ExifTool Windows installer and portable package

As an alternative to the "single EXE" Windows ExifTool offered at Phil Harvey's site, I offer here a convenient installer and a robust portable package of Phil Harvey's ExifTool for Windows - probably the most comprehensive tool available for accessing metadata in image and other files.

Purpose

In early 2019, I started to improve the Windows environment for ExifTool with the following features / improvements:

  • Run Perl in a native, clean and fast way, avoiding the self-extracting Perl Packager with its resulting problems (technical background).
  • Provide a convenient Windows installer based on Inno Setup with reasonable default directories.
  • Use the well supported Strawberry Perl with a permissive license.

Status

At the end of 2020 I count 3000 downloads per month and no user complaints throughout the year, therefore I consider this package pretty mature.

It passes the built-in automated self tests and additional tests, and I'm using it successfully on my own system with Photools IMatch, a great Digital Asset Management (DAM) for Windows and on the command line. It also works with ExifToolGui.

Downloads:

What you get is "plain ExifTool" plus a stripped "portable Strawberry Perl" plus my own tiny launcher, provided as a Windows installer or just packed together in a ZIP file:

Latest build, based on Strawberry Perl 5.30.2.1 and libraries as of 2020-02:
ExifTool_install_12.33_32.exe Windows Installer, 32 bit version
exiftool-12.33_32.zip package without installer, 32 bit version
ExifTool_install_12.33_64.exe Windows Installer, 64 bit version
exiftool-12.33_64.zip package without installer, 64 bit version

Caution: 12.26 and later is incompatible with IMatch 2020 as of 2021-05-26 due to a namespace change.

The latest compatible version is 12.25: ExifTool_install_12.25_32.exe; exiftool-12.25_32.zip; ExifTool_install_12.25_64.exe; exiftool-12.25_64.zip. 12.25 already has the fix for CVE-2021-22204, ths might be important if you are working with images from external sources.

Please note that virus scanners sometimes signal false positives for Inno Setup created installers. Please report these errors to your AV spupplier. Use the ZIP archive if you don't trust InnoSetup.

12.26 is a "production release" while other versions are considered development releases, and are not uploaded to MetaCPAN: ExifTool_install_12.26_32.exe; exiftool-12.26_32.zip; ExifTool_install_12.26_64.exe; exiftool-12.26_64.zip

Caution: Version 12.03 changed composite tag ID's which could break compatibility with old IMatch versions. The last "production release" before 12.03 is 12.00 dated 2020-06-11: exiftool-12.00_32.zip; exiftool-12.00_64.zip

Installer options

You may install "for me only" or "for all users".

If you select "for all", the installer requests administrative rights and suggests to install to the protected folder %ProgramFiles(x86)%\ExifTool for the 32 bit version or %ProgramFiles%\ExifTool for the 64 bit version. The advantage is that the ExifTool installation is then protected against unintentional or malicious modification.

If you select "for me only", the installation path defaults to %LocalAppData%\Programs\ExifTool. That's no protected folder, so you need no administrative rights (See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/shell/knownfolderid {5CD7AEE2-2219-4A67-B85D-6C9CE15660CB})

Using Perl alone

The "exiftool_files" directory contains a stripped version of Strawberry Perl (portable) with just the modules necessary to run ExifTool, including the original Perl.exe. You can use it like any Perl for Windows, but the installer will not add this directory to your path.

Sources

How to build the installer yourself - if you don't trust me or want to modify it:

Get the ExifTool files from https://github.com/exiftool/exiftool/

Save the patched script to exiftool.pl in the exiftool_files folder together with the other ExifTool files and directories (keep the structure).

Build the "Perl launcher" exiftool.exe with the sources found in Portable-Perl-Applications (or extract it from the zip file offered above).

Add a stripped set of files from the portable Strawberry Perl distribution. I chose these files: perl-5.30.2.1_for_ExifTool.zip. Rather likely, this archive has some superfluous files but the effort to identify them safely is too high.

License, disclaimer and contact

The small proportion of my own content is licensed under the CC0 license

See https://exiftool.org/ and http://strawberryperl.com/ for the license of ExifTool and Strawberry Perl and https://jrsoftware.org/ for Inno Setup.

I make no warranties about the package, and disclaim liability for all uses of the package, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

Please send:

  • Questions about using ExifTool to the ExifTool forum
  • Useful comments about this specific Windows version to ppl [št] oliverbetz [punkt] de - especially if you found bugs or improved something.