I’ve developed a standalone WIN32 that uses the ROOT Windows binary as downloaded from CERN. I would now like to distribute the application to interested people. A lot of potential users won’t need the complete ROOT functionality, so it would be nice, if I could provide a small archive with only the required files (some dlls in /bin as well as the /etc, /fonts, /Icons subdirs).
Can I distribute such a rudimentary environment in a subdirectory of the program folder or do the people have to make a full ROOT install?
You can indeed attempts to package a subset of the library, you will need most of the auxiliary directories (etc, cint, include) and you will need to carefully prune the include and etc/plugins directories.
In most cases, the gain in disk that comes with this pruning is not worth the maintenance effort to properly prune the directories.
You might be better served by disabling all of the optional parts that you do not need (i.e. see ./configure --help) and simply include in your packaging the complete result of installing this small build of ROOT (i.e. do a make install at the end to extract only the needed parts)