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 Windows Imaging (WIM) files. wimlib and its command-line frontend 'wimlib-imagex' provide a free and cross-platform alternative to Microsoft's WIMGAPI, ImageX, and DISM.

wimlib can be used to back up, install, or restore Windows operating systems; to create customized images of Windows PE; or to archive files on either Windows or UNIX/Linux.

wimlib contains advanced implementations of the XPRESS, LZX, and LZMS compression algorithms which typically outperform and outcompress the Microsoft equivalents.

wimlib supports advanced filesystem features such as hard links, symbolic links, junctions, named data streams, device nodes, and FIFOs. NTFS-specific features are supported either natively (Windows) or via NTFS-3g (UNIX/Linux).

wimlib is distributed either as a source tarball (for UNIX/Linux), or as ready-to-use binaries (for Windows XP and later).

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
  • Fully documented library API
  • Apply/extract a WIM image to a directory or NTFS volume
  • Capture a directory tree or NTFS volume as a new WIM image
  • Modify the contents of a WIM image
  • Extract files or directories from a WIM image
  • Mount a WIM image read-only or read-write (Linux only)
  • Delete, append, and export WIM images
  • Support for XPRESS, LZX, and LZMS compression
  • Multithreaded compression by default
  • Support for split and delta WIMs
  • Support for unencrypted ESD (.esd) files (WIM format using solid compression)
  • Display WIM headers, stream lookup tables, and image metadata
  • Support for "WIMBoot" capture (all platforms) and extraction (Windows only)
  • Can run as non-Administrator on Windows, with some limitations


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Non-Profit Organizations, Advanced End Users, System Administrators

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