Microsoft’s Windows Package Manager is a command line tool that lets you install, update, and remove applications on PCs running Windows 10 or Windows 11. First introduced a few years ago, the optional Windows utility works a lot like the package managers that have been available for most GNU/Linux distributions for decades.

And now the Windows version is even more like its Linux cousins, because Microsoft has added support for aliases that allow you to use some of the commands you may already be used to.

The new aliases are built into Windows Package Manager version 1.4, and you can see them by typing winget <command> –help. But here’s a cheat sheet:

  • “add” is an alias for “install”
  • “view” is an alias for “show”
  • “find” is an alias for “search”
  • “ls” is an alias for “list”
  • “update” is an alias for “upgrade”
  • “remove” and “rm” are aliases for “uninstall
  • “config” is an alias for “settings”

That means, for example, you could install Thunderbird by opening Windows Terminal or another command prompt and typing either winget install thunderbird or winget add thunderbird.

Somewhat ironically for a command line app, the easiest way to upgrade from earlier versions of Windows Package Manager (or install it from scratch if it’s not already on your PC) is to visit the Microsoft Store and install the company’s free App Installer, which also lets you sideload Universal Windows Platform apps. But you can also find the latest release (as well as release notes) at Microsoft’s GitHub page for the Windows Package Manager CLI (also known as winget).

In addition to support for aliases, version 1.4 adds support for extracting and installing apps that are compressed in a .zip archive, more information about available sources when you use the “show” (or “view”) command, and a –wait option that keeps a terminal window open after a command runs in case you want to see the output and then press enter before the screen disappears.

You can find more information about Windows Package Manager 1.4 in a Microsoft blog post and the GitHub release notes.

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10 replies on “Windows Package Manager now supports aliases (so you can use Linux commands)”

  1. I appreciate the granular control available with Winget. I also enjoy being able to view current and available version in a single scree.

    1. I wish you happiness in your desire to watch people poo. Please let it be consentual.

      1. Please download my Windows to find out.
        I take my Windows with me into the bathroom and Windows gets to hear me poo, if you don’t cover your camera we at Microsft will know it is 100% consensual when you clicked terms of agreement. We can then enjoy drinking it too.

  2. Windows is for Steam and TurboTax. Package manager is not needed as I only run those 2 programs on Windoze.

    1. Well, good for you, but also, there exists another couple of billion people besides you. They might not be as important to you as yourself, but you are also not as important to most of them. They all have their preferences and use cases. By the way I use Arch (/s).

      1. So that couple of billion people are going to use a text based package manager when they already have a GUI version?

        1. Windows is not only a home OS but also an enterprise system. And yes, I imagine tens of thousands of sysadmins will use CLI tools to make deploying machines easier in mass and make their life easier so that they can have time getting into an argument on the internet with self centered people who can’t imagine any other use than what they specifically do.

          1. I wish the tens of thousands of Windows sysadmins happiness as they use the new aliasing feature to gain new efficiency in their chosen career. My use of the term Windoze was not to talk down to Windows users… it just represents my opinion of that product… after all, I too am a self professed user.

  3. I have been using Linux for over 10 years and would never chance using Linux working in a Microsoft system because they are a bunch of crooks at Microsoft and use your PC to spy on you !…

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