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MSIX Packaging Tool (Preview) is now available from the Microsoft Store

We are happy to announce that MSIX Packaging Tool (Preview) is now available to from the Microsoft Store. MSIX Packaging Tool enables you to update your existing win32 application packages to the MSIX format. You can run your desktop installers through this tool and obtain an MSIX package that you can install on your machine and upload to the Microsoft Store (coming soon).

Prerequisites:

  • Participation in Windows Insider fast or slow rings
  • Minimum Windows 10 Build 17701 or later
  • Administrator privileges on your PC account
  • A valid MSA alias (to access the app from the Store)

 

To install MSIX Packaging Tool from Microsoft Store, go here, making sure you are logged in with the MSA that is used for your Windows Insider Program. Next, go to the product description page and click the Install icon to begin the installation.

 

Remember, this a preview and not all features are supported. Here is what you can expect to be able to do with this preview:
 

  • Package your favorite application(msi, exe, App-V 5.x and to MSIX format by launching the tool and selecting "Application package" icon.
  • Create a modification package for a newly created Application MSIX Package by launching the tool and selecting "Modification package" icon. More detail on modification packages coming shortly.
  • Open your MSIX package to view and edit its content/properties by navigating to "Open package editor" tab and browsing to the MSIX package and selecting open package.

Features not supported in the tool are currently greyed out. Here are some of highlighted missing features: 

 

  • Some options in the Settings page, such as adding or removing VFS/VREG and defining a default save location.
  • Package Support Framework See [link] for more detail on how you can use Package Support Framework today.
  • Packaging on existing virtual machines. You can still install the Tool on a fresh VM but the tool cannot currently spawn off a conversion from a local machine to an existing VM.
  • Command Line Interface support
  • Conversion of App-V 4.6 SP3 packages

The app is automatically update from the Microsoft Store.  More features will be available in August as we update the MSIX Packaging Tool (Preview).

 

How to file feedback:

Launch the MSIX Packaging Tool and select the Settings (gear) icon, then select Feedback. You will be redirected to Feedback Hub where you can file feedback for suggestions or problems and see other feedback items and upvote as necessary.  

 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • When Packaging ClickOnce installers it is necessary to send a shortcut to desktop if the installer is not doing so already. In general, it is good practice to always remember to send a shortcut to desktop for the main app executable.
  • When creating modification packages, you need to declare the Package Name (Identity Name) of the parent application in the tool UI so that the tool sets the correct package dependency in the manifest of the modification package.
  • Declaring an installation location field in Package information page is optional but recommended. Make sure that this path matches the installation location of application Installer.
  • Performing the preparation steps in Prepare Computer page is optional but highly recommended.

Blog Credit:  Peyman Zanjani, Program Manager, Microsoft

 

 

 

27 Comments
Occasional Contributor

Our insider account is a work account (i.e. @company.onmicrosoft.com....). After I login with this work account in the store we still cannot see the tool available when searching for "MSIX". 

 

Aren't work MSAs good for accessing the app in the store?

Anonymous
Not applicable
If I try to sign the sign the MSIX Package with my Self Signed PFX it fails: [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Debug] About to start process [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Debug] - File name: signtool.exe [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Debug] - Arguments: sign /a /v /fd SHA256 /f "C:\Users\hcadmin\Desktop\MSIX\Sumatra.pfx" "C:\Users\hcadmin\Desktop\MSIX\SumatraPDF-3.1.2-install.msix" [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Error] signtool.exe failed, exit code = 1 [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Error] Error occured: Microsoft.Packaging.SDKUtils.ProcessRunner.ProcessRunnerException: Process signtool.exe failed with exit code 1. at Microsoft.Packaging.SDKUtils.ProcessRunner.ProcessRunnerBase.ValidateExitCode() at MsixGenerator.MsixPackageGenerator.RunSignTool(String packagePath, String certificatePath) at MsixGenerator.MsixPackageGenerator.FinalizePackage(CancellationTokenSource cancellationTokenSource) at MsixPackagingTool.ViewModel.Common.ViewModelBase.CreatePackage(Object sender, DoWorkEventArgs doWorkEventArgs) at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.OnDoWork(DoWorkEventArgs e) at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.WorkerThreadStart(Object argument) The Problem is that I cannot enter the password for the PFX Certificate in the Wizard, Please fix this,
Microsoft

Bogdan, does the link in the blog post work to access the app?  I think the search was not fully populated is the issue still occurring?

 

Michael, Thanks for the feedback.  The app is still in preview and some functionality is still limited or incomplete.  We should have this polished up in an upcoming update.  In the interim you can run signtool directly to sign the package.

Occasional Contributor

The link is working now John, thanks.

Regular Visitor

How will MSIX support per user registry/file? I can see the packaging tool captures per user registry changes and save to User.dat and UserClasses.dat hive files. Seems these per user registry can be read by application after launched.

Regular Visitor

Hi Team,

 

When using the MSIX packaging tool on VM, encountered an error while creating a package with installation of MSIX packaging tool driver, following is the log details. 

Can anybody provide a fix to this?

 

[03/08/2018 08:05:25] [Info] ----------------Prepare Computer View----------------
[03/08/2018 08:05:25] [Info] Required prepare computer task: MSIX Packaging Tool Driver
[03/08/2018 08:05:26] [Info] Optional prepare computer task: Windows Search is active
[03/08/2018 08:05:26] [Info] Optional prepare computer task: Windows Update is active
[03/08/2018 08:05:26] [Info] Checking if MSIX Packaging Tool Driver is installed...
[03/08/2018 08:05:26] [Debug] About to start process
[03/08/2018 08:05:26] [Debug] - File name: dism.exe
[03/08/2018 08:05:26] [Debug] - Arguments: /online /add-capability /capabilityname:Msix.PackagingTool.Driver~~~~0.0.1.0
[03/08/2018 08:05:33] [Error] dism.exe failed, exit code = -2146498224
[03/08/2018 08:05:33] [Error] Error Occured Process dism.exe failed with exit code -2146498224.
[03/08/2018 08:05:33] [Error] Stack Trace at Microsoft.Packaging.SDKUtils.ProcessRunner.ProcessRunnerBase.ValidateExitCode()
at MsixGenerator.LocalOrRemoteExecution.PrepareComputerLocalOrRemoteSession.<>c.<FODInstallationAsync>b__3_0()
[03/08/2018 08:05:33] [Error] Failed to install MSIX Packaging Tool Driver.
[03/08/2018 08:05:33] [Error] Error occured: Microsoft.Packaging.SDKUtils.ProcessRunner.ProcessRunnerException: Process dism.exe failed with exit code -2146498224.
at MsixGenerator.LocalOrRemoteExecution.PrepareComputerLocalOrRemoteSession.<>c.<FODInstallationAsync>b__3_0()
at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.Execute()
--- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown ---
at System.Runtime.ExceptionServices.ExceptionDispatchInfo.Throw()
at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.TaskAwaiter.HandleNonSuccessAndDebuggerNotification(Task task)
at MsixGenerator.LocalOrRemoteExecution.PrepareComputerLocalOrRemoteSession.<FODInstallationAsync>d__3.MoveNext()
--- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown ---
at System.Runtime.ExceptionServices.ExceptionDispatchInfo.Throw()
at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.TaskAwaiter.HandleNonSuccessAndDebuggerNotification(Task task)
at MsixPackagingTool.Model.ApplicationPackageWorkflow.PrepareComputerModel.<FixRequiredPrepareComputerTasks>d__4.MoveNext()
--- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown ---
at System.Runtime.ExceptionServices.ExceptionDispatchInfo.Throw()
at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.TaskAwaiter.HandleNonSuccessAndDebuggerNotification(Task task)
at MsixPackagingTool.ViewModel.ApplicationPackageWorkflow.PrepareComputerViewModel.<RequiredPrepareComputerTasksMethod>d__21.MoveNext()

Regular Visitor

Hi  John,

 

is there any plan in the future  to support Appx to MSIX conversion using MSIX Packaging tool.

 

Thanks,

Sangamesh

Regular Visitor

 How User.dat and userclass.dat files are used in  the MSIX package installation as these files were not present in Appx package. How these files are different as compared to Registry.dat file ?

Occasional Visitor

Hi John,

I also meet the problem that failed to dism.exe to install "MSIX Packaging Tool Driver" , is there any source path of "MSIX Packaging Tool Driver" so i can manually dism or other solution?

 

Thanks,

Alex

Occasional Visitor

I had the same issue with the MSIX Packaging Tool Driver; but after a Windows update it started working.


Microsoft

xiaojie Xu, Check the known issues in this article.  Generally if you adjust your insider settings it should correct the issue.  

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/application-management/msix-app-packaging-tool

 

John.

Regular Visitor

Thanks John, was able to install the MSIX packaging driver once we fix there insider issue, however now the problem is while signing which was highlighted by Anonymous earlier here. Do we have any solution for this?

 

If I try to sign the sign the MSIX Package with my Self Signed PFX it fails: [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Debug] About to start process [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Debug] - File name: signtool.exe [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Debug] - Arguments: sign /a /v /fd SHA256 /f "C:\Users\hcadmin\Desktop\MSIX\Sumatra.pfx" "C:\Users\hcadmin\Desktop\MSIX\SumatraPDF-3.1.2-install.msix" [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Error] signtool.exe failed, exit code = 1 [7/26/2018 12:46:08 PM] [Error] Error occured: Microsoft.Packaging.SDKUtils.ProcessRunner.ProcessRunnerException: Process signtool.exe failed with exit code 1. at Microsoft.Packaging.SDKUtils.ProcessRunner.ProcessRunnerBase.ValidateExitCode() at MsixGenerator.MsixPackageGenerator.RunSignTool(String packagePath, String certificatePath) at MsixGenerator.MsixPackageGenerator.FinalizePackage(CancellationTokenSource cancellationTokenSource) at MsixPackagingTool.ViewModel.Common.ViewModelBase.CreatePackage(Object sender, DoWorkEventArgs doWorkEventArgs) at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.OnDoWork(DoWorkEventArgs e) at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.WorkerThreadStart(Object argument)

Microsoft

We have fixed a few bugs in the signing workflow.  Does this reproduce on the latest update of the MSIX Packaging tool?  I see the errors above are from July.

 

John.

New Contributor

John, I was facing this issue on 02/09/2018 and here is the log, what is the version of tool which has these bugs fixed, Today I see version 1.2018.821.0 and that does not have option to sign the application. Do we have any documentation around the bugs fixed in latest version.

 

Following is log details,
[9/2/2018 10:09:50 PM] [Debug] PackagingStart
[9/2/2018 10:09:56 PM] [Debug] PackagingStop
[9/2/2018 10:09:56 PM] [Debug] About to start process
[9/2/2018 10:09:56 PM] [Debug]     - File name:                 signtool.exe
[9/2/2018 10:09:56 PM] [Debug]     - Arguments:                 sign /a /v /fd SHA256 /f "C:\Users\Admin01\Desktop\Test.pfx" "C:\Users\Admin01\Desktop\TestMsixPackage.msix"
[9/2/2018 10:09:57 PM] [Error] signtool.exe failed, exit code = 1
[9/2/2018 10:09:57 PM] [Error] Error occured: Microsoft.Packaging.SDKUtils.ProcessRunner.ProcessRunnerException: Process signtool.exe failed with exit code 1.
   at Microsoft.Packaging.SDKUtils.ProcessRunner.ProcessRunnerBase.ValidateExitCode()
   at MsixGenerator.MsixPackageGenerator.RunSignTool(String packagePath, String certificatePath)
   at MsixGenerator.MsixPackageGenerator.FinalizePackage(CancellationTokenSource cancellationTokenSource)
   at MsixPackagingTool.ViewModel.Common.ViewModelBase.CreatePackage(Object sender, DoWorkEventArgs doWorkEventArgs)
   at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.OnDoWork(DoWorkEventArgs e)
   at System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker.WorkerThreadStart(Object argument) 

 

 

Frequent Visitor

I'm unable to download the MSIX Packaging Tool. Dialog says "You own this product".

Also, a different page then says I'm unable to write a review of the tool because I DON'T own the product.

 

So how, theoretically, would I go about downloading the tool, beyond logging in with my usual account, following the link to the tool, and clicking the Install button?

Microsoft

Ron, is the install button disabled when you see the "you own this app" message? What OS build are you on?

Regular Visitor

Hi.

I have had problems with some programs that have the option to * save *

what is happening to me is that when I convert a program to msix, I install it and it works well. but the only problem is that when I give it to save. saves the default project in the windowsapp container folder and throws an error because of course you should not have access to that folder.

what do I have to do to make the directory save this by default outside the windowsapp ???

Frequent Visitor

Peyman, I'm on build 1803 of Windows 10. And yes, the Install button is disabled. The text "You own this product" appears above the button.

However, I DON'T own the product.

Microsoft

@Ron Wortz please double check that the build number is higher than 17701. Also from administrator PowerShell run Get-AppxPackage -allusers *MSIX* and see if you get any hits.

 

@Carlos De La Torre Inoa you can use package support framework, specifically the file redirection fixup: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/porting/package-support-framework

 

Frequent Visitor

Peyman, the build version might be the issue then: I'm on build 17134, so based on previous comments, I'm guessing I can't download the app until I've gone up to at least build version 17701. Will do that and try again.

Tried the PoSH command Get-AppxPackage -allusers *MSIX* as recommended but it didn't return anything.

Thanks for the info.

Hi John,

 

I've downloaded the msix packaging tool successfully. I was able to successfully go through the entire capture process with no issues. When I installed the newly created .msix package, the installation was completed successfully, Here's the issue. it looks like the install was successfully, but I dont see the application installed on the machine. No files were put down. I'm not sure what happened. I looked in file explorer for the files with no success. I appreciate any help.

 

Thanks,

Jesus

Microsoft

Jesus,

 

Can you follow a Feedback hub item from the device and attach the MSIX package? We can look into the issue.

 

John.

John,

 

I'm not sure what you mean. "Can you follow a Feedback hub item from the device and attach the MSIX package?"

 

Thanks,

Jesus


Microsoft

Sorry I had a typo (follow should have been file). 

 

We need you to Launch "Feedback Hub" from the device experiencing the issue.  (press Windows Key + F).  Then enter the details in the correct fields.  For Category "Developer Platform > App Deployment".  There is an option to attach files, attach the MSIX that is not working.  Then direct message me the title of feedback item and we will be able to look into it.

 

John.

 

Hi John,

 

I went ahead and sent the msix file. Shoot, i forgot what i titled it. I think, "msix package issue"

Occasional Visitor

Hello jhon. when converting a program that includes DLL files to msix.


The problem is that when you finish packing the program to msix. and install the msix the program may start but it does not read the dll that I capture in the container. because in spite of having them the program calls them from the windows folders and not from the container folders. when you install it with the .EXE all the c ++ restributable that you have installed, but if you convert that same to MSIX when you install the MSIX the dll are in the container because if you catch them. but if you install it, it does not read them because the program reads them from the outside, not from inside the container, and it gives an error because the dlls are not found even if they are in the msix container.

 

I hope you understand what I deserve and if there is a solution for this.

New Contributor

Hi John,

here are some queries, it would be great if you can answer them

1) How can we convert AppX package to MSIX? Is is possible using MSIX packaging tool as I don't see MSIX packaging tool considering AppX as type of installer or do we have any Commandline for this, if yes then please share.

2) One of my App-V to MSIX converted package is not working as expected, AppV has the VFS permission enabled and same is the reason for application to function properly, how can we achieve this in MSIX? It does not throw any error but images fail to load, hence file/folder redirection is not the key here.

3) Does MSIX support context menu if not then are we going to have this in future updates?

4) App-V package contains desktop shortcut but once converted to MSIX, shortcut does not appear. 

5) If an application installs/registers font then is this supported in MSIX?

6) If an MSIX package is edited then the signing for the same package doesn't retain nor we have the capability in MSIX packaging tool to sign the package again, is this something going to be addressed in further releases?

7) Do we have any option to create MSIXBundle in MSIXPackaging tool?