Ninite Alternative



  • I am looking for a 3rd party free installer and updater for my onsite technicians. I know some of them like Ninite but as the free version isn’t for Enterprise use, it’s not a good fit for client sites. What do you like to use?



  • Take a look at Chocolatey. I've used it some and it is pretty cool. It is free and open source under the Apache license.

    Chocolatey brings apt-get style package management to Windows. For those of us coming from a Linux background it is always surprising that Windows lacks these features.

    Chocolatey is command line driven but you can install a GUI.



  • With Chocolatey you simply use a command like:

    cinst 7zip

    And it downloads the latest version and installs for you. Very easy.



  • Once your packages are installed just do a "cup" command and it updates all packages managed through it.

    As you can imagine. Pretty easy to script and automate.



  • I was looking at Chocolatey for a while, but never had the time or energy to implement it.



  • It's so weird to see you two have these types of conversations :p

    I'll take a look at Chocolatey too - will it push out to all network computers like Ninite?

    Ninite was going to be something I was going to push for - at $300/year for 100 devices I consider it a steal at $0.25/computer/month.

    I thought they had a technician's or MSP license too?



  • I saw something that it had a GUI, but I never could get that part to work. Most of the packages I've installed using it work great, uninstall great. It's a pretty simple yet elegant package manager. If I could only better manage Adobe products and Java 7 with it.....



  • To install literally just run this command:

    @powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%systemdrive%\chocolatey\bin



  • I like Chocolatey a lot because it really does a lot to move Windows into a management mode much closer to what has been developed on Linux.



  • You can, of course, use tools like psexec to use Chocolatey remotely. We have also had good luck with it via Meraki System Manager which can be used to run it in bulk from a web interface.



  • I've heard real good things about this application, from the discussion here, it may be worth a closer look.



  • I wonder if there is a Mac equivalent? I feel like I knowing one but can't think of what it was.

    We need to get Pertino into Chocolatey. That would be so handy.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    I wonder if there is a Mac equivalent? I feel like I knowing one but can't think of what it was.

    Looks like a few Mac apps are available. Check it.



  • I guess I need to learn scripting if I want to deploy packages using Cholatey.



  • @Dominica said:

    I was looking at Chocolatey for a while, but never had the time or energy to implement it.

    You don't have the time or energy to run one PowerShell command? 😛

    I ❤ Chocolatey!!! Anyone know a way to deploy it via PDQ Deploy?



  • @Aaron-Studer Oh duh. I'm thinking of something else. I was going to set up an update server, now I can't even remember what it's called! SMH Mommy brain.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I guess I need to learn scripting if I want to deploy packages using Cholatey.

    Not really, there is only a handful of commands.



  • Ninite is unbelievably simple. so $300 a year for 100 devices (WHY do I have to have 110?) I'm not sure it's worth dealing with any scripting.

    That being said if I can't get management to give me the $300/yr I would want to use Chocolately at the full network level - it seems that it's more geared toward the end user use. So scripts will be needed to PSExec Chocolately on the machines and get reports.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I guess I need to learn scripting if I want to deploy packages using Cholatey.

    cinst javaruntime

    Doesn't require any scripting. Doesn't get any simpler 🙂

    Update a whole system: cup all



  • @Dashrender said:

    Ninite is unbelievably simple. so $300 a year for 100 devices (WHY do I have to have 110?) I'm not sure it's worth dealing with any scripting.

    One line is hardly scripting. Even updating every machine in the org can be done with a single command (a for loop).

    It really doesn't get simpler.



  • @Dashrender said:

    That being said if I can't get management to give me the $300/yr I would want to use Chocolately at the full network level - it seems that it's more geared toward the end user use. So scripts will be needed to PSExec Chocolately on the machines and get reports.

    Actually the opposite. It is geared towards enterprise UNIX admins and away from end users. It is effectively a Windows version of how the entire rest of the industry has handled software for decades and lacking it has been one of the key "mocking points" about how archaic and cumbersome Windows is.

    Ninite with a GUI on the clients is end user focused. Chocolatey moves back to the command line so that you can install with interrupting the user, without a heavyweight network connection, etc.



  • I'm a complete scripting NOOB... so a little help in what is needed would be cool.





  • @Dashrender said:

    I'm a complete scripting NOOB... so a little help in what is needed would be cool.

    What do you want to accomplish? I provided install and update examples above.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    I'm a complete scripting NOOB... so a little help in what is needed would be cool.

    What do you want to accomplish? I provided install and update examples above.

    for a single workstation, what do you do with that for the entire network?



  • @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    I'm a complete scripting NOOB... so a little help in what is needed would be cool.

    What do you want to accomplish? I provided install and update examples above.

    for a single workstation, what do you do with that for the entire network?

    The most likely thing that you would do is put in a scheduled job for updates so that each machine updates itself weekly or so. That's the super easy way. Takes no special skills.



  • A really simple script approach would be like this:

    for %i in (desktop1 desktop2 desktop3) do PsExec.exe \%i cup all

    That one line is all that you need. Just fill in the list of machines that you want to update in the paranthesis and you are good to go. You can make it more advanced by filling in that portion from a text file or whatever. But the basics are very simple. It's not really scripting, just a single statement that does everything. This command is the "cup all" which is the universal update command. All packages would be updated on every system.



  • Similarly if you wanted to install the Java Runtime (JRE) on every machine you would do this command:

    for %i in (desktop1 desktop2 desktop3) do PsExec.exe \%i cinst javaruntime



  • I presume you have to provide credentials assuming your user is not a local admin.?

    Ive never used psexecute before.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I presume you have to provide credentials assuming your user is not a local admin.?

    Ive never used psexecute before.

    psexec is awesome. If you are on a domain it, just works.