Create Your Own Custom Package Templates

As of choco 0.9.9.9, you can create your own custom package templates when the built-in template is not enough.

Overview

A template is used for creating packages. Chocolatey (choco) has a built-in template that it uses when generating a new package from the command choco new.

Where Do Templates Go?

If you drop a template into $env:ChocolateyInstall\templates folder, you can use -t name_of_template to generate a choco template based on that. So for:

image

You would call choco new pkgname -t organization and choco will use the template folder instead of the built-in template.

Can I replace the built-in template?

To replace the built-in template, you should put a folder in the template with the name of "default". Then choco will use that instead of the built-in template with no need to specify a template name.

What values can I template?

You can get the names by running choco new -h:

Possible properties to pass:
    packageversion
    maintainername
    maintainerrepo
    installertype
    url
    url64
    silentargs

However PackageName and PackageNameLower also show up as they are based on the name of the package that you pass e.g. "bob" in choco new bob

Then you surround those templated values with [[]] to make them templated for choco to use.

NOTE: You can set and pass arbitrary values through as well. This is shown in the example with CustomValue.

Example

This is a template for embedding an MSI into a package. This removes almost everything that is unnecessary for embedding software into packages. And because the autoUninstaller handles MSIs without an issue, we don't need a chocolateyUninstall.ps1.

A file with the extension .nuspec:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<package xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/packaging/2015/06/nuspec.xsd">
  <metadata>
    <id>[[PackageNameLower]]</id>
    <title>[[PackageName]] (Install)</title>
    <version>[[PackageVersion]]</version>
    <authors>Original authors</authors>
    <owners>[[MaintainerName]]</owners>
    <description>__REPLACE__MarkDown_Okay [[AutomaticPackageNotesNuspec]]
    </description>
    <tags>[[PackageNameLower]] admin</tags>
    <!--<dependencies>
      <dependency id="" version="__VERSION__" />
      <dependency id="" />
    </dependencies>-->
  </metadata>
  <files>
    <file src="tools\**" target="tools" />
  </files>
</package>

tools\chocolateyInstall.ps1:

# Custom value: [[CustomValue]]
$ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop'; # stop on all errors

[[AutomaticPackageNotesInstaller]]
$packageName  = '[[PackageName]]'
$toolsDir     = "$(Split-Path -parent $MyInvocation.MyCommand.Definition)"
$fileLocation = Join-Path $toolsDir 'NAME_OF_EMBEDDED_INSTALLER_FILE'

$packageArgs = @{
  packageName   = $packageName
  file          = $fileLocation
  fileType      = '[[InstallerType]]' #only one of these: exe, msi, msu

  #MSI
  silentArgs    = "/qn /norestart /l*v `"$env:TEMP\chocolatey\$($packageName)\$($packageName).MsiInstall.log`""
  validExitCodes= @(0, 3010, 1641)
  #OTHERS
  #silentArgs   ='[[SilentArgs]]' # /s /S /q /Q /quiet /silent /SILENT /VERYSILENT -s - try any of these to get the silent installer
  #validExitCodes= @(0) #please insert other valid exit codes here
}

Install-ChocolateyInstallPackage @packageArgs

Once installed, call this with choco new test -t mytemplatename CustomValue=Yes

Manage as Templates as Packages

If you have Chocolatey v0.9.10+, then you can manage templates as packages themselves, allowing you to upgrade a template when a new version is available. When it comes to packaging templates, Chocolatey takes a conventional approach. You must create a package with the suffix ".template" and have a templates folder.

To manage a template as a package, create a new package with the name "templatename.template". The name of the package minus the ".template" will be the name of the template.

Then create a templates folder. This is where the template goes. the only thing to remember is that the nuspec file created here must end in ".template" as a Chocolatey package allows only one nuspec file.

Here's an example: https://chocolatey.org/packages/zip.template. The source is at https://github.com/ferventcoder/chocolatey-packages/tree/master/manual/zip.template

Yes, it is really that easy. Enjoy!

Extending Templates

Walmart has a really good post on extending package templates. You can read that at https://chocolatey.org/blog/extending-chocolatey-packaging-at-walmart

Are There Planned Enhancements?