Table of Content

How to get started with Inishell


First, we would thank you for your interest in Inishell. And we would like as a starting point to explain you what inishell is: it is an generic INI file generator. This means that it reads and XML file describing a set of sections and keys and generate a GUI allowing the end user to safely create an INI file tailored to a specific application.

From a developer point of view, creating a GUI for configuring a specific application simply requires writing the XML file describing the available options, their structure, their possible values and their relationships. Inishell is written in java and can embed in its jar file a default XML file, making the application-tailored GUI a single, portable file.

This document will now explain you how to download inishell, how to compile it according to your needs and how to find your way in its code and documentation.

Getting inishell

There are several ways to get inishell:

  • as binary packages for your platform;
  • as source package, to recompile for your platform;
  • as SVN working copy (checkout)

Binary packages

For each release, several packages are prepared for various operating systems and distributed in the downloads section of this web site. This is the easiest way to install inishell.

Source package

For each release, the inishell team prepares a source package, distributed in the downloads section of this web site. You have to unpack the archive, enter into it and compile it (see compiling instructions below).

SVN checkout

This is mainly for developers who want to work on inishell itself. In order to access the latest version, point your SVN client to the source repository (this is the address to give your svn client). It is recommended to use https as the transport protocol (this goes better through firewalls). If you are allowed to commit to the SVN server, please use this web site's user name and your extra password (as given in your user account configuration page).

In order to access the stable releases, point to TAGS instead of HEAD and select which release you want (the commits messages give the matching stable release).

By getting your version of inishell through an SVN checkout, you can later very simply bring your local copy up to date with the version on the server: in a terminal, go to your inishell directory (trunk) and then enter the command svn update. Another alternative is to use a graphical svn client, such as Kdesvn on Linux, Tortoisesvn on Windows or Versions on mac.

Compiling inishell

This requires the Java JDK as well as ant.

Then, in a terminal, go to your inishell directory (trunk) and then enter the command ant dist. This will build inishell and put it in the dist subdirectory as inishell.jar. The file src/resources/default_config.xml is embedded in the jar archive.

If you want to compile inishell for a specific application (for example for Snowpack), you can do a ant snowpack: this will use snowpack_config.xml as the default xml config file packed in the jar.

Running inishell

On all platforms, it is possible to simply double click on the inishell icon to run it, if JAVA is installed on the system.

From the terminal, on Linux and Windows, it is usually possible to simply run the jar file: ./inishell.jar or inishell.jar. On os X, java must be explicitly called: java -jar inishell.jar.

Loading another application configuration

Finally, it is possible to give as argument the XML file for a specific application, for example ./dist/inishell.jar doc/examples/snowpack_config.xml. If you compiled inishell for a specific application, simply running java -jar inishell.jar will run with the application XML configuration file by default (it will still be possible to use another XML configuration file, though).

Creating configuration for an application

This is documented in Configuration.

Java issues and solutions

It seems that recent Windows systems come with a partially broken java configuration: in such a case, inishell (or other java programs) appear not to even start. There are two points to check in such a case:

  • that the java bin/ directory is in the PATH environment variable (see similar detailed instructions);
  • on Windows 64 bits, this could be because of a bug in Java. You can fix it on your computer by downloading and running jarfix with the "/64" option.

Created: 6 years 2 months ago
by Robert Spence

Updated: 2 years 5 months ago
by Mathias Bavay

Old Revisions