Making application packages is not easy if you start with nothing and are about package all applications used in your organisation. If you also want to maintain your applications on a regular bases it can be a handful and a daily job for one or many people in a larger organisation. There are of course different shortcuts to make application packaging easier and one can always buy the services in some way. One option to make application installation and update easy is to use Windows Package Manager and the command line tool winget.
Windows Package Manager consists of a set of services and a command line tool, possible to install on Windows 10 and included by default in Windows 11. The entire system and it´s content is open source and can be found on github. Content in form of applications can be added by any one and added to the public application catalogue after they been scanned for malware and verified by a system engineer.
Disclaimer! Windows Package Manager and the command line tool winget may require administrator privileges to install applications correct. Only install application you are familiar with from sources you trust.
How to use
First of all you have to verify that you have Windows Package Manager installed on your system and if not install. Open a command prompt and type winget to verify if the system is installed. Windows Package Manager can be installed from Windows Store or from the open source project on github.
Next up is to search for suitable applications. Type winget search in a command prompt window and all available applications will be listed.
To narrow down your search add search text. ex winget search adobe
To show information about a specific application. Ex winget show Adobe.Acrobat.Reader.64-bit
Install an application
To install a application we recommend that you use the option -e (exact matching) and --id (filter by id) to get the exact application you want. ex winget install -e --id Adobe.Acrobat.Reader.64-bit
Applications installed can be listed using the list command and in that list applications supported by winget will be label with the source winget. To maintain and get lastest versions of all your winget supported applications your enter winget upgrade --all. You can update single applications by specifing name or id.
Uninstall an application
If you like to remove an application you just use the same syntax as with your installation but with the command uninstall. ex winget uninstall -e --id Adobe.Acrobat.Reader.64-bit
To use winget is quite simple but remember to be cautious and only install applications you recognize and from sources you trust. In a small environment or in test and lab situations it can be suitable to use winget directly from the command prompt but we recommend to use it in structured and controlled way thru your client management solution. Read our article Use winget in your upKeeper Manager environment where we describe the steps to use winget in upKeeper Manager.
You can read more about Windows Package Manager on the official site. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/package-manager/winget/