Install a .NET windows service without InstallUtil.exe


Question

I have a standard .NET windows service written in C#.

Can it install itself without using InstallUtil? Should I use the service installer class? How should I use it?

I want to be able to call the following:

MyService.exe -install

And it will have the same effect as calling:

InstallUtil MyService.exe
1
163
7/29/2018 5:47:32 AM

Accepted Answer

Yes, that is fully possible (i.e. I do exactly this); you just need to reference the right dll (System.ServiceProcess.dll) and add an installer class...

Here's an example:

[RunInstaller(true)]
public sealed class MyServiceInstallerProcess : ServiceProcessInstaller
{
    public MyServiceInstallerProcess()
    {
        this.Account = ServiceAccount.NetworkService;
    }
}

[RunInstaller(true)]
public sealed class MyServiceInstaller : ServiceInstaller
{
    public MyServiceInstaller()
    {
        this.Description = "Service Description";
        this.DisplayName = "Service Name";
        this.ServiceName = "ServiceName";
        this.StartType = System.ServiceProcess.ServiceStartMode.Automatic;
    }
}

static void Install(bool undo, string[] args)
{
    try
    {
        Console.WriteLine(undo ? "uninstalling" : "installing");
        using (AssemblyInstaller inst = new AssemblyInstaller(typeof(Program).Assembly, args))
        {
            IDictionary state = new Hashtable();
            inst.UseNewContext = true;
            try
            {
                if (undo)
                {
                    inst.Uninstall(state);
                }
                else
                {
                    inst.Install(state);
                    inst.Commit(state);
                }
            }
            catch
            {
                try
                {
                    inst.Rollback(state);
                }
                catch { }
                throw;
            }
        }
    }
    catch (Exception ex)
    {
        Console.Error.WriteLine(ex.Message);
    }
}
154
4/1/2018 6:18:47 PM

Take a look at the InstallHelper method of the ManagedInstaller class. You can install a service using:

string[] args;
ManagedInstallerClass.InstallHelper(args);

This is exactly what InstallUtil does. The arguments are the same as for InstallUtil.

The benefits of this method are that it involves no messing in the registry, and it uses the same mechanism as InstallUtil.


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