.NET Framework Redistributable Package Technical Reference


Microsoft Corporation

January 2002

Summary: Applications and controls written for Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0 require that it be installed on the computer where the application or control runs. The .NET Framework redistributable package, Dotnetfx.exe, is available as a stand-alone executable file; this reference provides advanced developers with Dotnetfx.exe options and errors. (7 printed pages)

Note If you choose to use Dotnetfx.exe for distribution with an application created by you, you must have a validly licensed copy of the Microsoft .NET Framework SDK and you agree that any use or distribution of Dotnetfx.exe associated with your Licensed Product as "Licensed Product" is defined in the Microsoft .NET Framework SDK end user license agreement (the "EULA"), is subject to the terms of the EULA. If you do not have a validly licensed copy of the Microsoft .NET Framework SDK or you do not agree to these terms and conditions, you are not authorized to distribute Dotnetfx.exe.


Where to Obtain the .NET Framework Redistributable
Dotnetfx.exe Options and Errors
Installing Localized Versions of Dotnetfx.exe
Minimum Configuration Requirements


The version 1.0 release of the Microsoft® .NET Framework provides one redistributable installer that contains the common language runtime and Microsoft .NET Framework components that are necessary to run .NET Framework applications. The .NET Framework redistributable is available as a stand-alone executable file, Dotnetfx.exe. The .NET Framework requires a license agreement that gives you specific rights to redistribute Dotnetfx.exe. If you have previously installed the .NET Framework SDK or Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, or downloaded Dotnetfx.exe from the Web, you have accepted the license agreement for Dotnetfx.exe. For the terms of the license agreement, see the Microsoft .NET Framework Redistributable EULA.

You can manually launch and install Dotnetfx.exe on a computer, or it can be launched and installed as part of the setup program for a .NET Framework application. Note that administrator privileges are required to install Dotnetfx.exe. If you have previously installed the .NET Framework SDK or Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, you do not need to install Dotnetfx.exe.

This white paper provides only a technical reference for Dotnetfx.exe. For more information about deploying Dotnetfx.exe, see the .NET Framework Deployment Guide. This Web site provides detailed deployment information including white papers that address specific deployment scenarios for .NET Framework SDK users and Visual Studio .NET users.

There are minimum configuration requirements that must be met in order to install Dotnetfx.exe. For more information about software and hardware requirements and recommendations, see Minimum Configuration Requirements.

Where to Obtain the .NET Framework Redistributable Package

Download Dotnetfx.exe or from the Microsoft Windows Update Web site.

Alternately, you can get the redistributable package on a product CD or DVD. Dotnetfx.exe is available on the .NET Framework SDK CD in the dotNETRedist directory in the CD's root directory. It is available on the Microsoft® Visual Studio® .NET Windows Component Update CD in the dotNetFramework directory, and on the Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET DVD in the \wcu\dotNetFramework directory.

If you need to have users install the .NET Framework from the Internet, do not post the .NET Framework Redistributable Package, instead direct users to the Microsoft Windows Update Web Site.

Dotnetfx.exe Options and Errors

The .NET Framework redistributable package uses a Windows Installer package that wraps it into the single, self-extracting executable file Dotnetfx.exe. The Dotnetfx.exe executable file launches Install.exe, which performs platform checks, installs Windows Installer 2.0 if necessary, and then launches the Windows Installer package (.msi file).

Table 1 describes the command line options you can specify when installing Dotnetfx.exe. To specify options when installing Dotnetfx.exe, you must pass the options to the Install.exe wrapper using the /c: option.


dotnetfx [/q:a] [/c:"Install [/l][/q]"]

Table 1. Command line options for installing Dotnetfx.exe

Option Description
/l Creates the setup log, netfx.log, in the %temp% directory. Error codes returned from Dotnetfx.exe are written to this log.
/q Specifies quiet install mode. Suppresses the display of the setup user interface. For a quiet install, you must also specify the Dotnetfx.exe /q:a option to suppress the extraction user interface.

You should use the Windows Add/Remove Programs option to uninstall a .NET Framework application that hosts Dotnetfx.exe. This ensures that Dotnetfx.exe will not be uninstalled independently of an application that is dependent on it in order to run.

Usage Examples

The following command installs the Dotnetfx.exe redistributable package.

dotnetfx /c:"install"

The following command performs a silent install of the Dotnetfx.exe redistributable package.

dotnetfx /q:a /c:"install /q"

Error Codes

Table 2 describes the errors returned by Dotnetfx.exe.

Table 2. Dotnetfx.exe errors

Error Description
8192 Reboot is required.

A computer reboot is required following the installation of Windows Installer.

4096 Improper usage/invalid parameters.

Either the syntax used to specify parameters to Dotnetfx.exe is incorrect, or the parameters are invalid.

4097 On Windows NT, need Admin rights to (un)install.

You do not have the permissions required to install or uninstall this application. Please contact your administrator.

4098 Installation of Windows Installer components failed.

The Windows Installer installation failed. As a result, the installation of Dotnetfx.exe cannot proceed.

4099 Windows Installer is not installed properly on computer.

Due to the improper installation of Windows Installer, the installation of Dotnetfx.exe cannot proceed.

4100 CreateMutex failed.

A fatal error occurred and the installation of Dotnetfx.exe cannot proceed.

4101 Another instance of setup is already running.

If another instance of setup is running, it will be allowed to continue and the current installation cannot proceed.

4104 Framework (PackageType, Version) pair is already installed.

You attempted to install a version of Dotnetfx.exe that is already installed. Installation cannot proceed.

4105 Framework (PackageType, Version) pair does not exist.

You attempted to uninstall a version of Dotnetfx.exe that is not installed on the computer. Uninstallation cannot proceed.

4108 Cannot read from MSI Database.
4111 Cannot get Temp directory.
4113 Beta NDP components detected.

A beta version of the .NET Framework was detected on the computer. You must uninstall any beta versions before attempting to install Dotnetfx.exe.

4114 Cannot get System directory.
8191 Setup Failureunknown reason.

A fatal error occurred. The installation of Dotnetfx.exe cannot proceed.

During the installation of Dotnetfx.exe, Microsoft Windows Installer and the Windows operating system can also return errors. Table 3 describes the most common Windows Installer errors. For a complete list of Windows Installer errors, see the Windows Installer documentation.

Table 3. Windows Installer errors

Error Description
1601 The Windows Installer service could not be accessed. Contact your support personnel to verify that the Windows Installer service is properly registered.
1602 User canceled installation.

The user clicked the Cancel button in the user interface. Installation cannot proceed.

1603 Fatal error during installation.

A fatal error occurred during the installation of Windows Installer. The installation of Dotnetfx.exe cannot proceed.

1622 Error opening installation log file. Verify that the specified log file location exists and is writable.

This error is more likely to occur during uninstallation when either there is no disk space or the Windows Installer log is enabled. This error can occur during installation if sufficient space does not exist to write to the Windows Installer log, or if the log is read-only.

1633 This installation package is not supported on this platform. Contact your application vendor.

Installing Localized Versions of Dotnetfx.exe

Dotnetfx.exe has been localized into the following languages. Download the localized versions of Dotnetfx.exe.

Table 4. Dotnetfx.exe localized languages

Language Culture name
Chinese (Simplified) CHS
Chinese (Traditional) CHT
French fr
German de
Italian it
Japanese ja
Korean ko
Spanish es

When installing the .NET Framework redistributable package, Dotnetfx.exe, on a computer running the Windows 98 or Windows Me operating system, the system code page and font need to support the language of the Dotnetfx.exe being installed. There are several options:

  1. Install the same language of Dotnetfx.exe as the language of Windows 98. For example, install Japanese Dotnetfx.exe on Japanese Windows 98.
  2. Install a localized version of Dotnetfx.exe onto a localized Windows 98, in which the system code page is the same for both languages. For example, install French Dotnetfx.exe on German Windows 98.
  3. Install English Dotnetfx.exe onto any localized Windows 98.

If the system code page and font do not support the language of the Dotnetfx.exe being installed, then dialogs will not display correctly. For example, when installing the Japanese Dotnetfx.exe onto English Windows 98, setup dialogs will not display text correctly.

This limitation only applies to Windows 98 and Windows Me. You can install any language version of Dotnetfx.exe on any language version of Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows XP, or the Windows Server 2003 family.

Minimum Configuration Requirements

This section describes the minimum configuration requirements for a computer where the .NET Framework redistributable package is to be installed. If the minimum requirements are not met, Dotnetfx.exe setup will block the installation of the redistributable package. Specifically, note that you cannot install the .NET Framework redistributable package on a computer running the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system.

Platform and Software Requirements

Minimum requirements

To install Dotnetfx.exe, you must have one of the following operating systems with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or later installed on your computer:

  • Microsoft® Windows® 98
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me)
  • Microsoft Windows NT® 4 (Workstation or Server) with Service Pack 6a
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 (Professional, Server, or Advanced Server) with the latest Windows Service Pack and critical updates available from the Microsoft Security Web site
  • Microsoft Windows XP (Home or Professional)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family

Caution   If you install Dotnetfx.exe on Windows .NET Server Beta 3, you will break the version of the .NET Framework that is installed with the operating system. Windows .NET Server Beta 3 installs version 1.0.3215 of the .NET Framework. If you install a later version of the .NET Framework, version 1.0.3215 will be broken. If you install a later version, you can run and use the later version. However, you will not be able to use version 1.0.3215, even after uninstalling the later version.

Depending on your application requirements, you might also need to install one or more of the following:

Note   If the recommended software requirements are not met, Setup will not block installation or warn you of their absence.

Recommended server software

Depending on your application requirements, you might also need the following server software:

  • MDAC 2.7 for data on the server, available at the Universal Data Access Web site.
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) on the server for Windows 2000, Windows XP (Professional), and Windows Server 2003. This is required for using ASP.NET applications.

Hardware Requirements

Table 5. Minimum hardware requirements

Scenario CPU Required RAM Required
Client Pentium 90 MHz* 32 MB**
Server Pentium 133 MHz* 128 MB**

* Or the minimum CPU required to run the operating system, whichever is higher.

** Or the minimum RAM required to run the operating system, whichever is higher.

Table 6. Recommended hardware

Scenario CPU Recommended RAM Recommended
Client Pentium 90 MHz or faster 96 MB or higher
Server Pentium 133 MHz or faster 256 MB or higher