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C# : Working with .cab (cabinet) files


.NET does not have any classes for creating cabinet files out-of-box, so today I had to look what else is available out there. There are a couple of solutions I found for creating a .cab file from the .NET code. The one that actually worked for me was a library developed by Microsoft(!) as part of their Windows Installer XML (WiX) toolset. This toolset is distributed with a bunch of dlls as part of its SDK. The library that allows to create cabinet files is called Microsoft.Deployment.Compression.Cab and located under <WIX_Installation_Folder>\SDK.

In your project you need to add a reference to the Microsoft.Deployment.Compression.Cab.dll and to Microsoft.Deployment.Compression.dll (located under the same folder and has some base classes for types defined in the Microsoft.Deployment.Compression.Cab).

After doing this you can add files to a cabinet file from .NET with just a couple of line of code:

using Microsoft.Deployment.Compression.Cab;

//create a instance of Microsoft.Deployment.Compression.Cab.CabInfo
//which provides file-based operations on the cabinet file
CabInfo cab = new CabInfo(@”C:\Cabinet1.cab”);

//create a list with files and add them to a cab file
List<string> filesToArchive = new List<string>() { @”C:\file1″, @”C:\file2″ };
cab.PackFiles(null, filesToArchive, null);

//add a folder (including subdirectories) to another cab file with a maximum compression level
cab = new CabInfo(@”C:\Cabinet2.cab”);
cab.Pack(@”C:\folder”, true, Microsoft.Deployment.Compression.CompressionLevel.Max, null);

//unpack a cab file into C:\Unpacked folder
cab.Unpack(@”C:\Unpacked”);

The library has an MSDN style help file located under <WIX_Installation_Folder>\doc\DTFAPI.chm.

Another dll that also comes with WiX toolset SDK is Microsoft.Deployment.Compression.Zip.dll that provides similar functionality for packing and unpacking zip files.

Ref: http://wix.sourceforge.net/

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