How to build PeaZip installer for Windows

Some notes on how I built PeaZip from source, including the working x64 installer for Windows.


Before building PeaZip you need:

  • PeaZip source code
  • Missing binaries (7zip, etc)
  • Missing files
  • Lazarus, an open source Free Pascal IDE
  • Inno Setup

The source code is available as a zip download on SourceForge. Choose a version of PeaZip and look for the * file (for example, v5.4.1). Download and extract somewhere.

As the readme.txt mentions, the source code doesn't include the binaries for the extraction utilities, like 7zip or unACE. I got them by downloading the PeaZip installer from SourceForge, installing PeaZip and copying the res\ directory from C:\Program Files\PeaZip to the directory where I'd extracted the source code. From a quick glance, it seems to be a licensing issue that prevents these files being in the source download.

There are two files missing that break compilation of the installer script. The first is peazip_help.pdf. I placed it in the directory where I extracted the source code. The second file is SendTo.7z, also available in the root directory. I saw that already existed in the source download so I extracted it and repackaged as .7z.

The Lazarus IDE installer (I used v1.2.4) can be downloaded from the project's homepage. Download and install it.

Inno Setup can be downloaded from the project's homepage. I used v5.5.5.

Compiling the source code

First the executables have to be compiled. Open Lazarus and then open project_pea.lpi, select the Run menu → Build. After it's done, open project_peach.lpi and do the same.

Building the installer

Next the installer build needs configuring. For x64 there are two Inno scripts, found in the installer\ directory. peazip-setup_script_WIN64.iss needs editing to work, I also edited peazip-setup_script_WIN64-configure.iss to make life easier.

peazip-setup_script_WIN64-configure.iss (optional)

I haven't found any documentation as to what the purpose of this installer is. Once built, it has to be copied to the res\ directory; but, as we've copied the res\ directory from a working installation, we already have this file. From what I can tell, it is used to configure file associations and context menu entries for an already existing PeaZip installation.

I edited the OutputDir key to point to the Output directory of PeaZip's source code, just to keep everything in one place. I then copied the .exe to the res\ directory.


Replace all instances of "C:\input\peazip-5.4.1.WIN64" with the path to where you've extracted the PeaZip source. In my case it was "C:\Users\john\dev\PeaZip\src".

Optionally, change the value of the "OutputDir" key from "C:\output\" to something else. I chose to point it to "C:\Users\john\dev\PeaZip\src\Output".

The installer can now be built by opening the file in Inno Setup Compiler and choosing the Build menu → Compile. It's important to have copied the res\ directory from a working installation, otherwise the installer will result in a broken PeaZip installation. The program will just crash when extracting files.

After following these steps, I ended up with a working PeaZip installer for Windows/x64. The purpose was to fix a pet peeve of mine related to archives: some archives contain a single directory in the root, with the contents inside while other archives contain the content in the root.

To avoid mixing up files from different archives I always use "Extract here (new folder)", but it's annoying when the original archive is the type that contains a single directory. I then have to navigate two folders deep, move the content up one level and delete the now-empty original directory.

peazip-uniform-subdirectory-extraction handsomely solves the issue by doing that work for me.

About johnny

Computers have interested me since I can remember and conveniently I studied computer science. I also enjoy performing in a local amateur theatre group and cycling. This is where I post solutions to problems I've had in the office or any other project, hopefully clearly enough to refer back to in the future.
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