How to Bring Linux-Style apt-get Installations to Windows with Chocolatey

Linux users love installing software from the command line, and it’s not hard to understand why. Instead of downloading executables, running them, and dodging the various attempts to change your default search engine, you basically type what you want to install and hit “Enter.”

If you want this kind of peace on Windows, look no further than Chocolatey, the package manager for Windows. This free tool lets you install thousands of apps with just a quick command (choco install), and update them all with another (choco upgrade.) This can save you a lot of time if you’re the kind of person who installs a lot of free software.

You can use Chocolatey in two places: the Command Prompt and PowerShell. Here’s how to install this package manager in both environments, but you only really need one or other other. Pick whatever you’re comfortable with.

Install and Use Chocolatey From the Command Prompt

Chocolatey only works in the Command Prompt if you run it as administrator. The easiest way to do this is to right-click the Command Prompt in the Start Menu, and then click “Run as Administrator.”

To install Chocolatey, first you need to run the following command, which downloads and runs the installer for you:

@"%SystemRoot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(''))" && SET "PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin"

This command could change, so check the official Chocolatey instructions if you’re having trouble.

After you install Chocolatey, you can use it immediately (though in some cases you might need to close and re-open the admin Command Prompt). Installing software is simple: simply type choco install followed by the name of the program. Here, we’re running choco install filezilla to…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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