Packaging an OpenGL application for Windows


I’ve got my software running great in VC++, and I’d like to distribute it to my friends and such. Unfortunately, they dont have openGL and glut installed. I would like to make a nice installation process that makes sure that anyone can download my binaries and have the right libraries (in the right directories) to run my code.

Can anyone point me to a nice faq or instruction manual that would explain how I can make a nice installation thingie?



put the glut32.dll in a folder with the executable and you are good to go. opengl does not need to be installed, it comes with the display driver you install. when using special extensions it is possible that your friends drivers or graphics cards do not support them.

If y’er feeling bold you can get a bit fancier with an automaged deployment package, which automates what Chris just described. Search the MSDN for ‘Setup and Deployment Projects’. Basically you just want to create a setup project then drag your application-specific files into the various folders and build. Not much to it…

I do what you’re trying to do often. It’s much easier if you only give them code to run (executable). With my larger OpenGL sims, there would be well over a 100 files to distribute if I wanted to give away the source code. But to distribute the executable, about 10 files are required. These are the .exe, some input files, some images for texture mapping, and a couple of .dlls. Here’s what I do. Create a new folder somewhere on your desktop. Copy the files you ‘think’ you’ll need to run your program from your source code folders into this new folder. Then double-click on the .exe. You’ll probably find that it doesn’t run because one or more files are missing. Copy the missing files into the new folder. Keep doing that until it runs. Then zip up the entire folder. The idea is to distribute your program as one zip file. All this should take less than 30 minutes. But you’re not done yet because there may be .dll files on your system that are not on your friend’s systems. To test for missing dlls, put the zip file on a flash drive and try installing it on other computers - laptops, desktops, etc. By ‘installing’ I mean unzipping, and running the code. If a .dll is missing, you’ll get a specific error message about it. Then go back to your computer, search for the .dll, put a copy of it into that folder you created for distribution, zip it up, and try it out on other computers again until it works. That’s all there is to it. You have to test your distribution on OTHER systems to be sure it will work on your friends systems. And by testing, I mean go through the exact process they will go through to install and run your code. Piece of cake. Good luck.