Dec 12, 2014

How to install all your software on a fresh Windows install

One word: Chocolatey.

Have you ever got a new computer, and spent the first week finding the software you're used to, downloading and installing every one? Did it ever happen that you couldn't find the right download location? Well, this may be the solution.

Chocolatey is a package manager, sort of like a program store, or if you are familiar with apt or rpm from linux, it's much like that. It's command line based, and that's a good thing. In my opinion it's very often a great thing...

In short, it lets you download and install all the different software that has been packaged and uploaded to the chocolatey database. It also handles dependencies, for instance the .NET framework, or python 3, or any other prerequisite.

The great thing about it being command line based is this:
You can create a script that installs all your favourite software.

Doesn't that sound sweet? I realize that it may not appeal to all of you, but as a computer geek and developer, it's very helpful, not to mention cool. It's also a real time-saver since most of the installations require no user input at all.

So to get started, you need to visit Chocolatey, copy the text from the first box on the page, and paste it into an administrator command prompt.

Next, you need to either install programs from command prompt like so:
choco install vlc (installs vlc media player)

Or you can install everything from a config file, like my example below, just save it with a .config extension!

choco install filename.config

You can see my sample config file here, it includes my favourite development tools:

Have fun setting up your next computer in a jiffy!

And remember to contribute; if you find that something's missing from Chocolatey, it's easy to upload your own package for it! Please read Chocolatey's guide first, there are some rules to follow.

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