Package Manifest Overview

Rather than using scripts AppGet uses YAML files to define application packages. The manifest file provides all information required to install a package by AppGet. We believe this is dramatically more secure and much easier to maintain that the alternatives.

All available packages are hosted in our official GitHub Repository. You can review and propose changes to any of the manifests using a pull-request.

For example, vlc.yaml

id: vlc
name: VLC media player
version: 3.0.3
license: GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1+
installMethod: NSIS
- location:
  sha256: 65bf42b15a05b13197e4dd6cdf181e39f30d47feb2cb6cc929db21cd634cd36f
- location:
  sha256: 59940804b6a89f0c83b576247dd90f2c5a22b8c7f040ebf82813c59968828035
  architecture: x64

Root Fields

id (Required) The unique ID of the package. See Package ID

name (Required) Full marketing name of the application See Package Name

version Version of the application

home Fully qualified product homepage URL where users can see vendor provided information about the application

repo Fully qualified URL that points to the software repository hosting the source of the application; usually on GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, SourceForge, etc.

license Software license under which the application has been released and distributed

installMethod (Required) The install method used by the package. Supported values are:


installers list contains all installers available for the application. Each manifest must have at least one installer. But can have more to support multiple CPU architectures or different versions of Windows.

Installer Fields

location Fully qualified URI that points to the installer. Currently only HTTP and HTTPS protocols are supported but support for more protocols are planned.

architecture CPU architecture supported by this installer. Supported values are: x86, x64. If architecture isn't specified x86 will be assumed

sha256 Used to validate the integrity and correctness of the downloaded file

minWindowsVersion Minimum version of Windows required for the application to install/work correctly.

Table below describes the list of supported values for minWindowsVersion

Manifest Value Desktop Server
6.0 Windows Vista Windows Server 2008
6.1 Windows 7 Windows Server 2008 R2
6.2 Windows 8 Windows Server 2012
6.3 Windows 8.1 Windows Server 2012 R2
10.0 Windows 10 Windows Server 2016

Package ID

The “Package ID” is the primary identifier for an application in AppGet. It’s also the value users will use to install or interact with the package.

Keep in Mind

Package ID is not meant EVER to change, take extra care to pick an appropriate package name that follows the convention and rules below.

Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to create an ID for a new package

  • Only allowed to contain letters, numbers and dash. Things like + should be spelled out, for example notepad-plus-plus
  • Only lowercase letters are allowed
  • Vendor name is usually omitted, unless application name is too generic. For example use adobe-reader instead of reader
  • Don't include the version of the App in the ID unless the version is part of the Product Name. This exception usually comes in the form of year, for example office-2017 visual-studio-community-2017
  • Keep the edition of the app in the ID if more than one edition is available, e.g. docker-community-edition
  • Keep the release channel of the app in the ID except for the main channel. example, chrome should install the regular version of chrome while chrome-canary should install the Canary release channel. Same rule and apply to LTS releases as well, for example node and node-lts
  • Inevitably, there are a small number of exceptions not covered by the rules. Don’t hesitate to contact the community if you need any clarification.

Package Name

Relax :)

Package name is not nearly as important as the Package ID since it's only used for display purposes and can be updated without breaking anything.

  • Start with the English marketing name of the Application, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, Dropbox. The easiest way to find this name is too look up the application in Wikipedia; the Article title is usually the name we are looking for.
  • Remove the version numbers
  • Don't include hardware designations such as “for x86”, “32-bit”
  • Pay attention to details, for example: Git Hub vs GitHub vs github

Tags and Versions

Even though tags and versions might seem similar they serve very different purposes. You can think of Tags and Versions in the same way you think of ID and Name

Version is mostly used for display purposes. It lets the user know which version of the application will be installed by the manifest. In the future, it will also be used to allow you to upgrade already existing packages. On the other hand Tags are used to install a specific version of an application when available.


AppGet uses tags similar to the way that docker repository uses tags using the package-id:tag syntax. When interacting with packages omitting the tag assumes the default latest tag. for example appget install node and appget install node:latest have the same effect.

Tags aren't meant to be used for release channels (LTS, nightly, beta, preview etc.). Release channels should be appended to the ID of the package (See Package ID) and are considered separate packages. For example chrome and chrome-canary are considered two different packages. However different release channels can have their own underlying version tags, for example node-lts:8.11 and node:10.1

Tags should only be used when being able to install and stay on a specific major release is both common AND desirable.

When should a tag be used:

  • If newer versions of an application introduce major breaking change or drop of major functionality
  • If for mission critical reasons staying on a specific version of an application is common. This is commonly used for development platforms e.g. Node, Python etc.
  • For licensing purposes, For example, if newer versions of an app require a new/upgraded license/key
Last Updated: 2/18/2019, 10:26:17 PM