Secure Software Install SIS Tools Overview

The Secure Software Install SIS Tools enable you to create, sign, decompile and preinstall SIS files.


The Secure Software Install SIS Tools component comprises the following PC-side command-line tools:

  • The MakeSIS tool creates unsigned SIS files based on the information provided in an input package (PKG) file.

  • The SignSIS tool signs SIS files using a certificate and private key.

  • The CreateSIS tool is a wrapper around the MakeSIS, SignSIS, and MakeKeys tools, which automates the process of generating and signing SIS files. It supports creating new SIS files from package (PKG) files, signing existing package files and generating private-public key pair and certificate requests for signing.

  • The DumpSIS tool decompiles input SIS file and extracts the corresponding PKG and source files.

  • The InterpretSIS tool enables device creators to preinstall SIS files on a device system drive or memory card image. The InterpretSIS tool can be invoked either through the BUILDROM tool when creating a data drive image, or as a stand-alone tool.

Required background

Before you start, you must be familiar with the following:

Key concepts and terms

PKG File

A package (PKG) file contains information required by the SIS file creation tools to create a SIS file.

SIS File

A Symbian Installation Source (SIS) file is a collection of executables and data files, packaged in a way that the software installer can install them onto a device. SIS files can be preinstalled on a device.


A SIS file must be signed with a digital signature, which is used in verifying the identity of the vendor of an installation file. This ensures that the file has not been tampered with since it was signed. For details see, Signing.


Eclipsing is a mechanism to upgrade files existing on the ROM drive, by installing a new version of the same on the RAM drive. For details see, Eclipsing.

System Upgrade Packages

System upgrade packages allow device manufacturers to overcome the restriction of having a stub SIS file in the ROM drive for eclipsing. For details see, System Upgrade Packages.


Auto-propagation is a process of automatically installating software packages from the media card when it is inserted into the Symbian device. For details, see Package Propagation.

Typical Uses

The SIS tools can be used to perform the following:

  • Create and sign an installation file

    Symbian application developers can create installation packages using MakeSIS and sign them using SignSIS. Alternatively, the CreateSIS tool, which is a wrapper around MakeSIS and SignSIS, can be used to create and sign an installation file. For details see Creating and Signing an Installation File

  • Upgrade OS components

    The software installer enables a device manufacturer to replace binaries and data files in ROM, for example, to fix a software issue, by means of eclipsing. For details, see Upgrading an OS Component.

  • Preinstall applications

    Device creators can preinstall applications on device system drive or memory card image. For details, see Preinstalling Applications.