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Chapter 5: Compile Time Commands

5.1 Compiler Utility Commands

These commands are similar to the C preprocessor in terms of purpose and functionality. They allow file inclusion, conditional compilation, executable header packing, and processes execution during the build process. Note: none of these commands allow use of variables.

5.1.1 !include

[/NONFATAL] file

This command will include 'file' as if it was part of the original script. Note that if a file is included in another directory, the current directory is still where the script was compiled from (not where the included file resides). If the compiler can't find the file it will look for it in every include directory. See !addincludedir for more information. If the /nonfatal switch is used and no files are found, a warning will be issued instead of an error.

!include WinMessages.nsh
!include Library.nsh
!include C:\MyConfig.nsi
!include ..\MyConfig.nsh
!include /NONFATAL file_that_may_exist_or_not.nsh

5.1.2 !addincludedir

directory

Adds another include directory to the include directories list. This list is searched when !include is used. This list's initial value is ${NSISDIR}\Include alone.

!addincludedir ..\include
!include something.nsh

5.1.3 !addplugindir

directory

Causes the NSIS compiler to scan the given directory for plug-in DLLs.

!addplugindir myplugin
MyPlugin::SomeFunction

5.1.4 !appendfile

file text

Appends text to file.

!tempfile FILE
!appendfile "${FILE}" "XPStyle on$\n"
!appendfile "${FILE}" "Name 'test'$\n"
!include "${FILE}"
!delfile "${FILE}"
!undef FILE

5.1.5 !cd

new_path

This command will change the compiler to the new directory, new_path. new_path can be relative or absolute.

!cd ..\more-scripts\new

5.1.6 !delfile

file

This command deletes a file.

!tempfile FILE
!delfile "${FILE}"
!undef FILE

5.1.7 !echo

message

This command will echo a message to the user compiling the script.

!echo "hello world"

5.1.8 !error

[message]

This command will issue an error to the script compiler and will stop execution of the script. You can also add a message to this error.

!ifdef VERSION & NOVERSION
  !error "both VERSION and NOVERSION are defined"
!endif

5.1.9 !execute

command

This command will execute 'command' using a call to CreateProcess(). Unlike !system, it does not use the command line processor, so input/output redirection and commands like 'cd', 'dir' and 'type' can not be used. !execute also ignores the return value of the executed command. Currently, the only known advantage of !execute over !system is that it does not give trouble when the current working directory is specified using UNC.

On POSIX platforms, !execute will use system() just like !system.

!execute '"%WINDIR%\notepad.exe" "${NSISDIR}\license.txt"'

5.1.10 !packhdr

tempfile command

This option makes the compiler use an external EXE packer (such as Petite or UPX) to compress the executable header. Specify a temporary file name (such as "temp.dat") and a command line (such as "C:\program files\upx\upx -9 temp.dat") to compress the header.

!packhdr "$%TEMP%\exehead.tmp" '"C:\Program Files\UPX\upx.exe" "$%TEMP%\exehead.tmp"'

5.1.11 !finalize

command

This option will execute 'command' using a call to system() after the output EXE has been generated. You can typically use it to sign (Authenticode) your installer. If 'command' contains a '%1' it will be replaced by the executable filename.

!finalize 'sign.bat "%1" "Product Installer" http://example.com'

5.1.12 !system

command [compare comparevalue]

This command will execute 'command' using a call to system(), and if the return value compared (using 'compare') to 'comparevalue' is false, execution will halt. 'compare' can be '<' or '>' or '<>' or '='.

!system '"%WINDIR%\notepad.exe" "${NSISDIR}\license.txt"'
!system 'echo !define something > newinclude.nsh'
!include newinclude.nsh
!ifdef something
  !echo "something is defined"
!endif

5.1.13 !tempfile

symbol

This command creates a temporary file. It puts its path into a define, named symbol.

!tempfile PACKHDRTEMP
!packhdr "${PACKHDRTEMP}" '"C:\Program Files\UPX\upx.exe" "${PACKHDRTEMP}"'
!tempfile FILE
!define /date DATE "%H:%M:%S %d %b, %Y"
!system 'echo built on ${DATE} > "${FILE}"'
File /oname=build.txt "${FILE}"
!delfile "${FILE}"
!undef FILE
!undef DATE

5.1.14 !warning

[message]

This command will issue a warning to the script compiler. You can also add a message to this warning.

!ifdef USE_DANGEROUS_STUFF
  !warning "using dangerous stuff"
!endif

5.1.15 !verbose

level | push | pop

This command will set the level of verbosity. 4=all, 3=no script, 2=no info, 1=no warnings, 0=none.

Passing push will cause !verbose to push the current verbosity level on a special stack. Passing pop will cause !verbose to pop the current verbosity level from the same stack and use it.

!verbose push
!verbose 1
!include WinMessages.nsh
!verbose pop

5.2 Predefines

You can use these standard predefines to automatically add the build time to the title of development versions, add the date to the version number, etc.

5.2.1 ${__FILE__}

Current script name.

5.2.2 ${__FILEDIR__}

Current script directory.

5.2.3 ${__LINE__}

Current line number.

5.2.4 ${__DATE__}

Date when the script started compiling according to the current locale.

5.2.5 ${__TIME__}

Time when the script started compiling according to the current locale.

5.2.6 ${__TIMESTAMP__}

Date & time of the last modification to the script file according to the current locale.

5.2.7 ${NSIS_VERSION}

NSIS version used to build the script.

5.2.8 Scope Predefines

Standard predefines that contain information of the current code scope.

5.2.8.1 ${__GLOBAL__}

Defined in the global scope.

Section test

  !ifdef ${__GLOBAL__}
    !error "this shouldn't be here!"
  !endif

SectionEnd

Function test

  !ifdef ${__GLOBAL__}
    !error "this shouldn't be here!"
  !endif

FunctionEnd

PageEx instfiles

  !ifdef ${__GLOBAL__}
    !error "this shouldn't be here!"
  !endif

PageExEnd

5.2.8.2 ${__SECTION__}

Defined as the section name, without any prefixes, in section scope.

!ifdef __SECTION__
  !error "this shouldn't be here!"
!endif

Section test

  !ifndef __SECTION__
    !error "missing predefine!"
  !endif

  !if ${__SECTION__} != test
    !error "wrong predefine value!"
  !endif

SectionEnd

Section !test

  !if ${__SECTION__} != test
    !error "wrong predefine value!"
  !endif

SectionEnd

Section un.test

  !if ${__SECTION__} != test
    !error "wrong predefine value!"
  !endif

SectionEnd

5.2.8.3 ${__FUNCTION__}

Defined as the function name, without any prefixes, in function scope.

!ifdef __FUNCTION__
  !error "this shouldn't be here!"
!endif

Function test

  !ifndef __FUNCTION__
    !error "missing predefine!"
  !endif

  !if ${__FUNCTION__} != test
    !error "wrong predefine value!"
  !endif

FunctionEnd

Function un.test

  !if ${__FUNCTION__} != test
    !error "wrong predefine value!"
  !endif

FunctionEnd

5.2.8.4 ${__PAGEEX__}

Defined as the page type in PageEx scope.

!ifdef __PAGEEX__
  !error "this shouldn't be here!"
!endif

PageEx instfiles

  !ifndef __PAGEEX__
    !error "missing predefine!"
  !endif

  !if ${__PAGEEX__} != instfiles
    !error "wrong page type"
  !endif

PageExEnd

5.2.8.5 ${__UNINSTALL__}

Defined in section, function or PageEx scopes of the uninstaller.

!ifdef __UNINSTALL__
  !error "this shouldn't be here!"
!endif

Function test

  !ifdef __UNINSTALL__
    !error "this shouldn't be here!"
  !endif

FunctionEnd

Function un.test

  !ifndef __UNINSTALL__
    !error "missing predefine!"
  !endif

FunctionEnd

5.3 Read environment variables

5.3.1 $%envVarName%

$%envVarName% will be replaced on compile time by the environment variable envVarName.

5.4 Conditional Compilation

The compiler maintains a list of defined symbols, which can be defined using !define or the /D command line switch. These defined symbols can be used for conditional compilation (using !ifdef) or for symbol replacement (a simple form of macros). To replace a symbol with its value, use ${SYMBOL} (if SYMBOL is not defined, no translation will occur). The translation is first-come-first-served, meaning if you do:

!define symbol_one ${symbol_two}

If symbol_two is defined when that line occurs, it will be replaced. Otherwise, any replacing will occur when ${symbol_one} is referenced.

Define/conditional compilation related commands:

5.4.1 !define

[/ifndef | /redef] ([/date|/utcdate] gflag [value]) | (/math gflag val1 OP val2) | (/file gflag filename.txt)

This command will add gflag to the global define list. This will have a similar effect as using the /D switch on the command line (the define only becomes effective after the !define command).

If /date or /utcdate are used, value will be passed into strftime and the result will be used as the value of gflag. strftime converts special symbols into certain parts of the current time or date. For example, %H will be converted into the current hour in 24-hour format. For a complete list of available symbols, search for strftime on MSDN. On POSIX, you can get the list by using man strftime.

If /math is used, the result of 'val1 OP val2', where OP may be +,-,*,&,|,^,/ or % , will be used as the value of gflag. Note that val1 AND val2 MUST be integer values!

If /file is used, the entire text file specified (including whitespace and newlines) will be read and stuffed into gflag.

!define USE_SOMETHING
!define VERSION 1.2
!define /date NOW "%H:%M:%S %d %b, %Y"
!define /math RESULT 3 + 10
!define /math REST 15 % ${RESULT}
!define /file BUNCHASTUFF somesourcefile.cpp
!define /redef USE_SOMETHING ${RESULT} ;redefine USE_SOMETHING

5.4.2 !undef

gflag

Removes an item from the global define list. Note that ${SYMBOL} where SYMBOL is undefined will be translated to "${SYMBOL}".

!define SOMETHING
!undef SOMETHING

5.4.3 !ifdef

gflag [bcheck gflag [...]]]

This command, when paired with an !endif command, will tell the compiler whether or not to compile the lines in between the two lines. If gflag is globally defined (using !define or the /D switch), then the contained lines will be compiled. Otherwise, they will be skipped. 'bcheck' can be specified as & (boolean and) or | (boolean or) along with more gflags -- precedence is simple, left to right.

!define SOMETHING
!ifdef SOMETHING
  !echo "SOMETHING is defined"
!endif
!undef SOMETHING
!ifdef SOMETHING
  !echo "SOMETHING is defined" # will never be printed
!endif

5.4.4 !ifndef

gflag [bcheck gflag [...]]]

The opposite of !ifdef. The lines will be compiled when the gflag has not been defined.

5.4.5 !if

[!] value [op value2]

This command, when paired with an !endif command, will tell the compiler whether or not to compile the lines in between the two lines. If value is non-zero, or the comparison of value and value2 depending on the operator results in true, the contained lines will be compiled. Otherwise, they will be skipped. op can be either == or != (string comparison), <=, < > or >= (float comparison), & (bitwise AND comparison), && or || (boolean comparison). If [!] is set, return value will be switched from true to false and vice versa.

!if 1 < 2
  !echo "1 is smaller than 2!!"
!else if ! 3.1 > 1.99
  !error "this line should never appear"
!else
  !error "neither should this"
!endif

5.4.6 !ifmacrodef

gflag [bcheck gflag [...]]]

This command, when paired with an !endif command, will tell the compiler whether or not to compile the lines in between the two lines. If the macro gflag exists, then the contained lines will be compiled. Otherwise, they will be skipped. 'bcheck' can be specified as & (boolean and) or | (boolean or) along with more gflags -- precedence is simple, left to right.

!macro SomeMacro
!macroend
!ifmacrodef SomeMacro
  !echo "SomeMacro is defined"
!endif

5.4.7 !ifmacrondef

gflag [bcheck gflag [...]]]

The opposite of !ifmacrodef. The lines will be compiled when the macro gflag does not exist.

5.4.8 !else

[if|ifdef|ifndef|ifmacrodef|ifmacrondef [...]]

This command allows to easily insert different code when different defines or macros are set. You can create blocks like !ifdef/!else/!endif, !ifdef/!else ifdef/!else/!endif etc.

!ifdef VERSION
OutFile installer-${VERSION}.exe
!else
OutFile installer.exe
!endif

5.4.9 !endif

This command closes a block started with !if, !ifdef, !ifndef, !ifmacrodef or !ifmacrondef.

5.4.10 !insertmacro

macro_name [parameter] [...]

Inserts the contents of a macro that was created with !macro. If the macro was created with parameters, then you must pass as many parameters to the macro as it requires.

!macro Print text
  DetailPrint "${text}"
!macroend
!insertmacro Print "some text"
!insertmacro Print "some more text"

5.4.11 !macro

macro_name [parameter][...]

Creates a macro named 'macro_name'. All lines between the !macro and the !macroend will be saved. To insert the macro later on, use !insertmacro. !macro definitions can have one or more parameters defined. The parameters may be accessed the same way a !define would (e.g. ${PARMNAME}) from inside the macro.

!macro SomeMacro parm1 parm2 parm3
  DetailPrint "${parm1}"
  MessageBox MB_OK "${parm2}"
  File "${parm3}"
!macroend

5.4.12 !macroend

Ends a macro that was started with !macro.

5.4.13 !searchparse

[/ignorecase] [/noerrors] [/file] source_string_or_file substring_start OUTPUTSYMBOL1 [substring [OUTPUTSYMBOL2 [substring ...]]]

Parses source_string_or_file (which is treated as a string, or as a filename if /file is set), looking for substring_start. If substring_start is found, then OUTPUTSYMBOL1 is defined to the rest of the string (minus any other substring that may be found). Any number of OUTPUTSYMBOLx may be specified, and the final substring is optional.

If /noerrors is specified, matching less than the full number of strings is allowed (all OUTPUTSYMBOLx after the not-found substring will be ignored).

If /file is specified, the file is treated as a series of lines. The file is searched until all substrings are matched. If /noerrors is specified and not all strings are matched, the first line with the most symbols matched is used.

# search filename.cpp for a line '#define APP_VERSION "2.5"' and set ${VER_MAJOR} to 2, ${VER_MINOR} to 5.
!searchparse /file filename.cpp `#define APP_VERSION "` VER_MAJOR `.` VER_MINOR `"`

5.4.14 !searchreplace

[/ignorecase] symbol_out source_string searchfor replacewith

Searches source_string, looking for searchfor and replacing all instances of it with replacewith. Unlike !define, !searchreplace allows you to redefine symbol_out without warning or error.

# defines ${blah} to "i like ponies"
!searchreplace blah "i love ponies" "love" "like"

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