I first heard about Chocolatey this morning on my cycle in to work, listening to the Software Engineering Radio podcast and their latest episode: “Continuous Delivery on Windows”. Interesting discussion btw.
I hadn’t given much thought to package managers for windows before – that’s what Linux is for isn’t it? – but it struck me as quite a big deal for the future of Windows in the DevOps world. The traditional way of installing an application is to go to the website on your browser, click download, then execute the GUI installer… click Next a few times, browse to an install folder and some other options perhaps, then click OK. This way of installing just won’t work with tools like Puppet and Chef, which I have just started playing around with. Well, it seems there is a way to do command line installations on Windows, using Powershell. A tool I have never used before and one I can’t bring myself to want to learn… and thanks to Chocolatey may not need to now.
I installed Chocolatey by running a single Powershell command (copied straight from the Chocolately website) into an administrative command window. That’s it – Chocolately installed! I then went browsing through the list of packages on the Chocolatey website and installed a few of them, again from the command line with a simple: “choco install <appname>”. I installed Atom, Vagrant, Jenkins and a few others. Definitely the most painless windows installation experience I’ve ever had.
Linux and OSX have had package managers for a while and they are great, but Windows? I was genuinely blown-away by how easy this was and how well it worked. Long live Windows (and Chocolatey).