Scoop is an open source package installer for Windows

Jan 4, 2021
Updated • Jan 12, 2021
Software, Windows software

Using package installers is an efficient way to download programs without having to visit each site manually, downloading the files, and running the installer. Chocolatey, Ninite and Pip are perhaps the most popular package managers, but there are others like Just-Install. Even Microsoft is working on a Windows Package Manager right now. We'll be taking a look at a similar app called Scoop today.

how to install Scoop

First, we'll need to install the tool.

How to install Scoop on your computer

Open a PowerShell window and paste the following command in it

Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope CurrentUser

This is required to install Scoop from the terminal.

Invoke-Expression (New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('')

The command downloads and installs a Python script (install.PS1) from the official GitHub repository. Scoop will be installed to your User folder C:\Users\USERNAME\scoop, e.g. C:\Users\Ashwin\scoop.

Applications that are downloaded/installed by the utility are placed in the C:\ProgramData\scoop directory. By default, Scoop downloads portable versions of programs. That being said, the default list isn't for the average user, I'll explain more about this in a bit.

Scoop getting started

How to use Scoop

Type the word Scoop in a terminal window, and you'll see the list of commands that are supported by the program. To use one of the commands, type the word Scoop followed by the command's name like so,

Scoop checkup

If you're confused by a command, you can view its help section by typing Scoop help command name, e.g. Scoop help list.

How to install programs using Scoop

Before installing programs, we need to know the list of applications are available for download. To do that, type the following command:

Scoop search

Scoop search

The tool will fetch the names and version numbers of all supported programs in its main list. Scoop's lists are called buckets, and it really does have a bucket load of applications. The default one is the main bucket, which consists of command-line applications. This is the reason why I said not everyone may find the list useful. But don't worry, you can add more buckets by using the command: Scoop bucket add BUCKETNAME. Visit this GitHub page to view a list of available buckets.

Let's add one that has the most popular programs. Type this in a Powershell window,

scoop bucket add extras

The extras bucket will be installed, you can verify this by typing Scoop bucket list.

Scoop add a bucket

Now it is time to use Scoop to download and install a program. Say for example, you wanted to install Audacious, all you have to do is type Scoop install Audacious.

Scoop install a program

The command-line utility will download Audacious and install it silently. Easy isn't it? This will save you a lot of time if you want to install many programs. Speaking of which, head over to this page to view the list of programs that are available in the extras bucket.

Scoop Extras bucket

Don't want to go through the list? You can find applications using the search command, e.g. Scoop search Firefox

Scoop search

Can I use Scoop to update programs? Yes, to update applications you will need to run Scoop install git. This command forces the tool to fetch the bucket lists and save it as a local manifest on your computer, this list is used for comparing the version that is available on your computer. To uninstall a program, use the following command Scoop uninstall PROGRAMNAME.

Scoop uninstall a program

Scoop uninstall Audacious

Note: To remove a bucket, you need to use the rm command. E.g. scoop bucket rm extras

Scoop is an open source project.

Closing Words

Scoop is a good alternative to established projects; it is easy to use once you understand the concept of buckets, and the available selection of programs is quite good as well.

Now You: do you use a package installer on Windows?


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  1. luckz said on January 14, 2021 at 3:56 am

    The cool kids use the scoop fork shovel:

  2. Norio said on January 13, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    Thank you for the software suggestion! There are a LOT of apps in the extras bucket–when I followed your link, there was a message that said “Sorry, we had to truncate this directory to 1,000 files. 201 entries were omitted from the list.”

    I hadn’t thought about the security aspects brought up in the comments, but that makes sense. Having no control over that aspect is a scary thing. It’s too bad Scoop doesn’t compare signatures of the files to make sure they haven’t been modified.

    1. luckz said on January 14, 2021 at 3:56 am

      > It’s too bad Scoop doesn’t compare signatures of the files to make sure they haven’t been modified.

      That’s exactly what it does though, if the downloaded archive does not match the expected hash in the .json file scoop won’t let you install it. You do of course have to trust the scoop maintainers not maliciously adding a bad apple hash and such.

      1. Norio said on January 14, 2021 at 11:50 pm

        Thanks for the correction!

  3. Steve said on January 5, 2021 at 8:15 am

    This is a no-no. I hope I’m wrong but time will tell if will be a sure way for you got.hacked.shh

    This kind of stuff is for developers’ playground not for a production enviroment.

  4. ULBoom said on January 4, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    In Linux, CLI package installers are common but you’d never (or shouldn’t) search for packages and install them without knowing what they are, what they do, whether you need them, checking for conflicts, dependencies, what else?

    Linux distros haven’t been developed for consumer use the way Windows has, so CLI stuff is often encountered; some Linux purists still won’t touch a GUI unless absolutely necessary.

    I’d be surprised if anyone but Windows admins and a few users ever use a command prompt or powershell; it’s a graphical OS, has been for what 35 years? Kind of the whole point of Windows; get rid of DOS to make navigating an OS easier.

    Yeah, these package utilities are interesting and give a taste of Linux CLI package installers, of which there are many types, but still drive a search to determine what each does.

  5. Anonymous said on January 4, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    The main command I see is:
    Scoop download program from potentially hacked site and install it without VirusTotal check.

    1. luckz said on January 14, 2021 at 3:55 am

      That’s why the hash is checked for each download, and the file is rejected if it does not match the hash. You do of course have to trust the scoop maintainers not maliciously adding a bad apple hash and such.

  6. Jason Jones said on January 4, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    Chocolatey seems to work similarly and updating software through Chocolatey is a lot more simple.

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