Silent install of the .NET Framework

When I talked to ISV, they often just want to use the .NET Framework as an implementation detail of their applications.. they don’t want their users to have to go to windows update or MSDN to download the framework, and they don’t want to have some Microsoft setup UI popping up during the install experience of their application. 

For this scenario, we have a little known feature of setup where you can install it the .NET Framework silently.. that is with no-UI popping up at all.  This allows you to have full control of the experience…

For .NET FX 3.0: the magic command line is: Dotnetfx3.exe /q
See this white paper for more details.   

Oh, and if you are still on .NET Fx 2.0, the command is:  Dotnetfx.exe /q:a /c:”install /q”
And you can find more out here

Comments (7)

  1. Mark Ingram says:

    I thought that was against the ISV license agreement for the .NET framework? I’ve looked into this before and I’m sure we were told that we couldn’t silently install the framework (legally).

  2. Henry Boehlert says:

    Which does not answer the question whether or not this is a good idea and how easy it is do get it wrong.

    By wrong I mean like the example of a VGA driver download of a certain vendor for a certain operating system that amounts to more than 100MB just to unconditionally install an old version of the framework but missing the appropriate language packs.

    I suggest applying these guidelines:

    DO NOT package other vendors’ public frameworks with your application.

    DO use setup bootstrappers that check for framework requirements and have them download and install the most up-to-date setup packages from the original vendor’s website only when necessary.

    CONSIDER making functionality that requires a public framework an optional feature in your installation.

  3. Aaron says:

    Mark I recall the same thing.

    I think I prefer InstallShield’s method for installing(dialog with progress bar) this frame work.  We have looked into quiet mode before, but it looks like your install is hung.  If there is an error the user never knows.  Hunting error log files is a little more time consuming then users emailing screen shots of the error message.

  4. Brian says:

    One issue we learned the hard way – silent install of .NET Framework 2.0 will hang if IE is open.

  5. When I talked to ISV, they often just want to use the .NET Framework as an implementation detail of their

  6. Silently Installing .NET