Library to create, extract, and modify Windows Imaging (WIM) files

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wimlib is a C library for creating, modifying, extracting, and mounting files in the Windows Imaging Format (WIM files). These files are normally created by using the "imagex.exe" or "Dism.exe" utilities on Windows, but wimlib is distributed with a free command-line frontend called "wimlib-imagex" for both UNIX-like systems and Windows.

To install wimlib and wimlib-imagex on Windows (XP or later), simply download and extract the ZIP file to have ready-to-use binaries. On UNIX-like systems, you must build from source, unless packages have already been prepared for your operating system. The primary tested UNIX-like platform is Linux.

wimlib-imagex may be used to create customized images of Windows PE, or to back up, install, or restore Windows operating systems.

On UNIX, wimlib has special support for capturing and applying WIMs directly to/from NTFS volumes using libntfs-3g, preserving Windows-specific and NTFS-specific data. On Windows, this data is supported natively.

wimlib Web Site


  • Multi-platform C library plus a command-line frontend using it
  • Archive format used by Microsoft to distribute Windows; also is content-addressable and good for tasks such as incremental backups
  • Fully compatible with Microsoft implementation (as of Windows 8.1), excepting optional extensions
  • Apply/extract a WIM image to a directory or NTFS volume
  • Capture a directory tree or NTFS volume as a new WIM image
  • Mount a WIM image read-only or read-write (Linux only)
  • Update a WIM image without mounting it
  • Extract files or directories from a WIM image without mounting it
  • Delete, append, and export WIM images
  • Support for split and delta WIMs
  • Support for XPRESS, LZX, and LZMS compression
  • LZX ("maximum") compressor compresses more than competing implementations
  • Support for unencrypted ESD (.esd) files (modified WIM format)
  • Display WIM headers, stream lookup tables, and image metadata

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