Manage Windows software using Chocolatey package manager

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Chocolatey is a Windows package manager from command line (CLI).

Who uses Linux operating system know well what is a package manager as is an essential component of the OS.

There are also some package manager for Windows, like Winget, Scoop and Chocolatey, this last is one of the most popular, has a large community, and it integrates well with other software and has thousands of packages that can be installed.

Let see the main advantages using a package manager:

  • Checksum verify in order to legitimate package integrity and authenticity
  • Provide simple tools for installation, upgrade and uninstallation
  • Manage dependencies for package consistency
  • Check updates to provide last software versions

Chocolatey web site provides an exhaustive documentation about program installation and usage. Here the system requirements:

  • Windows 7+/Windows 2003+ (Server Core also, but not Windows Nano Server)
  • Windows PowerShell v2+ (not PowerShell Core aka PowerShell 6 yet)
  • .NET Framework 4.x+

Once installed you can launch it from command line by typing choco (use -i option to see all available options).

Use Chocolatey from command line

Let see the main commands. All the commands must be executed as Administrator.

To install a package:

choco install packagename

To update a package:

choco upgrade packagename

To update all packages:

choco upgrade all

To uninstall a package:

choco uninstall packagename

To check all obsolete packages:

choco outdated

You can see and search all packages from Chocolatey community.

Use Chocolatey from GUI

If you prefer to use Chocolatey from graphical interface there are various GUI availables.

I have installed Chocolatey GUI available here, but you can use other GUI like WingetUI.

With this GUI you can easily search, install, update, uninstall packages.

Chocolatey GUI

On “This PC” you find the list of installed software using Chocolatey, in “chocolatey” tab you can search for the sofware to install that are in the Chocolatey “repository”.

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Important

If you already have installed software downloaded from Internet you must first uninstall them as they aren’t installed using Chocolatey so they aren’t recognized as installed packages.

Installation / update / uninstallation of a package can be done easily using Chocolatey GUI.

To install a package, search it, then just right click on it and Install, wait until done.

Once installed you can find the package in “This PC” tab.

Every time you open the GUI the program check all installed packages, and if there is an update the package is marked as Obsolete.

To update it just right click on it and choose Updgrade. In the same menu you have the options to re-install or unistall.

To show the details of a package just double click on it.

Chocolatey GUI

On “chocolatey” tab you can easily see which packages are installed.

Chocolatey GUI

Chocolatey GUI has some icons at top right that are useful for some actions:

  • force check obsolete packages
  • reload packages
  • update all obsolete packages
  • export configuration (useful if you change PC and you want to restore same configuration on the new PC)
  • show packages as list or title

Chocolatey GUI has many settings related to the GUI and to Chocolatey (dark mode, show console output, etc…

In Source settings you can also add other sources over the default.

Chocolatey is available in various versions, the opensource version, suitable for personal use and with the biggest online Windows packages registry; Pro Edition for individuals with enhanced functionality and additional PowerShell functions (download CDN cache, runtime malware / virus protection), and a Business edition for companies.

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In brief

Chocolatey is software management automation for Windows that wraps installers, executables, zips, and scripts into compiled packages. Has the biggest package repository (over 9,000 unique packages and 186,000 total packages).

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