Using the Command Line for Installing Files and More


Autodesk Softimage supports command line options for installing and uninstalling shader plug-ins. In addition, you can also specify one or more workgroups. All tasks that you can perform from the command line follow this syntax:

XSI.exe -[option letter] <add-on install options>

This section provides information about the following tasks:


For a complete list of options that can be used with the calling Softimage from the command line, see Softimage Startup Options in the user guide.

Command Line Installation

The following command line statement installs an add-on file (.xsiaddon) or a shader descriptor file (.env, .len, .lit, .mat, .out, .sha, .tex, .tx3, .vol):

XSI.exe -i <file to install>

Wildcards are not supported for installing and uninstalling through the command line.


If the install feature cannot find the DLL in the current directory, it begins a recursive search (looks in the subdirectories of the current directory), which may lead to undesirable results.

For example, if the Ship and Debug directories both contain copies of this DLL, the install feature takes the one in the Debug directory.


Since the workgroup path can actually contain several paths separated by semicolons (for example \bob\wkg1;\jill\wkg2;\lucie\wkg3), installing an add-on to the workgroup location installs it in the first available workgroup location (in this example, \bob\wkg1).

Example: installing an add-on package

xsi -i phong_xyx.xsiaddon

You can also use the command-line through telnet to access all machines one at a time to do the installation. To make life even easier, you could also write a script that accesses each machine in succession and performs the installation for you.

Picking Shaders To Install

This installs a shader material file:

xsi -i myMaterial.mat

Specifying Where To Install the Add-on

When you use the installation switch on the command line, you can also change the destination folder where the add-on manager will install the add-on:

xsi -i abc.xsiaddon -dest factory

By default, add-ons are installed in the $user location, so the above string would change the destination directory to $factory.

Command Line Removal

The following command line statement reverses the installation of an add-on file (.xsiaddon):

xsi -u <file to uninstall>

Wildcards are not supported for installing and uninstalling through the command line.


You cannot select pieces of your add-on file to uninstall. Only entire .xsiaddon files can be uninstalled.


If you uninstall an add-on containing a shader that was applied in the current scene, you must restart Softimage before continuing to avoid unpredictable behavior. You do not need to restart Softimage if the add-on you are uninstalling does not contain a shader plug-in.

Example: uninstalling an add-on package

xsi -u phong_xyz.xsiaddon

All extra switches available when you install your add-on file are also available when you uninstall it, where appropriate. For more information on these switches, see: Specifying Where To Install the Add-on.

Setting Your Workgroup from the Command Line

The following command line statement sets the workgroup for the application:

xsi -w <path or keyword>

You can also specify multiple workgroups using the -w option followed by a semicolon-delimited string:

xsi -w "<path1;path2;...;pathN>"

Example: setting the workgroup path from the command line

In this example, the Softimage administrator would log on to machine A as user B and install the shaders.xsiInfo file. Then the administrator would set the workgroup for user B under %XSI_HOME%\Addons\XYZ:

xsi -w \XYZServer\Application\XSI

Example: setting multiple workgroup paths while launching Softimage from the command line

This example demonstrates how to set up specific workgroups while launching Softimage:

xsi -w "C:\Softimage\LocalWorkgroup;R:\RemoteWorkgroup" -run

For more information about workgroups in general, see Using Workgroups and Managing Workgroups.

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