DISMUI: An Awesome Community-Created Tool

Posted By J.T. Kimbell
Program Manager

Much of what we highlight on the Approaching Embedded Intelligently blog is about what we’re doing as the Windows Embedded team. However, much of what we create is just a platform, it takes our partners and customers to really create something great. I’m planning on taking some more time in the future to discover and highlight great examples of Windows Embedded in action. Today’s post is not a device running Windows Embedded, but is instead an extremely useful tool from Wolfgang Unger, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Windows Embedded. In addition to being an MVP, Wolfgang is a Windows Embedded, Microsoft, and device enthusiast. In his role at Elbacom he provides technical support and advice to customers about Windows Embedded, produces content for the Elbacom website, and writes the Embedded Magazine produced by Elbacom. In his free time he enjoys working on home automation and his car PC. All-in-all, Wolfgang is a fantastic Windows Embedded Partner and has received Microsoft’s Award of Excellence and Developer of the Year awards.

If you’re an Embedded developer or need to manage any Windows systems in your enterprise, you’re likely aware of the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool, or DISM. DISM is used to manage the features and technologies on Windows devices. For Windows Embedded, this is a very important tool because it enables you to change the composition of an image outside of Image Configuration Editor (ICE) or Image Builder Wizard (IBW). You can run DISM locally on the target image in what is called “Online” mode, or can run it on a captured .wim file in “Offline” mode.

Traditional DISM experience

Traditional DISM experience

DISM is extremely powerful and, as far as command-line applications go, it’s not too difficult to use. However, it’s not the same as having a nice interface that would guide you through the process and make adding and removing content from your image really easy to understand. With DISMUI, Wolfgang did just that and more.

DISMUI makes DISM much easier to use on Embedded.

DISMUI makes DISM much easier to use on Embedded.


I originally thought I’d spend some time walking you through how to use DISMUI with screen shots and some text, but it’s really not necessary. Wolfgang did a great job making the tool intuitive and easy to use, and even helped by capturing some video that shows DISMUI in use. I took his great footage and made a quick video highlighting four useful scenarios. Check it out!

To recap, here are the four scenarios shown in the video:

  1. Using DISMUI on Windows Embedded Standard 7 to remove Internet Explorer and add the German Language Pack
  2. Using DISMUI on Windows Embedded POSReady 7 to add Internet Explorer and the Enhanced Write Filter
  3. Using DISMUI on Windows Embedded POSReady 7 in “integrated mode” to add Dialog Filter
  4. Using DISMUI on Windows Embedded Standard 8 CTP to add the Metro style user interface

Highlights of DISMUI

The video is a great overview of DISMUI. However, it’s a very powerful tool and we didn’t show everything. Here are some of the great features and capabilities of the tool.

  • Simple user interface for online and offline servicing of Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows Embedded Standard 8 CTP1, and Windows Embedded POSReady 7
  • Adds dependency resolution to DISM, a feature not found in the command-line version
  • Provides a dependency tree viewer
  • Adds conflict checking like that found in ICE or IBW
  • Calculates the footprint of the device after changes
  • Supports third-party module installation for Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows Embedded POSReady 7. This is a feature only provided in Windows Embedded Standard 8, but DISMUI makes this possible for the existing products
  • Automatically detects the host OS, the target OS, and the Distribution Share or Catalog that will be used to update the device’s configuration

Go here to download DISMUI for free.

Are there other great tools we should know about? Anything else you want me to highlight? Let me know in the comments. If you have any feedback for Wolfgang, you can contact him at Elbacom in Austria.

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