How To Export Your Packages

How To Export Your Packages

You’ve probably seen a few posts on how to create new packages, and installing them. What if you wanted to export a list of your currently installed packages, so you can install them all onto a new machine?

In this post, we’ll walk you through doing that.

Exporting Packages With Chocolatey CLI

In a command prompt, run the following code:

# Change to your tutorials directory
Set-Location ~\tutorials

# Export your currently installed packages
choco export packages.config

You should now have an XML formatted file (also known as a manifest) available in your current working directory named packages.config.


You can call this file anything, as long as the extension is .config

If you open it up, you should be able to see a list of packages that matches your current installs.

It should look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  <package id="1PasswordCLI" />
  <package id="7zip" />
  <package id="7zip.install" />
  <package id="chocolatey" />
  <package id="chocolatey.extension" />
  <package id="chocolatey-compatibility.extension" />
  <package id="chocolatey-core.extension" />
  <!--... -->

Using this to provision a machine would result in the latest versions of every package being installed, though - what if you wanted to lock in specific versions of packages to install?

You can also pass the --include-version-numbers argument to choco export (e.g. choco export versionedpackages.config --include-version-numbers) - this will result in an export containing the current version of each package:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  <package id="1PasswordCLI" version="" />
  <package id="7zip" version="23.1.0" />
  <package id="7zip.install" version="23.1.0" />
  <package id="chocolatey" version="2.2.2" />
  <package id="chocolatey.extension" version="6.1.0" />
  <package id="chocolatey-compatibility.extension" version="1.0.0" />
  <package id="chocolatey-core.extension" version="1.4.0" />
  <!--... -->

You can then edit the result to remove any packages you didn’t intend to capture, or to add, remove, or update expected versions.

For more information on choco export, please see this page.

Installing Packages From a Manifest

choco install is often one of the first Chocolatey CLI commands people try out - you may know that it accepts one or more package IDs, but did you know that it can also accept an export file like those we just created?

To install everything in a packages.config file, open an elevated command prompt and run the following:

# Change to your tutorials directory
Set-Location ~\tutorials

# Or provide a full path to your packages.config file
choco install packages.config

This will then install every package in that manifest, from your configured sources.

For more information on choco install, please see this page.


You should now be able to export a list of packages, and install them on a new machine! Hopefully that will be helpful to you.