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MSIX Packaging PSF Tools

PsfTooling 4.4

Now available in the Microsoft Store as a free app, PsfTooling 4.4 represents the best way for IT Pros that are repackaging traditional apps into MSIX to have success.

We use PsfTooling in conjunction with the Microsoft MSIX Packaging Tool (MMPT) to inject and configure the Package Support Framework into the package.

PsfTooling version 4.4 adds new capabilities and an enhanced packaging experience:

  • You should now run a pre-scan after installing the tool and before saving your snapshot. The Pre-scan feature is available from the wizards menu.  It will scan your system for things that the packaging tool would be unable to detect old/new items due to the lack of timestamps on Registry items.
  • For the packaging, you start this tool while in monitoring mode of the MMPT, after installing and configuring the traditional app installer that you want to package. There is a new button called “Recommended Fixes”  to run once you start the tool. This tool compares the detected installed files against pre-scan information, and consulting the MMPT exclusion lists, to determine whether the PSF is needed, what fixups are needed, and additional changes you might need in the AppXManifest file. PsfTooling is unable to detect every situation, but it will help quite a bit.
  • PsfTooling now handles both Environment Variables with the RegVarFixup, and Fonts inside the app package. 
    • The new EnvVarFixup allows the package to define and update environment variables for use INSIDE the package.  So that doesn’t solve PATH variable changes, but other application specific variables work fine. 
    • For the fonts, these have to be added to the package AppXManifest file.  As this file doesn’t exist while PsfTooling is running, the tool will send the text to be added into the AppXManifest file to the clipboard.  So you edit the manifest at the end of the MSIX Packaging Tool and paste it into one of the application records.