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Install Windows software by typing two words, skipping the usual routine of clicking “Next” five times and desperately trying to avoid useless/harmful toolbars. Chocolately makes Windows a little more like Linux, and in this case that’s a very good thing.

Linux users know and love their package managers, because they make installing software simple. Instead of opening your browsers, searching for a download, downloading a file, scanning that file for viruses, running the file and following unnecessary on-screen directions before pressing “Next”, Linux users only need to type a couple of words to quickly install software from a trusted source. Everything happens automatically.

Chocolately brings that convenience to Windows, and it’s long overdue. Do you want to install VLC?  Then just open the command line and type “cinst vlc“. Want to install Chrome? Type “cinst googlechrome“. It’s just that easy.

Using Chocolately

To get started, head to Chocolately. You’ll find a single line of code you can copy and paste into your command prompt.

You’ll find the Command Prompt in the start menu, under Accessories. Note that you cannot use the shortcut CTL-V to paste here; just right-click and click paste.

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Watch Chocolately install; you might learn something. Don’t panic if you don’t – Chocolately is simply downloading the necessary files and putting them into place. You might be asked to click “Allow“, but beyond that the process is seamless.

It’s hard to believe, but you’re not ready to use Chocolately. Installing software is simple – just type “cinstl” followed by the name of the program you want to install. For example, if you want to install Filezilla you need only type “cinst filezilla“:

The process is fast. The software downloads and installs and you don’t need to click “next” even once (though you may need to click “Allow“, depending on your Windows security settings). You can start using Filezilla as soon as the command is complete:

That was simple, wasn’t it? Of course, not every program on earth can be installed this way – as of this writing, 377 packages are offered. You can browse the complete list of Chocolately packages here.

In order to install software, you’re going to need to type the name correctly of course, so consult that site if a program won’t install properly – you’re probably just spelling it wrong.

Just A Few Programs

At this point most open-source developing tools have made their way to the Chocolately repository, and new ones are added constantly. If you’re reading this blog, however, you’re likely mostly interested in consumer programs. Here are a few MUO favorite programs, along with the Chocolately command for installing them:

Browse the complete collection of Windows software offered by Chocolately here.

Conclusion

I have, of course, only scratched the surface of what Chocolately can do. Be sure to check out the Chocolately Wiki for more information about using this software.

Installing software on Windows annoys me, but this helps fix that. Even if you rarely use the command prompt Chocolately is helpful, because it’s fast. Once you get used to installing software like this, you’ll be annoyed by “Next” prompts every time you see them.

But I want to know what you think. Will you be installing Windows software from the command prompt, or is Chocolately not useful to you? Let me know in the comments below, and also be sure to let me know about any software similar to this.

  1. Bjorn
    February 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

    If you are looking the way to install Windows software on remote PCs on the easy way check out http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/remote-installer-install-software-on-remote-pcs-over-lan-windows/

  2. Saurabh Banwaskar
    October 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Wonderful Tool!!! I Never Had Such Experiencing Like This !!!!!!!!!

  3. Doc
    September 28, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    You CAN use Paste in the Command Window, but it's different (since the CTRL+V combo may be in use by a program); it's ALT+SPACE (or click the window's Control Icon in the top left) to open the Control Menu, select Edit -> Paste. There's also an "Edit -> Mark" option to select a rectangular area of text to copy, and an "Edit -> Copy" option (or just press ENTER) to copy the selected text to the Clipboard.

  4. josemon maliakal
    September 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I remember my Ubuntu machine......sudo apt-get install :)

  5. Sebastian
    September 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    HAHAHA!!...... "Chocolately makes Windows a little more like Linux, and in this case that’s a very good thing".

    Windows is the WORST operative system ever! To make it a little little little bit more like Linux is ALWAYS good in any case!

    • Scutterman
      September 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      I've always found Windows much more stable and less hassle than Linux. When I need to work, I prefer to just sit down and work, rather than spending hours fixing mysterious issues that seem to be localised to so few people that they go unresolved.

      Given the choice though, I'd choose Linux over Mac.

    • Scutterman
      September 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      I'm going to go install this now, though how much I'll remember to use it is another matter. It would be good to have a way to use Chocolatey to search their repo for software, so it's easier to work out if they have it or not.

  6. salim benhouhou
    September 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    thank you justin for sharing i like it . i just installed it and i will use it to install softwares in the future

  7. Chris Hoffman
    September 27, 2012 at 7:11 am

    This is really cool. Just needs a larger software catalog and a GUI for the average user, and it could be huge.

  8. Krishna
    September 27, 2012 at 3:41 am

    It is not possible to copy and paste the text to install chocolatey from the box as mentioned in this article since the image seems to be truncated (at least on Google chrome and IE). The home page of the product has the full command. Use this to install:
    @powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('http://bit.ly/psChocInstall'))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%systemdrive%\chocolatey\bin

  9. Richard Borkovec
    September 27, 2012 at 1:54 am

    This is pretty sweet. I love my "sudo apt-get" for software, and it's usually faster than the GUI. Is this any faster than the GUI versions? Just download wise.

  10. D. K.
    September 27, 2012 at 12:17 am

    This tool looks really great. I never knew that there is such a tool for windows. Looks a little bit like Homebrew for OSX, but there are many more tools for Homebrew :-P.
    I think I'll give it a try on my windows notebook

  11. Javier Vega
    September 27, 2012 at 12:10 am

    just an small error i found on typing ""It’s hard to believe, but you’re ready to use Chocolately."

    I guess to make sense that "not" was just an extra type...

    Thanks for the article, i hope installs like this could become wider in variety...the apps available are good, really good, i use almost half of that list posted at the end, but even like that...

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