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Get started with WiX

There are three ways to use WiX:

Command-line .NET tool

WiX is available as a .NET tool for your command-line pleasure.


The wix.exe tool requires the .NET SDK, version 6 or later.

Wix.exe supports commands to perform particular operations. For example, the build command lets you build MSI packages, bundles, and other package types.

To install the Wix.exe .NET tool:

dotnet tool install --global wix

To verify Wix.exe was successfully installed:

wix --version

Update the WiX .NET tool

To update your .NET tool installation of WiX:

dotnet tool update --global wix

To install WiX for the first time as a .NET tool:

dotnet tool install --global wix

To verify Wix.exe was successfully installed or updated:

wix --version

See also

MSBuild on the command line and CI/CD build systems

WiX is available as an MSBuild SDK for building from the command line using dotnet build from the .NET SDK or the .NET Framework-based MSBuild from Visual Studio. SDK-style projects have smart defaults that make for simple .wixproj project authoring. For example, here's a minimal .wixproj that builds an MSI from the .wxs source files in the project directory:

<Project Sdk="WixToolset.Sdk/5.0.1">

Update MSBuild projects

To update your .wixproj MSBuild projects from previous WiX releases, update the Project element's Sdk attribute:

<Project Sdk="WixToolset.Sdk/5.0.1">

For PackageReferences to WiX extensions, update their Version attribute. For example:

<PackageReference Include="WixToolset.Util.wixext" Version="5.*" />
<PackageReference Include="WixToolset.Netfx.wixext" Version="5.*" />

To clean up NuGet artifacts from previous releases of WiX, we recommend you delete the bin and obj directories in your projects. If you're using .NET Framework MSBuild, do an explicit MSBuild -Restore to get the latest version restored. (Using dotnet build does that implicitly for you.)

See also

Visual Studio

FireGiant has released HeatWave Community Edition to support WiX SDK-style MSBuild projects in Visual Studio. HeatWave supports:

  • Conversion of WiX v3 projects and authoring
  • Building of WiX SDK-style projects
  • Project and item templates
  • Property pages to control how the project builds

HeatWave Community Edition is available free of charge.

Using development builds

WiX development builds with all the latest bug fixes are available in a NuGet package feed on GitHub. To add that feed as a package source:

dotnet nuget add source -n wixtoolset -u <username> -p <access-token>

You need to use exact versions for those packages. For example:

<Project Sdk="WixToolset.Sdk/6.0.0-rc.1-build.42">

For more detailed instructions, check out this video.