Windows deployment

This page explains how to deploy GStreamer along your application. There are different mechanisms, which have been reviewed in Deploying your application. The details for some of the mechanisms are given here, and more options might be added to this documentation in the future.

Shared GStreamer

This is the easiest way to deploy GStreamer, although most of the time it installs unnecessary files which grow the size of the installer and the target drive free space requirements. Since GStreamer might be shared among all applications that use it, though, the extra space requirements are somewhat blurred.

Simply pack GStreamer runtime installer (the same one you installed in your development machine) inside your installer (or download it from your installer) and execute it silently using msiexec. msiexec is the tool that wraps most of the Windows Installer functionality and offers a number of options to suit your needs. You can review these options by executing msiexec without parameters. For example using 1.8.1:

msiexec /i gstreamer-1.0-x86-1.8.1.msi

This will bring up the installation dialog as if the user had double-clicked on the msi file. Usually, you will want to let the user choose where they want to install GStreamer. An environment variable will let your application locate it later on.

Private deployment of GStreamer

You can use the same method as the shared GStreamer, but instruct its installer to deploy to your application’s folder (or a subfolder). Again, use the msiexec parameters that suit you best. For example:

msiexec /passive INSTALLDIR=C:\Desired\Folder /i gstreamer-1.0-x86-1.8.1.msi

This will install GStreamer to C:\Desired\Folder showing a progress dialog, but not requiring user intervention.

Deploy only necessary files, by manually picking them

On the other side of the spectrum, if you want to reduce the space requirements (and installer size) to the maximum, you can manually choose which GStreamer libraries to deploy. Unfortunately, you are on your own on this road, besides using the Dependency Walker tool to discover inter-DLL dependencies.

Bear in mind that GStreamer is modular in nature. Plug-ins are loaded depending on the media that is being played, so, if you do not know in advance what files you are going to play, you do not know which DLLs you need to deploy.

Deploy only necessary packages, using provided Merge Modules

If you are building your installer using one of the Professional editions of Visual Studio or WiX you can take advantage of pre-packaged Merge Modules. GStreamer is divided in packages, which roughly take care of different tasks. There is the core package, the playback package, the networking package, etc. Each package contains the necessary libraries and files to accomplish its task.

The Merge Modules are pieces that can be put together to build a larger Windows Installer. In this case, you just need to create a deployment project for your application with Visual Studio and then add the Merge Modules for the GStreamer packages your application needs.

This will produce a smaller installer than deploying the complete GStreamer, without the added burden of having to manually pick each library. You just need to know which packages your application requires.

Package name Dependencies Licenses Description
base-system-1.0 JPEG, FreeType, BSD-like, LGPL, LGPL-2+, LGPL-2.1, LibPNG and MIT Base system dependencies
gstreamer-1.0-capture gstreamer-1.0-core, gstreamer-1.0-encoding LGPL and LGPL-2+ GStreamer plugins for capture
gstreamer-1.0-codecs base-crypto, gstreamer-1.0-core BSD, Jasper-2.0, BSD-like, LGPL, LGPL-2, LGPL-2+, LGPL-2.1 and LGPL-2.1+ GStreamer codecs
gstreamer-1.0-codecs-gpl gstreamer-1.0-core BSD-like, LGPL, LGPL-2+ and LGPL-2.1+ GStreamer codecs under the GPL license and/or with patents issues
gstreamer-1.0-core base-system-1.0 LGPL and LGPL-2+ GStreamer core
gstreamer-1.0-dvd gstreamer-1.0-core GPL-2+, LGPL and LGPL-2+ GStreamer DVD support
gstreamer-1.0-effects gstreamer-1.0-core LGPL and LGPL-2+ GStreamer effects and instrumentation plugins
gstreamer-1.0-net base-crypto, gstreamer-1.0-core GPL-3, LGPL, LGPL-2+, LGPL-2.1+ and LGPL-3+ GStreamer plugins for network protocols
gstreamer-1.0-playback gstreamer-1.0-core LGPL and LGPL-2+ GStreamer plugins for playback
gstreamer-1.0-system gstreamer-1.0-core LGPL, LGPL-2+ and LGPL-2.1+ GStreamer system plugins
gstreamer-1.0-visualizers gstreamer-1.0-core LGPL and LGPL-2+ GStreamer visualization plugins
gstreamer-1.0-encoding gstreamer-1.0-core, gstreamer-1.0-playback LGPL and LGPL2+ GStreamer plugins for encoding
gstreamer-1.0-editing gstreamer-1.0-core, gstreamer-1.0-devtools LGPL and LGPL2+ GStreamer libraries and plugins for non linear editing
gstreamer-1.0-devtools gstreamer-1.0-core LGPL and LGPL2+ GStreamer developers tools
gstreamer-1.0-libav gstreamer-1.0-core LGPL and LGPL2+ GStreamer plugins wrapping ffmpeg
gstreamer-1.0-net-restricted base-crypto, gstreamer-1.0-core LGPL and LGPL2+ GStreamer plugins for network protocols with potential patent issues in some countries
gstreamer-1.0-codecs-restricted gstreamer-1.0-core LGPL and LGPL2+ GStreamer restricted codecs with potential patent issues in some countries
base-crypto base-system-1.0 LGPL and LGPL2+ Cryptographic libraries

If you include a merge module in your deployment project, remember to include also its dependencies. Otherwise, the project will build correctly and install flawlessly, but, when executing your application, it will miss files.

The results of the search are