“Next, next, next”. That usually summarizes the steps for the installation of almost any program in Windows, and as simple as it seems, has its disadvantages. First, it is not entirely safe, because it depends on downloading the correct package, the correct site and we do not end up installing a malicious program by acting as “zombies” of the “next” button.
Secondly, many applications include offers from third-party programs that you have to consciously uncheck to avoid filling up with crapware. And, third, it’s quite tedious. Maybe that’s where it starts to make sense that Microsoft wants to bet more and more on its apps store, and start blocking the installation of packages outside of it on some devices.
The alternative package manager for Windows
The good news is that there are other ways to manage software installation in Windows, and one of the best is called Chocolatey. The first thing is to make clear that it is not a solution for everyone, it is geared more to advanced users or enthusiasts, those who do not feel panic or aversion when they read the word “terminal” or “console”.
Chocolatey is a tool to automate software management. Although many relate the command line with complications, the truth is that using a manager like this makes your life easier than installing programs in the traditional way.
It is a package management system, like the APT in Linux, for those who are familiar with it. You can use it in Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1 and Windows 10. Its installation is quite simple, and can be carried out from the command prompt (cmd.exe) or from Windows Powershell (powershell.exe).
Whether you decide to use the command prompt or Windows PowerShell, you must run the terminal as Administrator . We have used the last one in our example. To do this press the start button and type “Powershell” and then right click on the result to run as Administrator.
You can also right click on the start button and look for the option ” Windows PowerShell (Administrator) ” in the pop-up menu.
If you use the command prompt for the installation, you will only have to paste the following command: @powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command “iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(‘https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1’))” && SET “PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin”
If you use PowerShell you must change the execution directives first to be able to execute scripts. Before installing Chocolatey paste the command Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSignedor Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypassin the terminal.
Once this is done, install Chocolatey by pasting the following command: iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(‘https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1’))
You do not need to restart Windows or anything, maybe restart the terminal. But you are ready to install packages with the commandchoco .
Install programs with Chocolatey
Chocolatey is a package manager. Obviously the most important thing is to have packages at hand. From this link you can check the almost 5000 packages maintained by the community . Which of course include from Google Chrome, Skype, to insufferable plugins such as Java and Flash.
To install a program using Chocolatey you just have to open the terminal and write choco install nombredelpaquete. For example: choco install libreofficeinstall the free office suite.
The terminal will ask for confirmation before executing the scripts . You just have to be aware of writing “Y” to continue or “N” to stop the execution. You can use the choco upgradeor commands choco uninstallto update or uninstall respectively.
Install the Chocolatey graphical interface
Because nobody says that it is mandatory to use the terminal to install packages using Chocolatey, you have the option of using a graphical interface to manage your applications. This gives you all the advantages of Chocolatey software repositories, without having to write a single line of code. Well, only the necessary ones to install the same interface.
Open your terminal and write choco install chocolateygui
Now you must find in your list of programs one called ChocolateyGUI. When you run it, you will find a Modern-style program window with two columns. A menu to select the applications installed on your PC, and another to show the list of packages available in the Chocolatey repositories.
You can install any program directly from this interface, you just have to right click on them and then select “Install”. You have an integrated search engine and each package shows version, number of downloads and if it has already been installed. If you search for “Chrome” you can find extensions.