Create an Automated, Customized Suite Installer in VLM

Updated Sep 26, 2023



  • Volume License Manager

  • I have a suite license and want to install software across my network using Volume License Manager (VLM).
  • How can I customize the install for multiple computers?
  • How can I activate the software automatically with my license?
  • Is it possible to make this suite installer run silently?

Step 1: Create Volume License Installer (VLI)
  1. Install VLM and add the license file. Refer to Getting Started and Setting Up NI Volume License Manager (VLM)  for details on how to do this.
  2. Decide if you wish to use VLM groups. To add a new group, select the Group tab on the left hand menu. Add a new user group or new computer group and include the license file under the Licenses heading. You can add users to the group at this time, or add members at a later date.
  3. Select Tools > Create Volume License Installer to create the installer itself.
  4. Select the source DVD or files. You must pick the directory that contains the setup.exe file for the source.
  5. Select a destination.
  6. Configure the VLI to run from a network drive.
  7. Enter the volume license server address.
  8. Choose whether to allow clients to request permissions to join public groups.
  9. Choose to include all products in the installer source. You can customize which software to install later in the process.
  10. Click Build.
Step 2: Customizing the Installation Using Spec Files
At this point, the file structure of the built VLI should look like the following:
  1. Open a command line interface. To do this, you can search for cmd.exe in Windows Search.
  2. Change directory to the folder within _Src where the setup.exe file is located. You can do this by using the cd <directory> command, or by navigating to the setup.exe file in Windows Explorer and using Shift+Right click and selecting Open command window here.
  3. Input Setup /generatespecfile C:\<path to save spec file> into the command line.
  4. The setup.exe file will start to run, but will not install the software. Go through the installation normally, and choose the configuration you want, such as which files to install.
  5. Once the installer has finished running, locate the newly made spec file and make sure it is in the same folder as the setup.exe file.
  6. Navigate to the main VLI directory.
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 for the setup.exe file in the main VLI directory.
Step 3: Create a Batch File
  1. The last step is to create a batch file to run the setup.exe file in the main VLI directory. When this setup.exe is run, the spec files will be run and configuration settings for the installer will be applied.
  2. To make the installer run silently, include the command /q in the batch file. 
  3. To make the batch file automatically accept licenses, use the command /acceptlicenses yes.
  4. The batch file will also need to assign the user or computer to a group, otherwise the installer will not run silently. To do this, use the command /group {<Group Unique ID>}. To find the Group Unique ID, refer to Automating Client Software Installation.
  5. If you do not have a group set up, or do not want to add the user to a group, use /groups "" instead.
  6. An example batch file may look like the following:
    cd C:\Users\Administrator\DevSuite\NI Developer Suite 2014 DS2 DVD setup /q /acceptlicenses yes /groups {<Group Unique ID>}  
  7. Once completed, you can run this batch file to install the configured software.

Additional Information

  • Suites are bundles that contain multiple pieces of software such as the Academic Suite or Developer Suite. You can determine if you have a suited installer or a single product installer, such as a device driver or LabVIEW, by referring to Determine Type and Version of My National Instruments Installer .
  • Suited installers contain multiple individual installers that can be installed using one main installer. You can select which software from the suite you wish to installer and then run the program. This removes the need for user interaction in between each installation of individual programs. 
  • 2019 Software has moved to installation through package manager. In order to create an installer in VLM for 2019 software, you will need to be running VLM 3.2 or greater