Six years ago I started working furiously on this little side project about package management for Windows. It started to grow and over time it became clear that it was going to be something important. A community flourished and there was a tremendous uptake for this little tool.
Fast forward to present, starting soon I will be focused solely on Chocolatey as the Founder of Chocolatey Software, Inc*! It’s an exciting opportunity to really see where we can take this Windows software management thing!
I also could not have had the opportunity to move forward without the support of a tremendous community, who has contributed to Chocolatey’s success in many ways. Your support does not go unnoticed – we will continue to make open source improvements, along with ensuring that organizations can take Chocolatey to the next level with Chocolatey for Business.
It’s a bit bittersweet as I’ve had the opportunity work with a lot of fantastic folks at Puppet and do some really awesome things for furthering automation on Windows. In many ways Puppet has been an amazing place to work (I highly recommend it, they have the remote employee situation handled). However, an opportunity to follow my first love, Chocolatey, is a dream I won’t pass up.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to follow their dreams, so when you get a chance it can be both a thrilling and scary experience! Here’s to the future of Chocolatey and Windows automation!
* – For those keeping track – Chocolatey Software was formed in November 2016 as a spin off of RealDimensions Software, LLC
This is a very exciting time for Chocolatey! Over the past 5 years, there have been some amazing points in Chocolatey’s history. Now we are less than 10 days from another historical moment for Chocolatey – when licensed editions become available for purchase! This is the moment when we are able to offer features that enable businesses to better manage software through Chocolatey and offer non-free features to our community! This also marks when the community (and organizations) take the next step to ensure the longevity of Chocolatey for the next 10-20 years. I started this process with a dream and a Kickstarter and now it’s finally coming to fruition!
Here is a list of the licensed features that will be coming in May. I really think you are going to like what we’ve been cooking up:
- Malware protection / Virus scanning – Automatic protection from software flagged by multiple virus scanners – Read more…
- No more 404s – Alternate permanent download location for Professional customers. Read more…
- Integration with existing Antivirus – Great for businesses that don’t want to reach out to VirusTotal.
- (Business Only) Create packages from software files/installers – Do you keep all the applications you install for your business internally somewhere? Chocolatey can automatically create packages for all the software your organization uses in under 5 minutes! – Shown as a preview in a March webinar (fast forward to 36:45)
- Install Directory Switch – You no longer need to worry about the underlying directives to send to native installers to install software into special locations. You can simply pass one directory switch to Chocolatey and it will handle this for you.
- Support and prioritization of bugs and features for customers.
Sold! But How Do I Buy?
While we are still getting the front end systems setup and ensuring all of the backend systems are in place and working properly, we are limiting availability to the first 500 professional licenses and 20 businesses (Note: we do not expect any issues with our payment processor). Because we are limiting availability, you must register for the Go Live Event at https://chocolatey.eventbrite.com if you are interested.
It bears repeating, the links for purchase will only be sent to folks who have registered for the event, so secure your spot now!
A designer started a conversation with us in December 2014 and we’ve recently come to a decision point on Chocolatey – a new logo (and soon a new website)! A special thanks goes out to Julian Krispel-Samsel!
Microsoft announced the most amazing thing at //build/ yesterday, Bash on Windows 10. Not some sort of VM or container, but running native ELF binaries on Windows under an Ubuntu subsystem. Let me say that again slowly. Windows running native Linux binaries. Not recompiled. Go read http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/03/ubuntu-on-windows.html, I’ll wait.
Linux geeks can think of it sort of the inverse of “wine” — Ubuntu binaries running natively in Windows. Microsoft calls it their “Windows Subsystem for Linux” –Dustin Kirkland
In case you missed the announcement, head to https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2016/KEY01 and fast forward to 48:15.
Almost immediately folks started asking what this means for Chocolatey. It’s a great question. Here’s the low down. This is fantastic for Chocolatey! You now have a fantastic way to get Unix apps and utilities with dpkg/apt in addition to great Windows apps and software with choco. More developers are going to be using the terminal to do things. It means more users of both apt and choco. More productivity for Windows users and developers. Think about that for a second. On no other platform will you have this ability. It’s an exciting time to be in Windows!
What you can expect to see is more collaboration between choco and apt if they can communicate. Just like you can work with choco install -–source windowsfeatures (back in the latest 0.9.10 betas!), expect to see choco install rsync -–source apt. https://github.com/chocolatey/choco/issues/678
Coming up soon you are going to see what’s coming in the next version of Chocolatey and why it is going to amaze you as another big leap in package management for Windows!
Here’s a preview with PowerShell tab completion and updating path (environment variables) without needing to restart PowerShell (https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wiki/chocolatey/choco/images/gifs/choco_install.gif if the image doesn’t show):
Chocolatey turned 5 years old recently! I committed the first lines of Chocolatey code on March 22, 2011. At that time I never imagined that Chocolatey would grow into a flourishing community and a tool that is widely used by individuals and organizations to help automate the wild world of Windows software. It’s come a long way since I first showed off early versions of Chocolatey to some friends for feedback. Over the last 2 years things have really taken off!
The number of downloads has really increased year over year!
Note: While not a completely accurate representation of usage and popularity, the number of downloads gives a pretty good context. Going up by 7 million in 2014 and then by almost 30 million downloads in one year really shows a trend!
Note: The Chocolatey package has about 1,000 downloads per hour. I shut off the statistics for the install script back in October 2015 due to the extreme load on the site, so the number of Chocolatey package downloads is missing some of the statistics.
Let’s take a little stroll through some of the interesting parts of Chocolatey’s history. The history of Chocolatey really starts when I joined the Nubular (Nu) team in summer 2010.
- July 2010 – Nu (Package Management for .NET) is reintroduced and quickly takes off in popularity (I also wrote several posts about it).
- October 6, 2010 – NuGet is introduced. The Nu team had joined up with Microsoft in late August to work on NuPack (as it was called then).
- February 2011 – Joke with other folks on the NuGet team at MVP summit that if we ever introduced a machine package manager, we’d call it Chocolatey NuGet because it wouldn’t be vanilla NuGet packages.
- March 21, 2011 – First lines of Chocolatey are committed. The PowerShell version of Chocolatey represents the first public known use of PowerShell as an application and not just scripts and modules.
- March 23, 2011 – First release of Chocolatey is 0.6.0. I hope you were not using it that early. 😉
- March 28, 2011 – I started talking about Chocolatey on the NuGet list.
- March 29, 2011 – Svein Ackenhausen coins the term “cinst” that would be the main call for choco until 2013.
- April 1, 2011 – Chris Ortman writes the first public blog post about Chocolatey.
- April 26, 2011 – I put up a video showing Chocolatey installing 11 pieces of software. Pardon the music, it was swapped out from my original track.
- September 2011 – Community Repository (https://chocolatey.org) introduced.
- September 7, 2011 – Christiaan Baes writes a post about a side project that is known as ChocolateyGUI.
- October 07, 2011 – A year after NuGet was introduced, I blog about Chocolatey for the first time.
- December 22, 2011 – Anthony Mastrean introduces Pester (a PowerShell BDD testing framework) to Chocolatey.
- March 2012 – Chocolatey is featured in the Pro Nuget Book.
- April 1, 2012 – Matt Wrock commits the first lines of BoxStarter.
- April 23, 2012 – After bouncing ideas off of Keith Dahlby and Aaron Lerch, I figure out how to do mocking for PowerShell testing (which Matt Wrock later puts into Pester proper). I also determine a proper way to structure a PowerShell application (function per file).
- May 13, 2012 – Rich Siegel starts working on Puppet integration.
- September 2012 – Chocolatey is featured on Lifehacker.
- October 4, 2012 – Guilhem Lettron starts working on Chef integration.
- October 19, 2012 – After putting proper mocking support into Pester, Matt Wrock retrofits Chocolatey to use that.
- January 2013 – Automatic packaging is introduced.
- February 13, 2013 – Gary Ewan Park gives ChocolateyGUI a new home and takes over project maintenance.
- June 2013 – Community repo reaches 1,000 stable packages.
- October 2013 – Community repo surpasses 1 million downloads.
- December 13, 2013 – First lines of the C# Chocolatey rewrite are committed.
- February 6, 2014 – Richard Simpson joins Gary on ChocolateyGUI and commits the initial changes for the modern version and look.
- March 2014 – Microsoft validates the idea of Chocolatey.
- July 2014 – The Chocolatey package itself surpasses 1 million downloads.
- Sep 2014 – Introduced Chocolatey Newsletter.
- September 23, 2014 – I show the first C# version of Chocolatey at a conference where my first demo uses choco from non-Windows. There are a lot of murmurs in the crowd.
- Oct 2014 – Kickstarter for Chocolatey started.
- Oct 2014 – Community Feed Moderation turned on. Thomas Walter handles a lion’s share of moderation over 2015 so others can concentrate on the framework.
- November 2014 – Chocolatey version 0.9.8.27 is the first package version alone with more than 1 million downloads. A record that isn’t broken again until October 2015 when 0.9.9.8 has 5.6 million downloads!
- February 2015 – Community repository hits 10 million downloads.
- March 3, 2015 – First C# Chocolatey version is released.
- March 23, 2015 – dtgm modernizes the automatic package process to achieve high quality automatic packages with checksums.
- October 2015 – CloudFlare and caching are introduced to the community repository to reduce pressure.
- November 2015 – Memcached is introduced to the community repository for a single cache across load balancers.
- December 2015 – Indexing is reintroduced to the community repository.
- Q4 2015 – Introduced the validator, the verifier, and the cleaner to the community feed to assist in moderation.
- January 2016 – Moderation backlog is reduced to near zero and is now manageable thanks to the automation.
- February 1, 2016 – First Professional Licenses of Chocolatey are shipped to Kickstarters.
- March 21, 2016 – CloudFlare caching tweaks introduced on the community repository to handle the increased pressure that will come from tab completion for package names.
- March 23, 2016 – Virus scan results shown on the community repository for packages.
This doesn’t represent everything that has happened. I tried to list out and attribute everything I could find and remember. There have been so many amazing package maintainers over the years, there are too many of you to possibly list. You know who you are. You have made the community what it is today and have been instrumental in shaping enhancements in Chocolatey.
Looking to the Future
The community has been amazing in helping Chocolatey grow and showing that there is a need that it fills. Package maintainers have put in countless and sometimes thankless hours to ensure community growth and consumers have really found the framework useful! Thank you so much! The next version of Chocolatey is coming and it is going to be amazing. Here’s to the next 5 years, may we change the world of Windows forever!