August 16, 2007

GetIt – Easily Install Applications

Posted in Application Launchers, Beginner, Intermediate at 2:52 am by gloriouscomputing

If you’ve used Linux before, you probably know how good they have it when it comes to installing applications.

App-Get comes to mind. Linux people sure have it easy.
If they want to install Gimp, as with the example given by the above article, they simply run:

apt-get install gimp

Done! Wow, amazing.
They didn’t have to click “Next” fifty times, toggle a Radio Button list to “Agree” to terms they didn’t read anyway, or anything!

Don’t you wish it was that easy on Windows? Well, wish no more. A few development teams are currently fighting for the title of best Application Getter.
While it’s been a friendly competition (as far as I’ve seen), nobody has come up with a perfect solution yet.

The issue is the repositories. This is a fancy word for the database of applications, their version, where to get their installers, and how to install them as silently as possible.
Since all Application Getter have their own non-interchangeable repositories, you basically need to install every Application Getter to get the largest, and most up to date repository of applications to install.

Doing all this work manually can be annoying.
When I type “install Firefox”, I don’t care which Application Getter has “Firefox” in its repository. I just want to install “Firefox”!

Without further ado, I present to you: GetIt – A simple way to interface with multiple Application Getters. I coded GetIt myself, and I use it myself too.

When you first run it, it scans your computer for known Application Getters, and takes note where they are.
It then updates all Application Getters’ own repositories, and imports them into it’s own database/folder structure.

You can then easily install applications via your favorite interface:

  • Visually install Applications from a master list formed by combining all installed Application Getter’s repositories. Just select the Application from the list, and click Install. The proper App-Getter is called upon to do its job, using its repository.
  • Install Applications via command line: getit.exe install Firefox
  • Install Applications from a folder that lists all possible applications: just double click! Make a shortcut on your desktop to it, if you wish.
  • Type “install” and then be presented with an incremental search of possible applications, using FARRv2!


If you wished it was as easy to Install applications in FARRv2 as it is to Uninstall them, now it is! Of course, as is listed above, you don’t have to use FARR at all to enjoy GetIt.

It’s simple to do a global update of all repositories (of all installed App-Getters) as well.

Currently, GetIt works with Win-Get (because of its huge, yet somewhat neglected, repository) and AppSnap (because of its revolutionary “always-hunt-down-and-install-the-newest-Application-version repository).

The next step is for GetIt to make it easy to choose additional repositories to inject into programs like AppSnap (which have framework in place to allow for such a thing), so that anyone can easy host/subscribe to an additional repository.

As I said, the biggest limiting factor right now are the repositories. If we had the sort of great user-dedication towards updating these repositories that some Linux communities enjoy, installing applications will be a snap. šŸ˜‰

For now, enjoy GetIt. Once I finish the Repository Manager component (and the AppSnap developer fixes his program to work via the commandline again), I’ll be calling on all of you to help index your favorite Applications. I’ll be doing my part. ^_^



  1. […] Install Applications […]

  2. Ganesh said,

    Thanks for recognizing AppSnap’s approach as far as the Windows package manager problem space is concerned. I’m currently working on release 1.3.1 which fixes the command line issue that’s blocking you. More details are in the changelog here:- 1.3.1 Changelog]]

    Unifying all such package databases with GetIt is a good idea, it allows the multiple approaches to co-exist and enhance each other providing a better end-user experience which is what finally matters.

    Do let me know if you require any enhancements in AppSnap to better communicate with GetIt.

    Good luck.

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