CLI for the Node.js makensis wrapper, compiles NSIS scripts

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import makensisCli from '';



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CLI for the Node.js makensis wrapper


Admittedly, there are only few reasons why you would want to use a wrapper for an already existing CLI application.


  • seamless Wine integration
  • Unix-like command-line parameters
  • normalized output across different NSIS versions
  • optional JSON output


  • redundancy


Make sure that NSIS is properly installed with makensis in your PATH environment variable.


Download the NSIS installer from SourceForge and run setup. Once completed, you need to edit your environment variable manually.

Alternatively, you can install NSIS using the Scoop package manager:

$ scoop install nsis/nsis


Install NSIS from your distribution's default package manager, for example:

# Debian
$ sudo apt-get install nsis

# Red Hat
$ sudo dnf install nsis


Install NSIS using Homebrew or MacPorts:

# Homebrew
$ brew install nsis

# MacPorts
$ port install nsis


You can setup NSIS in your Wine environment, but keep in mind that Wine writes standard streams while executing makensis. Additional parsing of the compiler output might be necessary.


$ npm install makensis-cli --global


You can evoke this wrapper using mn (for makensis).


  • hdrinfo – prints information about what options makensis was compiled with (Aliases: flags)
  • version – prints the makensis version and exits
  • license – prints the makensis software license exits
  • cmdhelp [item] – prints out help for 'item', or lists all commands
  • nsisdir – prints path of ${NSISDIR} (Aliases: dir)
  • scaffold – scaffold a new NSIS script in the current working directory (Aliases: new)


Running mn --help lists all available options:

CLI version of node-makensis

  -V, --version                     output the version number
  -h, --help                        output usage information

  hdrinfo|flags                     Print compilation flags
  compile [script]                  Compiles script(s)
  version [options]                 Import repository
  cmdhelp|help [command] [options]  Prints out help for single or all commands
  license [options]                 Prints license
  nsisdir|dir                       Prints NSIS installation folder
  scaffold|new                      Creates custom made NSIS script
  help [cmd]                        display help for [cmd]


Let's start with makensis returning its version

$ mn version

# Result:
# v3.02.1

We can also return this as JSON

$ mn version --json

# Result:
# {
#   "version": "3.02.1"
# }

Try again for makensis on Wine

$ mn version --json --wine

# Result:
# {
#   "version": "3.01"
# }

In the following steps we're going to need a demo script, so let's create one. Take special note of the !warning inside the section.

$ printf "OutFile demo.exe\n\nSection\n!warning\nSectionEnd" > demo.nsi

Compile the script

$ mn demo.nsi

# Result (omitted):
# EXE header size:               36352 / 37888 bytes
# Install code:                    399 / 1999 bytes
# Install data:                      0 / 0 bytes
# CRC (0x027F605B):                  4 / 4 bytes
# Total size:                    36755 / 39891 bytes (92.1%)
# 1 warning:
#   !warning:  (demo.nsi:4)

Compile again, but only display warnings and errors

$ mn demo.nsi --verbose 2

# Result:
# warning: !warning:  (demo.nsi:4)
# 1 warning:
#   !warning:  (demo.nsi:4)

Compile with strict settings, so our little !warning will be treated as an error.

$ mn demo.nsi --verbose 2 --strict

# Result:
# Exit Code 1
# Error: warning treated as error

Let's output the above as JSON

$ mn demo.nsi --verbose 2 --strict --json

# Result:
# {
#   "status": 1,
#   "stdout": "warning: !warning:  (demo.nsi:4)",
#   "stderr": "Error: warning treated as error",
#   "warnings": 1
# }


This work is licensed under The MIT License