How To Create a Chocolatey Meta Package

How To Create a Chocolatey Meta Package

Meta packages are essentially “bundles” of Chocolatey packages, allowing you to, in a single package installation, provision many things onto a computer. Meta packages work by only defining dependencies inside their package metadata. There is no need for a tools directory, or any scripting. Chocolatey’s built-in dependency resolver does all the work for you! This is handy for things like setting up a developer computer where you may want to do something like choco install developertools -y and have that package actually install:

  • Visual Studio
  • Any necessary Visual Studio workloads
  • Git
  • BeyondCompare
  • VS Code
  • GitKraken
  • Cake

Meta packages are a really cool trick to keep up your sleeve, let’s go ahead and create one now!

Creating Your Meta Package

  1. Open the tutorials folder in VS Code.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+P or use the View menu and click on Command Palette.
  3. Type Chocolatey: and select Create new Chocolatey package from the list of available commands.
  4. Give your package a name, e.g. meta-package.
  5. Select Default Template when prompted.

Creating Your Package Metadata

Our meta package is a very simple example of one. We’ll install the putty.portable package with our meta package. While you can leverage the full power of Chocolatey dependency versioning, our simple example leaves off any version requirements ensuring the latest available version of the putty.portable package is installed.

Replace the contents of meta-package.nuspec with the following:

<package xmlns="">
    <title>meta-package (Install)</title>
    <authors>Chocolatey Software</authors>
    <tags>meta-package tutorial</tags>
    <summary>Tutorial for creating metapackages</summary>
    <description>Tutorial for creating metapackages</description>
      <dependency id="putty.portable" />

Compile Your Meta Package

The choco pack command is used to compile your Chocolatey package, creating a file with a .nupkg extension.

  1. In VS Code press Ctrl+Shift+P or use the View menu and click on Command Palette.
  2. Type Chocolatey: and click Chocolatey: Pack Chocolatey package(s).
  3. Select meta-package.nuspec from the list.
  4. In Additional Arguments enter --output-directory='C:\tutorials' and press Enter.

Install Your Meta Package

You can test your package, and see how it behaves with the following command in an elevated PowerShell command prompt:

choco install meta-package -y

Uninstall Your Script Meta Package

You’ll need to use special consideration when uninstalling a meta package. By default, all dependent packages installed as part of the package are removed from the system. You can remove the dependencies as well by adding --remove-dependencies to your uninstall command. Be warned, however, that adding this switch will apply to all dependencies, which may cause other packages to break.

You can test the uninstall behavior with the following, note we will pass --remove-dependencies, as in this case it is known that only the packages we installed will be removed, so it is safe to do so. Run the following command in an elevated PowerShell command prompt:

choco uninstall meta-package -y --remove-dependencies


At this point, you should have a working meta package! Congratulations! Hopefully you can apply this to other meta package ideas you may have!