Microsoft launches preview of Linux-style Windows Package Manager

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Microsoft may be hosting its Build Developer Conference virtually this year, but that doesn’t mean anything less than normal is being revealed. Among the announcements and launches is the first look at Windows Package Manager.

The open source tool was created to make installing software easier, automating and speeding up the process. If you’ve used a package manager in a Linux distro, the idea is very similar, and Microsoft recognizes that this is something Windows developers have been asking for for some time.

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By using Windows Package Manager, it is possible to find and install software from online repositories. You can use it to retrieve individual packages as needed, or create a script to download multiple packages at the same time.

Introducing Windows Package Manager v0.1.41331 Preview, Microsoft Says:

This is the initial preview release of Windows Package Manager. Windows Package Manager is a complete package management solution that consists of a command line tool and a set of services for installing apps on Windows 10.

Developers use the fin command line tool for discovering and installing an organized set of applications. After its installation, developers can access fin through Windows Terminal, PowerShell, or Command Prompt.

The following commands can be used with fin:

  • to install Install the given application
  • spectacle Displays information about an application
  • The source Manage application sources
  • to look for Find and view basic application information
  • chop Help with hashing installation files
  • to validate Validates a manifest file
  • –to help Provides command line help
  • –Info Provides additional data, useful for troubleshooting
  • –version Provide client version

If you want to try the Windows Package Manager preview, you can grab it from the GitHub repository. The tool is also available for Windows Insiders, and there is a Windows Package Manager Insider program that you can also sign up for. Documentation is available here.


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