Chocolatey – a Win32 package manager

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Not finding your favorite apps in Windows/Microsoft Store? There is a way for home users to install/update Win32 apps just as Store apps. One-click install of thousands of Win32 apps. The solution is called Chocolatey: https://chocolatey.org/

It’s not perfect, but it’s great. For starters there is no graphical installer. You have to bring up the command prompt and install chocolatey. After that I rebooted and installed the GUI package, chocolateygui. Installing Chocolatey isn’t difficult, but it would be simpler with an ordinary installer.

Once you have Chocolatey GUI up and running it’s smooth sailing. Ok, to be honest the search functionality isn’t the best. Pretty much everything I use is in here. Even MS Office, but it requires a license of course. I installed MarkdownPad 2 and it installed without a hitch only asking me to select the correct language.

If you are like me with 40+ Win32 apps, then I recommend you to try Chocolatey before you get old. You may save yourself a whole lot of time.

Searching for Google:

Searching for markdown:

MarkdownPad 2 has been installed and it works like you would expect. No sorcery or special libs necessary:

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Chocolatey – a Win32 package manager”

  1. Avatar

    hrlngrv

    Have you used it yet to update anything already installed?

    • Avatar

      longhorn

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Yes I recently updated the base chocolatey package and the chocolateygui package from within the Chocolatey GUI. It worked like a charm; the application restarted itself to update the GUI.

      My screenshots are from Windows 8.1. The search functionality seems to work better in the version running on Windows 10. I often use Linux, but every time I try Chocolatey I get this "Wow" feeling (Win32 plus a decent package manager is awesomeness). In the past I have updated regular packages; never had a problem but I haven't really used it a lot.

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      GarethB

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Updates are essentially an uninstall and reinstall. It can't update something that's been installed by another method (but presumably would install over the top)

      It really doesn't handle things like auto-updating apps well. It knows what version of the app it installed, and treats it as if nothing has changed. (You can 'Pin' an application, so it doesn't try to update it though)

    • Avatar

      longhorn

      In reply to hrIngrv

      Now I know what you mean; applications already installed through exe/msi don't show up in the Chocolatey GUI. So you can't update them, only (re)install latest version through Chocolatey and then they show up in your list of applications. I don't know if Chocolatey packages disable auto-updating in Chrome, Firefox etc or you are supposed to do that yourself. As GarethB writes Chocolatey doesn't keep track of changes outside Chocolatey.

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    jimchamplin

    Does it use XNA packages for installation? That would be pretty cool.

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