Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you care about Scoop
If you identify with lots of the following statements, then Scoop has been designed with you in mind.
- You're a programmer/developer
- You want to set up a machine without having to visit a bunch of websites, download installers and then click through each one
- You're comfortable working on the command line, especially with tools like Git
- You're familiar with UNIX tools, and you wish there were more of them on Windows
- You read Hacker News and you feel like you're 'stuck' on Windows and missing out on lots of cool things
- You wish there was an easier way to tell other developers how to install programs (maybe your own programs)
- You use Homebrew/apt-get and think, "this is awesome".
What can Scoop do for me
- Lets you script your development/production environment setup (repeatable!)
- Installs tools so they 'just work', the way they work on other platforms (e.g. SSH)
- Lets you stay on the command line, where you can work fast
- Extends PowerShell so you can use programs that work really well with text, the universal interface.
- Lets you sharpen skills that transfer to Linux and macOS
Why should I use Scoop
- avoids GUIs whenever possible, keeps you on the command line
- installs to your home directory by default (thereby avoiding UAC popups, and other people messing up your setup)
- installs applications independently and in a self-contained way (which means less conflicts, easy to undo installs)
- doesn't pollute your path
- has a command interface similar to Git and similar tools
- makes it easy to discover commands that you don't know, or have forgotten
- makes it easy to tell people how to install your programs
- has a curated collection of apps, while at the same time...
- makes it easy to create your own apps and collections of apps
- values your time and attention
- reads the README for you
There are other, less objective reasons to give Scoop a try. Maybe you like Chocolatey but you don't like the name, or typing
cinst feels weird, or you're not a fan of messages about 'Chocolatey gods'.
- Installs to ~/scoop/ by default. You can set up your own programs and not worry that they'll interfere with other users' programs (or theirs with yours, perhaps more importantly). You can optionally choose to install programs system-wide if you have administrator rights.
- No UAC popups, doesn't require admin rights. Since programs are installed just for your user account, you won't be interrupted by UAC popups.
- Doesn't pollute your path. Where possible, Scoop puts your program shims in a single directory and just adds that to your path.
- Doesn't use NuGet. NuGet is a great solution to the problem of managing software library dependencies. Scoop avoids this problem altogether: each program you install is isolated and independent.
- Simpler than packaging. Scoop isn't a package manager, rather it reads plain JSON manifests that describe how to install a program and its dependencies.
- Simpler app repository. Scoop just uses Git for its app repository. You can create your own repo, or even just a single file that describes an app to install.
- Can't always install a specific version of a program. For some programs, scoop can install an older version of a program, via
scoop install app@version. For example,
scoop install email@example.com. This functionality only works if the old version is still available online. Some older versions have specific installers, such as Python 2.7 and Ruby 1.9, which are commonly required. These can be installed from the versions bucket via
scoop install python27and
scoop install ruby19.
- Focuses on developer tools. While it would be easy to install Skype with Scoop, this will probably never be in Scoop's main bucket (app repository). Scoop focuses on open-source, command-line developer tools.
How is Scoop different to Cygwin and MSYS
The most concise comparison I've come across for these 2 projects is an answer by Mike Zick in this thread.
Cygwin is an operating system wrapper The goal of Cygwin is to provide a Linux Programming API.
Msys is a command shell substitute The goal of Msys is to provide a POSIX scripting environment.
It's probably not a completely accurate or comprehensive comparison, but it is fairly easy to grasp.
So to parallel this for Scoop:
- Scoop is an installer
- The goal of Scoop is to let you use Unix-y programs in a normal Windows environment
Using Scoop lets you achieve similar things to Cygwin and MSYS, but without having to learn about and use a separate environment. You can just keep doing what you're already doing but easily access the cross-platform tools you need.
As it happens, a lot of the programs that Scoop installs either come directly from the MinGW/MSYS project, or were built using their tools. Scoop can only hope to achieve its goals because of 15 years of amazing work on MinGW/MSYS, which itself is based on Cygwin.
Why Scoop is very slow when installing, locks up the CPU or shows access denied errors
It's likely that your antivirus or anti-malware program is doing a realtime scan as files are being extracted. Please see Antivirus and Anti-Malware Problems for more information and possible workarounds.