Installing windows software/application by downloading the executable installer have always been the way for the windows platform. This can’t be avoided and will never be replaced. But there are certainly other ways that I believe is the best way. 🎺
Introducing Scoop, which is a command line installer for the Windows platform that you can get and use for free. Scoop allows you to install windows application through the command line interface (CLI) and it has many advantages such as a fast and easy search for an application as well as provide easy upgrade whenever an update is available.
If you have ever heard/use Brew, which is a package manager for the MacOS platform, Scoop is exactly the same but for the windows platform. I have used it for quite some time now and it’s dead simple to use and they have a very straightforward command that you can follow.
Installation and Demo
In this case, I will demo how to install PHP and NodeJS (CLI application) as well as Visual Studio Code which is GUI application in this case. The command that we need to run will be
scoop install <application name> and that’s all, you will have that application installed on your windows machine. Please note that I will be using Windows Powershell version 3 to run Scoop. If you are using Git Bash, I believe it will work as well.
First, let’s search for PHP by running the
scoop search php command. Upon running this command, you will see the result is outputted on the command line. Sometimes there will be multiple versions and you can choose either the latest one or the one that you preferred for your application/use case.
Once you have found it, run the installation command and wait for it to download and install. So, in this case, let’s run the following command and get it installed! Do note that you can run the following command to install each of the application separately.
scoop install php nodejs vscode
All of these applications will be stored inside the scoop directory relative to the home directory on Windows. For the visual studio, it will appear on the start menu under the scoop directory.
By default, Scoop will come with the default
main bucket and in this bucket, it will contain many of the application that you can straight away install. For different versions of the application, you can run
scoop bucket add versions and this will automatically add the software versions that you can install. Do check this Scoop Wiki Buckets to learn more about buckets. *Just imagine bucket as the sources that will provide the program*.
I consider this as the other advantage that it provides, switching PHP / NodeJs versions with one line of command is awesome. e.g. you can run
scoop reset php72 to switch to PHP version PHP 7.2 when you are on PHP 7.1.
With this, you will be able to switch between versions easily as well as have a custom configuration that can be reused between versions. e.g. php.ini.
In conclusion, using scoop is very handy and can speed up the installation process of an application on the windows platform. Although there is still a lot of application that’s missing within the repository, with given time it will eventually be there.
Make sure to check out their Github Repository, give it a star and if possible Support the project. Other than that, you might want to check out Chocolatey, I personally haven’t used it much but I think it can be considered as an alternative.
Worth Reading 🎺