Chocolatey - The updating tool for Windows you should be using

It's been a long time since I've posted anything here, sorry about that. Things have been busy with life changes preparing for the trip to Japan. Sadly, there isn't much news to publicly share at the time, but getting close to having some good news.

Until then, it came to my attention that some people had never heard of KeePass. I though, until I have something better to talk about, I'll share some of the cool tools I use.

Chocolatey

Today I'll talk about Chocolatey, a tool that should be installed on EVERY Windows machine. For those of you familiar with Debian builds on Linux, imagine apt-get, but for Windows. For those of you who don't, get ready for amazing.

Chocolatey Logo

What it does

Chocolatey is a package manager. A package manager on a computer is a program that manages the programs you have installed and can be used to keep them updated. Many programs have this built in such as Chrome, Firefox, even Windows itself has Windows Update to keep itself updated. However, many programs don't include this kind of system, or it is very lackluster. Using Chocolatey you have a central program which can help you will all of this.

Why should I keep things updated?

Mainly, for security reasons. Google has an internesting post to their security blog. The number one thing that Security Experts do is keep their software updated. This is because many times updates to software include patches to security holes what were not known about at the time the program was written. This is especially true if that program communicates over the internet, or if you machine is mobile and tends to hit public internet such as a laptop or tablet.

How to use it

ChocolateyGUI

When using ChocolateyGUI, another program that makes using Chocolatey much easier, there will be two tabs on the left of the program, the first one, This PC, will list the programs you have installed. This tab is used for updating and uninstalling.

To check for updates, click refresh packages in the top right of the program, then select the option Show Only Packages with Updates. This will list all the programs that have updates. If you see none, congratulations, you are fully updated. If you see some programs, click update all in the top right and it will start to work its magic updating programs.

If you wish to uninstall a program, right click it in the list and select Uninstall. It will work it's magic removing it from your computer.

The second tab Chocolatey is used for installing programs.

When you click it, it will get the list of all the programs avaiable to install. At the top there is a search option, you can type into there to find the program you wish to install. When you see the program you wish to install in the list, right click it and select Install. It will work it's magic installing it on your computer.

In order to search for what programs are available, there is a webpage you can use that is much easier for searching and making sure you have the right program.

How to Install

If you are not computer savey in nature, maybe you should ask for help from someone who is. This is going to get into the inners of your computer, and though it is unlikely you can mess anything up, if you get confused, it might be hard to continue.

First, you need to be the administrator for you computer. If it is yours, this is likely you. You'll also need internet access for the installer to work so make sure you are connected.

Next, you need to get an Administrator Command Prompt open. If you don't know how see this link but generally you can follow these instructions

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Accessories.

  2. Right-click Command prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  3. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

In the command prompt run the following command

@powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin

It's going to do a lot of crazy actions, that's okay. If it asks you any questions, agree to them by most likely presssing y. Eventually it will stop and you'll get a line similar to that before the command was run.

Now, to make sure you never have to open this crazy text stuff again, run choco install chocolateygui. This will install a program that will make everything much better. Again, if asked any questions please agree to them by most likely plressing y.

Now you can close this program. You should see a program called ChocolateyGUI installed on your computer. It comes with a much easier to use interface. I would recommend using it to reinstall Chocolatey and ChocolateyGUI, so that it can help keep them updated.