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What is VAInstall?

VAInstall is a multi-platform installer written in Java. It is distributed under the
GNU GPL License 2.
Through a simple config file, it allows the packager to pick files and directories from various places on disk, and not only one root dir like other installers. The packager can completely reorganize the files and dirs on the destination host. He can choose the install mode for the destination host (graphic, xtra, text or ansi).
VAInstall takes minimum space on the destination host: it does not write any large temporary file on disk, and supports easy and powerful uninstallation.


VAInstall has many features that miss other Java installers.

To do list

The next version (0.21) will include the following new features:


VAInstall installing in "classic" graphic mode.

VAInstall installing in ansi text mode.

VAInstall installing in "xtra" graphic mode.


IMPORTANT: if you installed a previous version of VAInstall, you must uninstall it completely before installing this one, because the directory structure has changed.

You can download an auto-installable package (built with VAInstall of course!) which contains binaries and source code. You need to have Java Runtime Environment (JRE or JDK) 1.2 or higher installed to run VAInstall. If you don't have it, download it from You can find an alternative JVM for Linux only at
You can choose, depending on your system, one of 3 packages: See ChangeLog for development history.
Windows users: important note



Windows users: please do not use Notepad to edit text files since these files in VAInstall are Unix formatted. Use Wordpad or any Unix format capable editor, such as UltraEdit.
First of all, make sure that you have installed a suitable version of Java Software Development Kit (SDK or JDK). Then, you can choose, depending on your system, between 3 types of packages.



All platforms running Java 1.3 minimum

Note: on Windows, you might need type the whole path for java: for example C:\Program Files\JavaSoft\jre\1.3\bin\java


As for each VAInstalled app, to uninstall VAInstall, go to the VAInstall directory and launch the uninstall script:
$ sh
(script name might be slightly different) or under Windows, go to the "Software Install/Uninstall" panel and choose "VAInstall".


If you wish to recompile VAInstall from the sources, please follow these steps: Note: on Windows, you might need type the whole path for javac: for example C:\jdk1.3\bin\javac

Known bugs

It has been reported that the blue fullscreen may block at start of an installation, in such a way that the only solution is to reboot.
The packager can choose not to enable the blue fullscreen. If it is enabled, the end-user can start the installer without the blue screen:


User manual

A manual details the use of VAInstall: click
here. You can also find this page in your local VAInstall directory.

Technical documentation

I haven't yet really commented the source code, so there's no API documentation, but I designed VAInstall's architecture using UML. If you have installed Dia, an excellent diagram drawing app for Linux, you can download the diagram. Shift+ click:
You can also view the diagram on-line as a GIF image. Click: (You must have a minimum 64Mo ram, because it's a huge image: 4385x1674, 93Ko.)


Contributors to VAInstall:
Additional thanks to: for their support, ideas and bug reports.

Contact, bug reports

For any contribution or bug report, contact the developer team on the project mailing-list at: or report your questions or bug reports on the SourceForge project page, in the tracker or forum sections.
You can contact the author at:

© 2000,2001 Axel von Arnim <>