and choose the folder containing your .pkg file and any other files you want to include in the disk image. In the Convert Image dialog, enter the name of the .dmg file to create, select where it should be saved, and select "compressed" as the image format. The .dmg file that Disk Utility creates is then ready for distribution.

Installing X11 and GTK on Mac OS X

GUI apps created with Lazarus that use the GTK widgetset require X11 and the GTK libraries to run. X11 is included with Mac OS X, but is installed by default on a user's Mac only with Mac OS X 10.5 and later. Even then, the user might have decided not to install it, so you'll want to mention this in your app's readme file.

To install the GTK libraries on a user's system, you should include instructions for using Fink or MacPorts. Do not manually package the libraries and install those in the default Fink/MacPorts locations, because then they may be overwritten in case the user decides to install one of these distributions. A good practice is to put those libraries in the application bundle itself, which requires using the install_name_tool program. Putting them somewhere else is possible, but in most cases not conform to the Apple Guidelines as well as not what users expect. Before simply using directories common to other systems, you should carefully read the guidelines about the file system layout File System Overview.

Android Deployment

(This information needs to be consolidated here and the below links adjusted)

Apple IOS Deployment

(This information needs to be consolidated here and the below links adjusted)

Other, General Cross-Platform Deployment



Bitrock (website make an installer that will deploy to Windows, Mac OS and many flavors of Linux. If your application is open-source, they will give you a full license to download and use their 'InstallBuilder' application.[Application form link]. Commercial application licenses are available.

fpGUI Installer

This is a cross-platform CLI and GUI installer. It is loosely based on the concept of the Loki Installer (implemented in the C programming language) created by Loki Games. The difference being that fpGUI Installer is implemented from scratch using Object Pascal and the fpGUI Toolkit for the GUI parts. This installer is still under active development, but to date no public release has been made. A public release is planned though. No official name has been given to this project either - thus the not ideal "fpGUI Installer" name.

Here is a screenshot of fpGUI Installer replacing the original Kylix 3 installer:

fpGUI Installer


  • Installer setup is done via an easily managed XML file. A GUI front-end is used to edit the XML, but it can be done by hand too.
  • CD-ROM or Downloadable installers. The difference being that the CD-ROM installer is normally unpacked and multiple languages, tools etc are included. A Downloadable installer is a single file download and normally packaged for a specific language.
  • Automatic icon shortcut generation
  • No external libraries or runtime environments required. The idea is that a installer must not have system requirements (eg: a JVM or the Qt library etc), hence fpGUI toolkit was used for the GUI installer, because it talks directly to GDI or X11.
  • Command Line Installer and GUI Installer included as standard.
  • Support uninstall as well
  • fpGUI Installer has been tested on Windows (Win98 thru Win7), Linux (various distros), FreeBSD and OpenSolaris.
  • Supports 32-bit and 64-bit setup files.
  • Group installer mode: The installer can present a user friendly interface to install multiple other projects.
  • Customisable graphics banner and UI theme.


InstallJammer is a multiplatform GUI installer designed to be completely cross-platform and function on Windows and most all versions of UNIX.

InstallJammer features a very powerful install builder with support for multiple themes and a high level of configurability for installers. Installers are built as single executable files for easy distribution over the web and handle installing everything you need for your application in a simple, cross-platform way.


CMake is a multiplatform build system that manages the compilation, linking, testing, and setup creation process. It is mainly intended for C/C++ software development, but can also be used for creating setups for Lazarus/FPC projects. The part of CMake that creates the setups is called CPack and is actually a front-end for other software packages that do the real work. In an FPC context, you would write a CMakeLists.txt file that contains lists of files to be installed and then have CPack call NSIS/WiX/... to perform the actual work.


  • Windows (32+64 Bit), Linux, OS X support
  • Works with all important back-ends (NSIS, WiX, DEB...)
  • Just one text file CMakeLists.txt needs to be mainained for all target platforms
  • Multi-platform setups can be created with minimal work
  • Download:

Using CMake/CPack makes most sense if you have a mixed-language project with Pascal and C/C++ parts that all go into one installer, and you need a platform-independent solution for both parts. If you have a pure FPC project, the overhead might be too much for you.

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