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An Overview of Winget – The Windows Package Manager

March 6, 2023

By Peter Barnett

What is Winget?

Winget is a command-line package manager for Windows 10 and later. It allows you to easily search, install, and manage applications and their updates on your Windows system. Winget is similar to package managers like apt, yum, and pacman that are commonly used on Linux systems. With Winget, you can install and manage applications from a variety of sources, including the Microsoft Store, GitHub, and other third-party repositories. You can also use Winget to install and manage multiple versions of an application, and easily roll back to a previous version if needed. Winget is included in Windows 10, version 2004 and later. To use Winget, you need to open PowerShell or Command Prompt as administrator. 

To get started with Winget, you can use the following commands: 

winget search <search-term>   # to search for available package 
winget install <package-name> # to install a package 
w1inget show <package-name>    # to show package details 
winget list                   # to list all installed packages 

Winget also support command like update, upgrade, remove, hash, configure etc. 

Winget is a new package manager, so some features and support for packages are still in development, but it is being actively updated and improved. 

Updating with Winget 

To update a third-party application using Winget, you can use the following command: 

Winget update <package-name> 

Where <package-name> is the name of the application that you want to update. If the package you want to update is not installed, it will be installed instead. 

You also can use Winget upgrade command to perform the same action: 

winget upgrade <package-name> 

Machine-wide installations with Winget: 

Winget supports so-called machine-wide installs, which allows you to install a package for all users on a system rather than just for the current user. To perform a machine-wide install with Winget, you can use the –global or -g option when running the install command. When using the -g option, Winget will install the package for all users on the system, including users that are not currently logged in. 

winget install -g <package-name> 

Note that you need to run the command prompt as administrator in order to perform machine-wide installs with Winget. 

You also can use winget install –machine to perform the same action: 

winget install --machine <package-name> 

It is important to note that some packages may not support machine-wide installs. In such cases, attempting to install the package globally will result in an error. 

Conclusions 

Summarizing all above, there are several advantages to using Winget, the Windows Package Manager: 

  • Easy to use: The command-line interface of Winget is simple and easy to use, making it accessible to users of all skill levels. 
  • Package discovery: With Winget, you can easily discover new and popular applications and install them with a single command. 
  • Version management: Winget allows you to manage the version of the installed applications, you can easily upgrade or downgrade to a specific version of an application. 
  • Open-source: Winget is open-source, which means that the community can contribute to its development and improve its features and capabilities. 
  • Security: Winget uses secure channels to download and install packages and its packages are signed by the publisher, this feature helps to detect any malicious package. 
  • Integration: Winget can be integrated with different automation tools, such as Ansible, Jenkins, and PowerShell, making it easy to deploy and manage applications on multiple systems. 
  • It’s official: Winget is an official package manager from Microsoft, it’s included in Windows 10, this means that users can expect better integration and support from Microsoft, also it’s less likely to be abandoned by Microsoft. 

Some of the cons of Winget include: 

  • Package availability: Winget is still in the early stages of development, and its package repository is not as extensive as package managers like apt or pacman. This means that some popular applications may not be available through Winget. 
  • Package management features: Winget currently lacks some of the more advanced package management features that are available in other package managers, such as the ability to manage multiple repositories, perform complex dependency resolution, or track versions. 
  • Scarce community support: Winget is a relatively new package manager and has a smaller community compared to other package managers, this means that you may have a harder time finding help or troubleshooting issues. 
  • Windows 10 and later: Winget is only available on latest versions of Windows, so if you’re using an older version of Windows 8 or another operating system, you won’t be able to use it. 
  • Command line interface: Winget is a command-line tool, so it may not be as user-friendly for users who are not familiar with the command line. 
  • 64-bit Windows: Winget is only available for 64-bit Windows, so it cannot be used on 32-bit Windows. 

Improve your patch management with Action1 

Even though the native system update enables you to maintain your endpoints relatively up to date, it is necessary to have an established patch management approach in place. Additionally, your system security and stability is not limited to native applications, and due to sheer amount of applications that require regular updates to keep the system secure, third-party patching can be a complex and time-consuming task. Action1’s cloud-based patch management platform offers a comprehensive solution for managing updates across all your endpoints in one place, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities and ensuring that your entire system is updated. With Action1, you can easily deploy and manage both system and third-party patches remotely on multiple PCs in real-time with just a few clicks. Additionally, Action1 allows you to run scripts in batch on all of your endpoints and has remote access functionality. 

 

See What You Can Do with Action1

 

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