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Reminder to self: check to see the state of winget and if it is possible to install Windows Store applications from the command-line

Posted by jpluimers on 2022/11/02

While undergoing many treatments against rectum cancer, I saved the below tweets with a marker “The new windows package manager: aka.ms/winget“.

[Wayback/Archive] aka.ms/winget

Well, actually the first tweet is gone, now, but archived as [Wayback/Archive] Stefan Stranger on Twitter: “New Windows Package Manager #MSBuild2020… “

It is probably also the reason why it looks like my question never got a reply: [Wayback/Archive] Jeroen Wiert Pluimers on Twitter: “@sstranger So is  the nuget successor?” / Twitter

I was in hospital recovering from major surgery back then, so if Stefan replied, I likely didn’t notice. We will never know.

winget? nuget? Chocolatey? how do they relate?

Back then I really was wondering how winget related to NuGet and/or Chocolatey.

Luckily, I happened to save the tweet from a day later as wel. Luckily too Shawn doesn’t delete valuable tweets like Stefan does.

Shawn wrote [Wayback/Archive] Shawn Wildermuth #000000 { lives: matter; } on Twitter: “Why didn’t Microsoft just buy Chocolatey? ” / Twitter

[Wayback/Archive] Windows Package Manager Preview | Windows Command Line

I still agree with Shawn, as it would have made things much easier.

Winget at least supports plenty of installer formats as per [Wayback/Archive] Use the winget tool to install and manage applications: Supported installer formats | Microsoft Docs

The winget tool supports the following types of installers:
  • EXE (with Silent and SilentWithProgress flags)
  • INNO
  • NULLSOFT
  • MSI
  • APPX
  • MSIX
  • BURN

Later I will post about another kind of package manager on Windows (Scoop), but for now, it looks like I need to have at least three package managers in by tool-belt, as:

  • Chocolatey is not installed on Windows by default, and has the largest install base
  • Scoop is not installed on Windows by default, and supports installing applications as non-admin in your user profile
  • winget is installed on Windows by default, and allows installing applications from the Windows App store on the console

Look at this mess-in-progress to sort out the mapping of chocolatey installs I did from the past: [Wayback/Archive] Windows installers (Chocolatey, some winget and one Scoop for now, hopefully completed to full Scoop and winget, similar to https://gist.github.com/LanceMcCarthy/351330330072484b4c96b6c97b87fe5b that lists Scott Hanselman’s Ultimate Tools and https://gist.github.com/apfelchips/792f7708d0adff7785004e9855794bc0)

Since lot’s of tools are not on winget (hopefully yet), Chocolatey is still needed, even for the lists that inspired me writing this post in the first place:

winget.run

I did most of the searches through [Wayback/Archive] winget.run | Finding winget packages made simple which was a top hit when querying [Wayback/Archive] winget search – Google Search.

About 75% through, I found out that winget.run consistently cannot find some of the tools, for instance [Wayback/Archive] Search results: VisualStudioCode | winget.run returns zero results ([Wayback/Archive] Search results: vscode | winget.run and [Wayback/Archive] Search results: code | winget.run also fail to return the correct result), but it is right there as [Wayback/Archive] VisualStudioCode: Download and install Microsoft Visual Studio Code with winget.

In retrospect, I should have gone through my archive of draft blog posts, as right with the above tweets, it had this:

winstall.app

A web UI wrapper quickly appeared:

[Archive] mehedi on Twitter: “I made a thing! Say hello to winstall.app — the simple, always up-to-date GUI for Windows Package Manager! ⚡️ Browse all the apps, select the ones you want, and get a script that lets you install all the apps via Windows Package Manager ✨ …” / Twitter

[Wayback/Archive] winstall – GUI for Windows Package Manager

There is only one winstall.app drawback: you cannot save searches as a plain URL.

Repology

While doing some preliminary investigation for Scoop, I also found [Wayback/Archive] Repology, which is a meta-search tool that includes many package manager repositories on many platforms, including winget. Indeed, vscode is found there, both in winget, and in many other package manager repositories:

This is where to search for winget packages: [Wayback/Archive] Projects list: winget – Repology.

Revisiting the winget tags

The above means I will revisit my list of apps that have ??? for winget entries I did not find yet, then amend the list at [Wayback/Archive] Windows installers (Chocolatey, some winget and one Scoop for now, hopefully completed to full Scoop and winget, similar to https://gist.github.com/LanceMcCarthy/351330330072484b4c96b6c97b87fe5b that lists Scott Hanselman’s Ultimate Tools and https://gist.github.com/apfelchips/792f7708d0adff7785004e9855794bc0).

Search tools of choice will be Repology and winstall.app.

–jeroen

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