WebPi Command Line

Our much loved Web Platform Installer (WebPI) now has a command line interface. Yes that’s right. Now it is possible to do everything that you could do in WebPi UI, from the commandline.

Think scripting! Think automation!


WebPi is a simple but powerful tool for discovering, installing and configuring Microsoft’s Web Platform Products. It has been 2 years of great journey for the WebPi team shipping 3 versions. It has been a great partnership with the community. We have been aware of the feedback we received from the community for a way to be able to automate Webpi Tasks. So, here we are releasing WebpiCmdline, which is the short for ‘Web Platform Installer Command line’.

Download links

WebpiCmdline_x86.zip file is hosted here http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=209681


WebpiCmdline Usage:

  • Download the WebpiCmdline_x86.zip file from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=209681
  • Extract the zip file. The zip file would extract to 5 files –













  • You can run WebpiCmdline from this location or

    Recommended: Copy just WebpiCmdline.exe to the directory where you have installed Web Platform Installer (Typically %program files%\Microsoft\Web Platform Installer\) and run it from here. Do not copy the rest of the dll’s. This will ensure you are always running WebpiCmdline with the latest WebPi dll’s.

    Usage Overview

    It is recommended to run WebpiCmdline from a Command Prompt which is opened as Administrator. (Otherwise, WebpiCmdline will elevate itself and launch a new window which will close as soon as it is done.) To open a command prompt as “Administrator” on Windows Vista or Windows 7, type “cmd” in the start menu, Press Shift and then Right click the cmd.exe, select “Run as Administrator”. Accept UAC if necessary. Change directory at the cmd prompt to the folder where you have installed WebpiCmdline.

    WebpiCmdline usage can be broadly categorized into two modes

    Install Mode:

    /Products:<ProductIds> Install a Product using WebpiCmdline

    Ex: >WebpiCmdline.exe /Products: MVC3, Silverlight4Toolkit

    Will install MVC 3 and Silverlight4Toolkit Products

    /Applications: <Appid> Install a Web Application using WebpiCmdline

    Ex: > WebpiCmdline.exe /Applications:Wordpress

    Will install Wordpress Web App Application

    List Mode:

    /List:<All | Available | Installed > List the products hosted on the Web Platform Feeds

    /List:Feeds List the Web Platform Feeds being used

    /List:Languages List the list of available languages for WebpiCmdline

    Ex: >WebpiCmdline.exe /List:Available

    Will list all the available products and applications for the current platform on which it was run.

    Ex: > WebpiCmdline.exe /List:Feeds

    Will list all the master feeds being consumed by WebpiCmdline



    Let us look at the list of arguments which WebpiCmdline exposes.

    Here is an msdn page explaining the most common command line arguments of WebpiCmdline


    The arguments which are not covered in this article are described below




    Specifies that WebpiCmdline should not Auto-Reboot the machine in the case of one of the installation requests reboot.

    If not specified, WebpiCmdline will reboot the machine if one of the products installed requests for reboot. The installation will continue once the machine comes back after reboot.


    Specifies that WebpiCmdline should Auto-Accept Eula’s.

    If not specified, WebpiCmdline will prompt the user to accept the Eula’s before installation can begin.


    Common Usage Scenarios

    Let’s cover the most common User Scenarios for WebpiCmdline, and how to run them.

    Installing a product hosted on Web Platform Feeds.

    For these walkthroughs, let’s assume that the user is trying to install Web deploy

    Find whether the Product you want to install is actually hosted on WebPi Feeds

    WebpiCmdline.exe /List:All

    Verify that the product MVC 3 is actually listed in the output of this command and is listed under “Available”. (if the product is listed under ‘Previously Installed Products’, you already have the product installed)

    --Available Products

    ID Title


    WDeploy Web Deployment Tool 2.0

    Install the product using the ID listed above

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:WDeploy

    Accept Eula when prompted

    You are responsible for and must locate and read the license terms for each of the software above. Do you agree to the license terms for each of the third-party and/or Microsoft software listed above (Y/N)?


    Automating the above Installation

    Above installation is not scriptable, as it expects users to accept the EULA before installation.

    In order to automate the above installation, append /AcceptEula to the above install command

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:WDeploy /AcceptEula

    Installing multiple products

    In order to install multiple products, pass the product IDs as a comma separated list to the /Products: argument.

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:WDeploy,MVC3,VWD,SQLExpress /AcceptEula

    Avoid Automatic Reboot

    By default, WebpiCmdline will reboot the machine if any of the products it has installed requests a reboot. When the machine comes back, WebpiCmdline will continue installing.

    Sometimes this might not be the most desirable way. In order to suppress reboot, pass the /suppressreboot argument. This will make WebpiCmdline quit as soon as it is requested for a reboot by any product. Once the user reboots the machine later, WebpiCmdline will come back to life and complete installation.

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:WDeploy,MVC3,VWD,SQLExpress /AcceptEula /SuppressReboot

    Provide your own Log Name

    By default, WebpiCmdline logs to a text file in the working directory, named as “Current date time”.txt. Example : 1.25.2011 1.44.08 PM.txt

    If you wish to rename this file, pass the /log: argument

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:WDeploy /AcceptEula /Log:wdeployinstalllog.txt

    Provide database Admin Passwords during installation

    When WebpiCmdline installs SQL or MySQL database, it prompts the users to enter the root/admin/sa password to be used for the database. To Automate this use case , use the /Sqlpassword & /Mysqlpassword arguments

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:SQLExpress /AcceptEula /SQLPassword:MySecretPassword

    Install a product from a different language

    Some products, for example VWD, are available in multiple languages. By default, if no language is provided, WebpiCmdline will always install the English version of the Product. To specify your desired language, use the /Language Argument

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:VWD /AcceptEula /Language:FR

    To get the list of languages, use the /list:Language argument explained above.

    Install a product from a different Master feed

    By default, WebpiCmdline fetches master feeds from the Microsoft.com/Gallery website. To view this info, use the /List:Feeds option explained above.

    To force WebpiCmdline to fetch master feeds from a different location, use the /XML Argument

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:MyProduct /XML:http://mywebsite.com/myfeed.xml

    Install a product from a different Custom feed

    By default, WebpiCmdline does not load any custom feeds. It only works with the Master feeds. By providing a custom feed, you can add another feed to the existing list of Master feeds. Refer this blog post for more info on this : http://blogs.iis.net/kateroh/archive/2010/02/11/webpi-apis-install-a-product-from-a-custom-feed.aspx

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Products:MyProduct /feeds:http://mywebsite.com/mycustomfeed.xml

    Install a Web Application

    WebpiCmdline can install Web Applications too. Web Applications are always installed to a Webserver. The Web Server can be either IIS or IISExpress. By default, WebpiCmdline always installs Web Applications to IIS.

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Applications:Wordpress

    To install to IISExpress, use the /IISExpress Argument

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Applications:Wordpress /IISExpress

    After accepting EULA, WebpiCmdline will prompt the user to enter the Application Parameters which will be used to configure the Application Installation. This is the manual mode of installing Web Applications.

    Please Enter Web Application Parameters for \"WordPress\"

    Application Path(Press Enter to use:Default Web Site/wordpress):<press Enter>

    Database Server(Press Enter to use:localhost): <press Enter>

    Database Name(Press Enter to use:wordpress): <press Enter>

    Database User Name(Press Enter to use:wordpressuser): <press Enter>

    Database Password: mysecretpassword

    Database Administrator(Press Enter to use:root): <press Enter>

    Database Administrator Password: mysecretrootpassword

    Unique Key for Passwords(Press Enter to use:put your unique phrase here): <press Enter>

    Unique Key for Secure Passwords(Press Enter to use:put your unique phrase here): <press Enter>

    Unique Key for Authentication(Press Enter to use:put your unique phrase here): <press Enter>

    Second Unique Key for Authentication(Press Enter to use:put your unique phrase here): <press Enter>

    Parameters written to WordPress0.app

    To use the default value for the parameter, just press enter. Or enter the value manually.

    Some parameters don’t have default value, and the user is expected to enter the value manually.

    Finish installation.

    Automating Web Application Installs

    As you might have noticed above, Web Application installs are not very silent. They prompt for user inputs to configure the web application.

    To automate web application installs, the user is expected to provide a ‘.app’ file along with the appid.

    The .app file is generated when you run an app install in Manual Mode (See the last line of the above example :

    Parameters written to WordPress0.app

    This ‘.app’ file is the application parameter-value file which is used to configure the application parameters. Contents of WordpressParams.app file :

    AppPath[@]Default Web Site/wordpress







    Key1[@]put your unique phrase here

    Key2[@]put your unique phrase here

    Key3[@]put your unique phrase here

    Key4[@]put your unique phrase here

    To re-use this file, run

    WebpiCmdline.exe /Applications:Wordpress@Wordpress0.app

    This will run Wordpress installation in silent mode, i.e., the user is not prompted for Parameter values.

    You can tweak the app file values by opening the .app file in notepad and editing it before re-using.

    Known Limitations

    When installing a Web Application which supports 2 databases, WebpiCmdline always defaults to the first database listed in the application manifest. WebPi UI however, does provide support where the user can chose between the databases.


    WebpiCmdline and Windows Azure

    Webpicmdline is also built as ‘Any Cpu’ binary for startup steps of Windows Azure. You can download webpicmdline_anycpu.zip from :

  • http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9752821

    Why 2 builds? Webpicmdline works with iisexpress to install Web Applications to IISExpress. However IISExpress is a 32 bit process, and so WebpiCmdLine is built as 32 bit (x86) binary.

  • However, there are scenarios where Webpicmdline is run as a system startup task, like Windows Azure startup tasks. Webpicmdline_x86 runs into errors when it is run as 32 bit process under system account on a 64 bit machine. Therefore you would need to use the _anycpu binary.

    It is important to figure out which suits your purpose before downloading. As a rule of thumb

    - if you are not running webpicmdline under system account, you should download Webpicmdline_x86.zip from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=209681 (even if you are on a 64 bit machine).

    - if you will be running webpicmdline under system account, you should download Webpicmdline_anycpu.zip from http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9752821. The only limitation would be that Webpicmdline will not be able to install Web Applications to IISExpress.


    Big thanks to Anpalm, Kateroh, andrewbi, crystalh, csfanos for their effort and nitashav who drove the original vision.


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