OpenFin installer

Depending on whether you have OpenFin previously installed, you can use one of two options to install an OpenFin application:

OpenFin Installer Generator

The OpenFin Installer Generator streamlines the process of installing and updating the OpenFin Runtime on a user's desktop, providing auto-update behavior in response to Runtime version changes in an application's manifest file.

The installer is pre-baked with the application’s manifest URL and is delivered as a zip file containing an installer executable, which can be hosted on any web server. A user opens the .zip file and then double-clicks the .exe to start the installation.

The OpenFin installer performs the following actions:

  • Auto-updates the RVM if necessary.
  • Retrieves the application config file.
  • Automatically downloads the required Runtime version if it’s not present.
  • Installs the desktop and Start menu shortcuts.
  • Launches the app.

Be aware of the following factors when deploying a .zip installer or URL:

  • Administrator rights are not required for installation.
  • The installation file is signed by OpenFin.
  • The installer copies the relevant application resources into %localappdata%/OpenFin.
  • The installer creates application shortcuts on the desktop and Start Menu (linked to the application manifest file).

Folder structure

The OpenFin installer creates a base folder structure with full read-write permissions and places the Runtime Version Manager (RVM) and the OpenFin Runtimes within it.

The following files and folders are contained within the base folder:

  • apps\: Cached copies of the manifest, icon, app logs, and app assets
  • cache\: Runtime cache, runtime logs (debug.log), and login tokens
  • cache.dat: Cached data of OpenFin apps, including system permissions, start and end times, Runtime versions, application ID, etc.
  • data\: The hashed value of all the apps that have run
  • logs\: RVM logs
  • OpenFinRVM.exe: Openfin Runtime Version Manager, responsible for updating itself and downloading/installing new runtime versions
  • registry_dos_local.json: Cached desktop owner settings, generated automatically
  • runtime\: All the Runtime versions that are needed by OpenFin apps. Older versions of the Runtime are not overwritten when adding a new version. However, unused versions of the runtime are removed automatically.
  • rvm_cache\: Cached permissions.

Starting the application

An application's shortcut is added to the Start menu as well as on the desktop. When clicked, the shortcut calls the Runtime Version Manager (OpenFinRVM.exe). The RVM then reads the application’s manifest file and starts the application based on its config URL. To manually launch the application from a terminal, use --config followed by the application's URL.

OpenFinRVM.exe --config=""


The OpenFin installer creates application shortcuts that link the server-hosted manifest file with a desktop shortcut or Start Menu item. These shortcuts have a target that takes the following form:



For more information on customized shortcuts, contact [email protected].

Run installer silently

The --no-ui and --do-not-launch options enable a Desktop Owner to silently run an installer.

Example command line to run the installer:

installer.exe --no-ui --do-not-launch

Silent install and no launch

This option enables a Desktop Owner to silently install the the Runtime and prevents the application from launching on install via command line arguments:


Example command line to run the install:

OpenFinRVM.exe --do-not-launch --no-ui --config=""

Protocol handler (fin:// fins://)

For desktops that already have OpenFin, you have the option to use a custom protocol handler to launch OpenFin from within the browser or an email. No downloading of a file is necessary when using this method. You can also detect from a script in a web browser whether the local system has OpenFin installed.



The OpenFin RVM must be installed and registered on the desktop in order for the fin:// or fins:// protocol handler to be used.

The fin and fins protocol handlers are registered in the system registry classes root:


For desktops that do not have OpenFin installed, you can push the RVM to the desktop and run it one time to register the protocol handler. The command line for registering the fin/fins protocol handler is below:

C:\Users\AppData\Local\OpenFin>OpenFinRVM --config=none --only-self-install

For more information around the installation process, please view our knowledge base or contact [email protected].

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