This is a listing of all of the different things you can pass to choco.
- apikey - retrieves, saves or deletes an API key for a particular source
- cache - Manage the local HTTP caches used to store queries (v2.1.0+)
- config - Retrieve and configure config file settings
- convert - converts packages from one type to another type
- download - downloads packages - optionally internalizing all remote resources
- export - exports list of currently installed packages
- feature - view and configure choco features
- features - view and configure choco features (alias for feature)
- find - searches remote packages (alias for search)
- help - displays top level help information for choco
- info - retrieves package information. Shorthand for choco search pkgname --exact --verbose
- optimize - optimizes installation, reducing space usage
- install - installs packages using configured sources
- list - lists local packages
- new - creates template files for creating a new Chocolatey package
- outdated - retrieves information about packages that are outdated. Similar to upgrade all --noop
- pack - packages nuspec, scripts, and other Chocolatey package resources into a nupkg file
- pin - suppress upgrades for a package
- push - pushes a compiled nupkg to a source
- search - searches remote packages
- setapikey - retrieves, saves or deletes an API key for a particular source (alias for apikey)
- source - view and configure default sources
- sources - view and configure default sources (alias for source)
- support - provides support information
- sync - synchronizes against system installed software - generates missing packages
- synchronize - synchronizes against system installed software - generates missing packages
- template - get information about installed templates
- templates - get information about installed templates (alias for template)
- uninstall - uninstalls a package
- unpackself - re-installs Chocolatey base files
- upgrade - upgrades packages from various sources
Please run chocolatey with
choco command -help for specific help on
How To Pass Options / Switches
You can pass options and switches in the following ways:
- Unless stated otherwise, an option/switch should only be passed one time. Otherwise you may find weird/non-supported behavior.
--(one character switches should not use
- Option Bundling / Bundled Options: One character switches can be
-y(confirm yes) can be bundled as
- NOTE: If
verboseare bundled with local options (not the global ones above), some logging may not show up until after the local options are parsed.
- Use Equals: You can also include or not include an equals sign
=between options and values.
- Quote Values: When you need to quote an entire argument, such as
when using spaces, please use a combination of double quotes and
"'value'"). In cmd.exe you can just use double quotes (
"value") but in powershell.exe you should use backticks (
`"value`") or apostrophes (
'value'). Using the combination allows for both shells to work without issue, except for when the next section applies.
- Pass quotes in arguments: When you need to pass quoted values to
to something like a native installer, you are in for a world of fun. In
cmd.exe you must pass it like this:
-ia "/yo=""Spaces spaces""". In PowerShell.exe, you must pass it like this:
-ia '/yo=""Spaces spaces""'. No other combination will work. In PowerShell.exe if you are on version v3+, you can try
-iato just pass the args through as is, which means it should not require any special workarounds.
- Periods in PowerShell: If you need to pass a period as part of a value or a path, PowerShell doesn't always handle it well. Please quote those values using "Quote Values" section above.
- Options and switches apply to all items passed, so if you are
installing multiple packages, and you use
--version=1.0.0, choco is going to look for and try to install version 1.0.0 of every package passed. So please split out multiple package calls when wanting to pass specific options.
Scripting / Integration - Best Practices / Style Guide
When writing scripts, such as PowerShell scripts passing options and switches, there are some best practices to follow to ensure that you don't run into issues later. This also applies to integrations that are calling Chocolatey and parsing output. Chocolatey uses PowerShell, but it is an exe, so it cannot return PowerShell objects.
Following these practices ensures both readability of your scripts AND compatibility across different versions and editions of Chocolatey. Following this guide will ensure your experience is not frustrating based on choco not receiving things you think you are passing to it.
- For consistency, always use
- Always have the command as the first argument to
choco install, where
installis the command.
- If there is a subcommand, ensure that is the second argument. e.g.
choco source list, where
sourceis the command and
listis the subcommand.
- Typically the subject comes next. If installing packages, the
subject would be the package names, e.g.
choco install pkg1 pkg2.
- Never use 'nupkg' or point directly to a nupkg file UNLESS using
'choco push'. Use the source folder instead, e.g.
choco install <package id> --source="'c:\folder\with\package'"instead of
choco install DoNotDoThis.1.0.nupkgor
choco install DoNotDoThis --source="'c:\folder\with\package\DoNotDoThis.1.0.nupkg'".
- Switches and parameters are called simply options. Options come
after the subject. e.g.
choco install pkg1 --debug --verbose.
- Never use the force option (
-f) in scripts (or really otherwise as a default mode of use). Force is an override on Chocolatey behavior. If you are wondering why Chocolatey isn't doing something like the documentation says it should, it's likely because you are using force. Stop.
- Always use full option name. If the short option is
-n, and the full option is
--name. The only acceptable short option for use in scripts is
-y. Find option names in help docs online or through
choco [Command Name] -?.
- For scripts that are running automated, always use
-y. Do note that even with
-ypassed, some things / state issues detected will temporarily stop for input - the key here is temporarily. They will continue without requiring any action after the temporary timeout (typically 30 seconds).
- Full option names are prepended with two dashes, e.g.
--debug --verbose --ignore-proxy.
- When setting a value to an option, always put an equals (
=) between the name and the setting, e.g.
- When setting a value to an option, always surround the value
properly with double quotes bookending apostrophes, e.g.
- If you are building PowerShell scripts, you can most likely just
simply use apostrophes surrounding option values, e.g.
- Prefer upgrade to install in scripts. You can't
installto a newer version of something, but you can
choco upgradewhich will do both upgrade or install (unless switched off explicitly).
- If you are sharing the script with others, pass
--sourceto be explicit about where the package is coming from. Use full link and not source name ('https://community.chocolatey.org/api/v2' versus 'chocolatey').
- If parsing output, you might want to use
-rto get output in a more machine parseable format. NOTE: Not all commands handle return of information in an easily digestible output.
- Use exit codes to determine status. Chocolatey exits with 0 when
everything worked appropriately and other exits codes like 1 when
things error. There are package specific exit codes that are
recommended to be used and reboot indicating exit codes as well. To
check exit code when using PowerShell, immediately call
$exitCode = $LASTEXITCODEto get the value choco exited with.
Here's an example following bad practices (line breaks added for readability):
choco install pkg1 -y -params '/Option:Value /Option2:value with spaces' --c4b-option 'Yaass' --option-that-is-new 'dude upgrade'
Now here is that example written with best practices (again line breaks added for readability - there are not line continuations for choco):
choco upgrade pkg1 -y --source="'https://community.chocolatey.org/api/v2'" --package-parameters="'/Option:Value /Option2:value with spaces'" --c4b-option="'Yaass'" --option-that-is-new="'dude upgrade'"
Note the differences between the two:
- Which is more self-documenting?
- Which will allow for the newest version of something installed or upgraded to (which allows for more environmental consistency on packages and versions)?
- Which may throw an error on a badly passed option?
- Which will throw errors on unknown option values? See explanation below.
Chocolatey ignores options it doesn't understand, but it can only
ignore option values if they are tied to the option with an
equals sign ('='). Note those last two options in the examples above?
If you roll off of a commercial edition or someone with older version
attempts to run the badly crafted script
--c4b-option 'Yaass' --option-that-is-new 'dude upgrade', they are likely to see errors on
'Yaass' and 'dude upgrade' because they are not explicitly tied to the
option they are written after. Now compare that to the other script.
Choco will ignore
--option-that-is-new="'dude upgrade'" as a whole when it doesn't
register the options. This means that your script doesn't error.
Following these scripting best practices will ensure your scripts work everywhere they are used and with newer versions of Chocolatey.
See Help Menu In Action
Default Options and Switches
Options and switches apply to all items passed, so if you are running a command like install that allows installing multiple packages, and you use
--version=1.0.0, it is going to look for and try to install version 1.0.0 of every package passed. So please split out multiple package calls when wanting to pass specific options.
-?, --help, -h Prints out the help menu. --online Online - Open help for specified command in default browser application. This option only works when used in combintation with the -?/--help/-h option. Available in 2.0.0+ -d, --debug Debug - Show debug messaging. -v, --verbose Verbose - Show verbose messaging. Very verbose messaging, avoid using under normal circumstances. --trace Trace - Show trace messaging. Very, very verbose trace messaging. Avoid except when needing super low-level .NET Framework debugging. --nocolor, --no-color No Color - Do not show colorization in logging output. This overrides the feature 'logWithoutColor', set to 'False'. --acceptlicense, --accept-license AcceptLicense - Accept license dialogs automatically. Reserved for future use. -y, --yes, --confirm Confirm all prompts - Chooses affirmative answer instead of prompting. Implies --accept-license -f, --force Force - force the behavior. Do not use force during normal operation - it subverts some of the smart behavior for commands. --noop, --whatif, --what-if NoOp / WhatIf - Don't actually do anything. -r, --limitoutput, --limit-output LimitOutput - Limit the output to essential information --timeout, --execution-timeout=VALUE CommandExecutionTimeout (in seconds) - The time to allow a command to finish before timing out. Overrides the default execution timeout in the configuration of 2700 seconds. Supply '0' to disable the timeout. -c, --cache, --cachelocation, --cache-location=VALUE CacheLocation - Location for download cache, defaults to %TEMP% or value in chocolatey.config file. --allowunofficial, --allow-unofficial, --allowunofficialbuild, --allow-unofficial-build AllowUnofficialBuild - When not using the official build you must set this flag for choco to continue. --failstderr, --failonstderr, --fail-on-stderr, --fail-on-standard-error, --fail-on-error-output FailOnStandardError - Fail on standard error output (stderr), typically received when running external commands during install providers. This overrides the feature failOnStandardError. --use-system-powershell UseSystemPowerShell - Execute PowerShell using an external process instead of the built-in PowerShell host. Should only be used when internal host is failing. --no-progress Do Not Show Progress - Do not show download progress percentages. --proxy=VALUE Proxy Location - Explicit proxy location. Overrides the default proxy location of ''. --proxy-user=VALUE Proxy User Name - Explicit proxy user (optional). Requires explicit proxy (`--proxy` or config setting). Overrides the default proxy user of ''. --proxy-password=VALUE Proxy Password - Explicit proxy password (optional) to be used with username. Requires explicit proxy (`--proxy` or config setting) and user name. Overrides the default proxy password (encrypted in settings if set). --proxy-bypass-list=VALUE ProxyBypassList - Comma separated list of regex locations to bypass on proxy. Requires explicit proxy (`--proxy` or config setting). Overrides the default proxy bypass list of ''. --proxy-bypass-on-local Proxy Bypass On Local - Bypass proxy for local connections. Requires explicit proxy (`--proxy` or config setting). Overrides the default proxy bypass on local setting of 'True'. --log-file=VALUE Log File to output to in addition to regular loggers. --skipcompatibilitychecks, --skip-compatibility-checks SkipCompatibilityChecks - Prevent warnings being shown before and after command execution when a runtime compatibility problem is found between the version of Chocolatey and the Chocolatey Licensed Extension. Available in 1.1.0+ --ignore-http-cache IgnoreHttpCache - Ignore any HTTP caches that have previously been created when querying sources, and create new caches. Available in 2.1.0+
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