NSIS vs Inno Setup

I haven’t really spent all that much time on my installer, which is somewhat silly because its the first look people get of my software and I should really want to nail it.  Especially in the consumer market, looks sell software — this is yet another reason why I love my stock icons, as they make my software seem bright and happy, like a Fisher-Price toy.  I just switched from NSIS to Inno Setup for a similar reason.  Here is the very first screen shown by each of the two installers — take a wild guess which is the one I’m going with. 


 Ironically, the second one requires two mouseclicks more than the first.  I’ll see if I can’t reduce that by playing with the setup script, since additional mouseclicks are also something I really hate forcing on my customer.

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11 Comments on “NSIS vs Inno Setup”

  1. Nick Hebb Says:


    There’s a set of free wizard images available for Inno that make it look even better: http://www.kornelpal.hu/wizardimages/

    Also, I don’t know whether you’re using ISTool for Inno, but it makes editing the Inno config file a snap. In ISTool, click Setup Options > Pages and you can omit pages from the setup wizard.

  2. Inno is a really nice piece of software. My main installer is now over 600 lines but every part of the development has been straight forward.

  3. Patrick Says:

    Thanks for the tip Nick. I dug into the documentation and found a line of code to eliminate one of the clicks. The other one would require hitting people with that massive wall of license text for their first look, and I rather don’t like that idea.

  4. Fantastic timing Patrick. I’m just about to replace the installer that comes bundled with Excelsior JET as it is too restrictive with either NSIS or Inno. Intuitively I was going to try Inno first, now you’ve just confirmed the choice.

  5. Joske Vermeulen Says:

    This isn’t a fair comparison, you can make the installer look like the image below very easily – look at the ‘Modern UI’ section in the NSIS documentation. I’m not saying NSIS is better than Innosetup as I’ve never tried Innosetup, just saying ‘Inoosetup is better: look at these screens!’ isn’t a valid comparison.

  6. Vignesh Says:

    Hi Patrick,

    The argument is weak, NSIS wins hands down. Here is my reply to your post http://easternwinds.trianeda.com/?p=27 . Check it out …

    +1 to Joske

  7. Ken Says:

    If you add the following line to the [Setup] section of your Inno Setup .iss file, you’ll get a much more modern look:


  8. mgladding Says:

    In regards to reducing mouse clicks, I’d remove the EULA page entirely. I’ve blogged about my reasoning here: http://text2go.wordpress.com/

  9. Patrick Says:

    I support the general thrust of your reasoning and yet am a little too risk-adverse to apply it myself. The pro-forma EULA will be there for the forseeable future.

  10. Sam F. Says:

    I’ve been using InnoSetup since the initial release of iTriTracker and have nothing but love for it. Also, the fact that it uses a variant of Pascal as its scripting language fits me perfectly as I’m a Delphi guy to the core.

    As for the EULA, I’d agree w/ mgladding in that it’s use is not necessary anymore. I’ll have to keep that in mind when I recompile my next setup program.

  11. Kiran kumar Says:

    I tried both, but both are not easy to use. After long time i found Nvin Installer, a open source project hosted in Google code. Nvin Installer

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