Scoop or Chocolatey? Which Windows 10 package manager should you use?

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In recent weeks, we have published general guidelines for two of the most prominent third-party package managers for Windows 10: Scoop and Chocolatey.

At this point, you might wonder why you should choose one over the other. In essence, both have similar feature sets and, ultimately, allow you to automate software installations on Windows PCs. That said, Scoop and Chocolatey have different implementation models that make each one better adapt to particular specialties.

 7zip installation with Scoop

Read on while we compare the two, so you can evaluate which one is best for you. If you are new to package managers, we recommend you read our previous articles first to see how these tools work in practice.

As a quick reminder, Scoop and Chocolatey allow you to install Windows programs from the command line, using a single command. They avoid the need to manually visit the download sites and click on the graphic installers. Package managers also simplify the search and download of updates, so you can be sure that you are running the latest versions of your applications.

Comparing Chocolatey and Scoop

At first glance, Chocolatey and Scoop are two similar tools. Go deeper and you will find several small but collectively significant differences. Of these, the most important to highlight are its different objectives.

Chocolatey describes himself as "software management automation" for Windows. It is able to automatically install more than 20 types of Windows packages without manual intervention. By default, it is configured with support for about 7,000 popular programs, including desktop favorites such as Google Chrome and VLC Media Player.

 Screenshot of the use of Chocolatey Package Manager

Scoop also installs Windows software with a single command. However, it has a slightly narrower and more focused objective. First, it is a developer tool for installing system utilities, particularly those that are based on Linux systems, but not found by default in Windows.

According to its creator, Scoop "focuses on the open source command line developer tools". Scoop may install regular Windows desktop programs, such as Chrome and VLC, but usually you will need to manually add an additional repository before doing so.

 Scoop

Chocolatey's expanded default package selection means that it is likely to be the best option for a user who only wants a package manager. Without any additional configuration, you can install hundreds of popular programs. There is even a GUI available if you do not want to use the terminal.

However, Chocolatey's broader approach also brings additional complexity. Chocolatey is based on Windows PowerShell and its NuGet package management system, which is primarily aimed at resolving software library dependencies. Chocolately also usually requires administrator privileges to run, which means that UAC pop-ups will interrupt it.

In contrast, Scoop does not use NuGet and does not install programs worldwide. Instead, the applications have a scope in your user account and are installed in a special directory to prevent contamination of the route. Scoop even distances itself from being seen as a package manager, since it only "reads manifests that describe how to install a program and its dependencies."

So, which one is right for you?

As always with a comparison of two similar tools, it "depends".

If you want a quick and easy way to install familiar Windows programs, Chocolatey is probably for you. Its extensive community-driven package repository means that you will find that almost all popular Windows programs are available without additional configuration.

 Screenshot of the use of the Chocolatey package manager

However, if you want to cover programs to a user account, you do not have administrator access or are mainly looking for developer tools, Scoop probably It should be your preference. It is technically simpler, less impressive in the directory structure of your system and lighter than Chocolatey. Support for popular Windows desktop programs is easily added through the repository scoop-extras .

Naturally, both Chocolatey and Scoop also have many additional features, benefits and disadvantages that we have not discussed here. In particular, Chocolatey has a number of specialized capabilities aimed at companies, which make it more suitable for companies and system administrators. Meanwhile, Scoop's simplified "package" model means that it is quite trivial for application developers to add support: a single file in a Git repository will allow installation through Scoop.

Finally, the best option comes down to your individual priorities. For most Windows users, we suspect that Chocolatey offers the best balance between convenience and power, while Scoop offers a more optimized but developer-centric experience for those who are not happy with Chocolatey's limitations.

Additional reading: Windows 10

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