I love they way how updates are handled in Linux distributions. With one simple command you can install, update or remove applications. Same for system updates/upgrades. Few minutes and everything is up-to-date. As I am also MS Windows user I always complained about keep my system updated. Some of the applications have their own updater, some only notifications about new release and some need to be checked manually. When you have more than 20 apps installed, updating them one by one and keep an eye on new releases can be painful. Then a few years ago I started testing Chocolatey – The Package Manager for Windows.
Chocolatey is a software management solution unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced on Windows. Chocolatey brings the concepts of true package management to allow you to version things, manage dependencies and installation order, better inventory management, and other features.
Two months ago I reinstalled whole system on my laptop. I decided to use Chocolatey as my main package manager for all my software and it is awesome to have that power like in Linux to use one command to update all my apps.
Yup, that’s all. I still use some apps which are installed manually, like Chrome or VirtualBox or MS Office, TorBrowser, Telegram and few more, just because they are updating themselves automatically, quickly and on each run they check for updates. I have a rule that If something works very well, it is not worth to change it, and why should I try to update something twice 🙂 Too much security and automation is also not the best idea.
I didn’t have any problems yet. Some small issues which I could resolve with well done official documentation. Of course some apps are still missing in official public community repo, especially these not very well known, but it is easy to request them or create itself.
If you would like to give it a try for Chocolatey just install it and test. You will surely be satisfied with the results. It is a lot to learn at the beginning so it is good to start with some official free courses. After you understand how Chocolatey works you will just use few commands, like:
choco upgrade all -y,
choco find <package_name>,
choco install <package_name> -y and
choco uninstall <package_name> -y. If you do not like the command line you can use GUI and search for available packages in web package repository.
I have about 10 apps I am missing in repository and had to install them normally. One of them is GtkHash. Small desktop utility for computing message digests or checksums. This app is small and do not need any complicated dependencies so I decided to build this package myself, and upload to the community repo. After few hours with documentation I did it 🙂 It is available in repository and already passed automated tests,
Validation Testing Passed and
Verification Testing Passed. Still waiting for manually moderation but I think everything is on the right way to be accepted. This is my first Chocolatey package, I am the maintainer now 🙂 I think in near future I will work on other packages I am missing, and update the one I am maintaining.
I think that the Chocolatey project is the future of Windows packages management, keep an eye on it, use it and help to maintain the public repository!
GitHub repository with my Chocolatey packages can be found here. Take a look at files which I used to build GtkHash package. With documentation and my first package you can easily manage how to build your packages.
Oh one more thing. Before I discovered Chocolatey I was using SUMo. Probably one of the best free app on the web to update software on Windows.
SUMo (Software Update Monitor) keeps your PC up-to-date & safe by using the most recent version of your favorite software! Unlike built-in auto update features, SUMo tells you if updates are available before you need to use your software.
Maybe it will be useful to someone who will not enjoy the Chocolatey.