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How to install apps in Windows safely and easily using the command line

26 mayo, 2021

“Next, next, next.” That’s what the steps for installing almost any program in Windows are usually summed up to, and as simple as it may seem, it has its drawbacks. First, it is not entirely safe, as it depends on us downloading the correct package, from the correct site and not ending up installing a malicious program by acting as “zombies” from the “next” button.

Second, many applications include third-party program offerings that you must consciously uncheck to avoid filling up with crapware. And third, it is quite tedious. Perhaps from there it begins to make sense that Microsoft wants to bet more and more on its app store, and begins to block the installation of packages outside 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 it clear that it is not a solution for everyone, it is aimed more at 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 associate 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 on 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).

Install Chocolatey

Run Windows Powershell

Whether you decide to use the command prompt or Windows PowerShell, you must run terminal as Administrator. We have used the latter 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)“from the pop-up menu.

Install Chocolatey

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%chocolateybin"

If you use PowerShell you will need to change the execution directives first to be able to run scripts. Before installing Chocolatey paste the command Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSigned or Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass In the terminal.

Once done, install Chocolatey by pasting the following command: iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))

You don’t need to restart Windows or anything, maybe restart the terminal. But are you ready to install packages with the command choco.

Install programs with Chocolatey

Install With Choco

Chocolatey is a package manager. Obviously the most important thing is to have packages on hand. From this link you can review the nearly 5000 packages maintained by the community. Which of course include from Google Chrome, to Skype, to insufferable plugins like Java and Flash.

To install a program using Chocolatey you just have to open the terminal and type choco install nombredelpaquete. For example: choco install libreoffice install the free office suite.

The terminal will ask you for confirmation before executing the scripts. You just have to be waiting to write “Y” to continue or “N” to stop the execution. You can use the commands choco upgrade or choco uninstall to update or uninstall respectively.

Install the Chocolatey GUI

Screenshot 17

Because nobody says that it is mandatory to use the terminal to install packages using Chocolatey, you have the option to use a graphical interface to manage your applications. This gives you all the advantages of the Chocolatey software repositories, without having to write a single line of code. Well, only those necessary to install the interface itself.

Open your terminal and type choco install chocolateygui

Now you should find in your list of programs one called ChocolateyGUI. When you run it, you will find a Modern style program window with two columns. One from the menu to select the applications installed on your PC, and another to show the list of packages available in the Chocolatey repositories.

Chocolateygui

You can install any program directly from this interfaceYou 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 even find extensions.

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