Install Software Quickly via the Command Line

1 minute read

Though you may not believe it from my stunningly youthful good looks, I grew up in the halcyon days of MS-DOS 5.0. One of my fondest memories is sitting in front of my Dad’s 80286 with a hulking CRT screen, and typing the commands to start Prince of Persia.

We’ve come a long way since then, but I’ll always be a command-line guy. It’s not (just) nostalgia either. If you really want to get things done more efficiently, the command line is king.

Example 1: Installing Software

We’ll be using Windows as an example here, since a) loads of people use it, b) I feel like a challenge. 1

<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The joys of downloading software</figcaption></figure>

I’ve almost given up installing software via a GUI 2. It just means a lot of time clicking, changing windows, and losing focus. Usually, if you want to install software on Windows, you have to:

  • Search for the software on Google 3
  • Go to the software website 4
  • Find and click a download link (and make sure it’s the right one!)
  • Find the file you downloaded
  • Open the installer
  • Click, click, click through to install

While each of these steps may not take too much time, they all require your attention and that time adds up.

Whereas, on the command line:

  • Open Powershell <a href=’’ title=’Hit Win+r, type powershell and hit enter.

And yes, the above screenshot is not really Powershell. I cheated since I’m on my Linux box right now'>5</a></span> * Type _[choco]( install name\_of\_software -y_ 6 * Hit enter Okay, so you’ll have to install chocolatey to start with, but after that no windows popping up, no clicking required. A lot of the software we use in Remix is in the Chocolatey database, so installing Virtualbox, Python, Git, Docker, and other stuff is just a few keystrokes away:

choco install virtualbox python git docker -y
Want to update all your software at once? Just run _choco upgrade all_. Want to do the same on a remote machine? No need to bother with all the colorful graphical overhead that guzzles bandwidth. Just pure, plain text all the way, baby. I’ll be talking more about the command line and why it’s the best in future posts. If you’re a command-line warrior yourself, drop a note in the comments with any helpful tips!