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Windows Package Manager (winget) Preview v0.2.2521 is out

winget, the Windows Package Manager app for Windows 10, has received an update in the Preview channel, and now allows installing apps from Microsoft Store. Other important changes are feature toggle and PowerShell tab autocomplete.

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winget is a package manager that allows bulk installing apps and dev tools required for building a developer environment in a new or existing Windows installation, in a minimal amount of time. The idea behind this winget tool is to save developer's time. Instead of clicking buttons in setup wizards for each of the app and package required for building a project, the developer can create a script that does all the job.

Starting in version 0.2.2521, which is a preview as of now, the tool has got the following improvements and new features.

Feature Toggle

If you would like to try out experimental features, use winget settings to open your default JSON editor. Microsoft recommends VSCode, their own product, to be used as the default text editor. From there you can enable or disable features. There is an example configuration below with two experimental features for testing purposes (experimantalCMD, and experimentalArg) as well as the “experimentalMSStore” feature.

Winget Configuraton Experimental Feature Settings
Experimental Feature Settings

Once you’ve enabled the experimentalCMD and the experimentalArg, execute winget experimental --arg to see an example. There is a little “Easter Egg” in the “flag”.

PowerShell autocomplete

Head on over to the instructions and configure your PowerShell profile. After that, press Tab in PowerShell after you type winget <some letter>. You will see argument suggentsions. For most arguments, it also show supported options.

PowerShell Autocomplete

For example, type winget[space][tab][space]pow[tab][space]-v[space][tab][tab][tab] to install Power Toys.

Microsoft Store

This version includes the ability to install Apps from the Microsoft Store. Microsoft has added a curated list of about 300 Apps to a new source. These apps are all free and rated E for everyone. Once you enable the experimental feature, it will add the source for the store manifests automatically. The search will span multiple sources to show results. Below, you will see results for winget search nightingale.

Winget Search Nightingale

Next you will see the installation from the command winget install "Nightingale REST Client".

Winget Install Nightingale

Finally, there is an announcement of new features that are coming to winget

What’s Next

List

One of the critical features of a package manager is the ability to see what’s been installed. Microsoft's goal is to include Apps that may have been installed outside of the package manager and are available in the Control Panel or via Add/Remove Software. By keep tracking of what is installed winget will be able to help the user keep apps upgraded to the current version.

Upgrade

Microsoft is about to implement something like  winget upgrade powershell or winget upgrade and have all your apps upgraded. The company is also going to give you the option to pin a package to a specific version, so it doesn’t get changed on you.

Uninstall

A command like winget uninstall "some app" can be really useful to remove apps quickly with winget. Microsoft is looking to add support for apps installed outside of the package manager, so you could remove them too.

Import / Export

Options like winget export packages.json and winget import packages.json can be helpful when you need to transfer packages installed on one PC to a another one. With a single command you can get the same software set between multiple devices.

Get the Windows Package Manager

If you are a Windows Insider or part of our Package Manager Insider program, you should already have the latest version. Launch the store and check for updates if you’re an insider and you don’t have it. If you prefer to just download the client, head on over to GitHub releases page and take it for a spin. You can also join the Windows Package Manager Insider Program if you’d like automatic updates from the store, and you want to run on the released version of Windows 10.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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