First meeting with WinGet
The demand for a dedicated Windows package manager has been lurking for ages now. And, finally, on 20 May 2020, at Virtual Microsoft Build, Microsoft has unveiled the much-awaited package manager – WinGet. It can save you lots of time and smoothen up the installation process on your Windows devices with some other extended capabilities.
What is WinGet?
Windows Package Manager is present inside WinGet command-line utility. It facilitates Windows users to install applications directly on Windows 10 from the command line. The full command leads to perform discovery, installation, removal, upgrade and configure applications or software added to the package manager repository.
Windows Package Manager is an open-source project available on GitHub contains a plethora of utilities, which can assist developers in implementing numerous regular operations. So, there are many utility packages available to download right away – Evernote, 7-Zip, Git, CMake, Windows Terminal, and many more.
How to install WinGet Package Manager on Windows?
If you are excited to install the WinGet package manager on your Windows device, you need to remember that it is a preview version only. For the full version, you have to wait a little longer. However, to try the preview version of the Windows package manager, you have two options ahead of you.
WinGet is an open-source package manager, so you can simply clone the GitHub repository (https://github.com/microsoft/winget-cli), build it and run it.
Secondly, you can become a Windows Insider. To join the Windows Package Manager Insider program, you have to send a request to the Windows WinGet feedback team @[email protected] and request to become a part of the preview feedback group. If Microsoft grants your request, you can become some of the first WinGet users and even give your feedback to Microsoft directly. You just have to get the App Installer and get all the relevant updates.
How to Use WinGet?
When you want to use WinGet, you can either run from Windows PowerShell or use Command Prompt environment. If you haven’t installed a new Windows Terminal yet, you should immediately do that (its awesome :-)).
From the command line, you can search for information about how to properly use the tool. You should understand the tool better before using it. To find and show information about an application, you have to run the following run command by replacing “
winget search <command>
To install an application using WinGet, you have to use the following command line. You can add the name of the application in place of X.
winget install X
However, to know more about the application, you have to run the following run command. Replace the application’s name or search phrase with the word ‘X.
winget show X
To preview the entire list of available applications, you have to focus on the following command:
In the preview stage, WinGet repositories are already loaded with numerous popular desktop applications. From the common Windows tools to the highly advanced developers tools. Some of the common applications are – Zoom, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Spotify, Ruby, Visual Studio Code, Microsoft PowerToys, and many more.
Sources can be managed by running the WinGet source command. To see the source of List
winget source list <listname>
In the preview version, the built-in winget source can just be run by Microsoft present at https://winget.azureedge.net/cache. However, in the coming days, you will be facilitated to easily load third-party sources with WinGet source added. To figure out more information about WinGet built-in commands, you can run “-?” here. For instance, to check out numerous options that you can use with WinGet, run this command:
winget search -?
In the future, Microsoft will surely add interesting new features to the Windows Package Manager and make it even more robust. Even in the preview phase, WinGet seems more powerful than other Windows Package Managers.
Existing Windows Package Managers
WinGet is just in the initial stage, and it’s already expected to challenge the popular existing Windows Package Managers. Such as:
Chocolatey NuGet is an awesome open-source Package Manager, something similar to apt-get, but it is build keeping Windows structure in mind. It is one of the popular existing Windows Package Manager due to:
- Enormous Utilities – It has a massive community package repository of more than 4,000 packages, and being an open-source network allows developers to contribute new packages frequently.
- One Command – With one choco upgrade all command, all the third-party software is updated.
- Scriptable – Users can put Chocolatey install command into PowerShell scripts.
- Usability – By opening PowerShell and entering choco install firefox, you can easily install Firefox on your Windows system.
It is a command-line installer for Windows, which is available on GitHub for free. It is quite a decent Windows Package Manager with:
- Cost-Effective – It is a completely free tool. You don’t have to worry about getting the paid version.
- Easy to Install – Scoop installs without admin permission, which is required to be secure. It can complete the installation process without an elevated command prompt.
- Less Complicated – Applications installed by Scoop are independent, thus fewer conflicts arise during the uninstall.
- Documentation – From GitHub Wiki, the great Scoop help can be received if you stuck somewhere.
It is a powerful manager for developers to install .NET, Docker images, and PowerShell libraries. OneGet has one prominent feature that it is a native package manager included in Windows 10. But, it’s consumer version isn’t available in the market.
WinGet holds promises
WinGet is a new kid on the block, but it has still managed to charm developers. With the promise of new applications being added soon, Microsoft has literally spiked the interest of the developers' community. Thus, if you are an enthusiastic developer, you should definitely get your hands dirty with WinGet, and first hand finds out why there’s so much hype about WinGet. Further, don’t forget to share experiences and opinions about WinGet with us.