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[Outdated] Google Chrome Portable "OK Let's Try This One More Time" Edition

The MAZZTer's picture
(Homepage) - December 28, 2008 - 12:10am
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[Edit: This thread is old, please check for a newer one.]

Seriously. Smiling

OK I rearranged and rewrote lots of John's/my code in the launcher which was based off of another launcher I made and abandoned, which was based off of an unholy blending of the Firefox and 7-zip launchers. Ew! But it's all nice looking now, but lots of stuff was rearranged and moved and deleted and inserted. Because of this bugs may exist, I did my best to test the use cases I was trying to fix as well as the general use cases and expected problems my main bulk of code tried to solve.

Still I recommend keeping a backup of your profile until you've run my launcher for a bit using it as you would normally to make sure it doesn't mess anything up. Let me know if you have any problems.

Download is here:

Changes in this version (
- Updated hardcoded download locations in installer (if anyone has a better idea, especially an auto-updating static link, let me know).
- Fixed appinfo.ini version info getting out of sync, need to remember to update that. >_>
- Launcher now checks for GoogleChromePortable instead of Chrome running so local Chrome running won't affect how the launcher works.
- Compiling the launcher now requires this plugin.
- INI file reading is now more forgiving of missing entries (it will fall back to defaults for every missing entry).
- RunLocally is now OFF by default for privacy concerns, as passwords and other sensitive information could be recoverable on the local computer you run Google Chrome Portable on if RunLocally is on. Use this GoogleChomePortable.ini in the same directory as GoogleChromePortable.exe to turn it on if you want a performance boost from running the profile off of a faster local hard drive:


- When RunLocally is true, the launcher will attempt to prevent you from running it when Google Chrome Portable is copying your profile back to your portable drive in the background, which may take some time depending on the speed of your device.
- Bunch of other bug fixes relating to stuff being broken.

Known issues:
- Google Chrome Portable and local Chrome cannot run simultaneously unless they are both the same exact version. This cannot be fixed with the current way Google Chrome's update system works.

On a side note, today is my birthday, but I am giving a present to all of you. Laughing out loud Happy birthday to me, enjoy my new and improved launcher!

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Siggys waste bandwidth... that's why I have one.

Very nice, MAZZTer

The new version works flawlessly for me so far. Good job on the launcher refactoring too. It's much cleaner and far more readable now. Smiling

I still have yet to test it with RunLocally turned ON, however. I suppose I'll test that now.

One small issue, however... If the launcher is renamed without recompiling it, the existing-instance checks break.

Edit: All right, RunLocally works correctly in my tests. That leave just a single request: When copying back the profile, you can exclude the Safe Browsing files. I've done some testing and the phishing filter still works correctly even if these are deleted. Must just be a cache of some sort.

As Google describes it (some

As Google describes it (some webcast I watched once), the Safe Browsing files contain the first 32-bits of hashes of bad urls. If a match is found, the full hash is sent to Google's servers to verify it's not a false positive. Google returns the URLs that hash to a hash starting with those 32-bits. This method nicely ensures the user's privacy IMO while still keeping the hash list small.

Not sure what happens if the safe browsing filter is gone, I imagine it forces Chrome to redownload it, maybe protection isn't available while this is happening in the background... anyways. Still it is a good 50mb, but if it's redownloaded every time it's deleted...

I may tweak RunLocally so the Safe Browsing files (and perhaps the rest too) are only copied back if they have changed. I'll have to see if NSIS has something for that, if not, I'll have to find a plugin or code a quick and dirty console app in C++ to do it.

I actually know a good tool... Microsoft's robocopy, a "robust copy" tool that lives up to it's name (only it's a bit dumb when you ask it to move files on the same drive, it physically reads and writes instead of just updating the directory pointers) but it's only included with Vista. For XP it's an optional add-on you have to download.

I won't fix the little glitch with the launcher name. Seems a bit too much work (even just two API calls) to fix a problem no one will likely experience. Unless you can give me a good reason someone might change the filename. Eye-wink

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I wouldn't worry about it, honestly. If that's how the Safe Browsing files actually work, I won't object to them being preserved. And I admit I hadn't taken into account the fact that Chrome re-downloads the whole thing (over a period of time, obviously) when you delete it. So deleting it on shutdown could cause the user to use a huge amount of bandwidth without realizing it...

It's flawless.

Okay, well I've been using this launcher for almost a week now, and I can honestly say I've had no issues with it. It works flawlessly, even when running local Chrome at the same time, both with RunLocally on and off. Chrome itself even crashed on me once, with no negative repercussions whatsoever.

Thank you, MAZZTer!

thanks a lot...

... i love it, and its so light weight. Its much faster than Portable Firefox when browsing but downloads are EXTREMELY (emphasis on extremely) slow. Anyway, love your work, what date are you hoping for (if youre even considering it) for to make it an official app? Is it ready for that?

Would have to wait for John

Would have to wait for John to complete his work to open up the platform to freeware apps. Also would need to negotiate with Google for permissions to use trademarks etc. I think Ryan was trying something along these lines or at least thinking about it.

EDIT: Happy Belated Birthday Laughing out loud Advocate

Slow downloads?

I'm using this on a flash drive, and downloads are just fine for me. Your drive must be slow... I remember I had this problem with BitTorrent downloads on my 16GB Cruzer Micro. But since I switched to a JD FireFly, I haven't had an issue.

what a coincidence

i use a 8GB Cruzer Micro. Just got it last wk. The ones that marked high speed were 2 expensive and my parents wont buy them for me

My drive too is slow... so

My drive too is slow... so you're not alone. Smiling

Google Chrome does seems to run satisfactorily from it without RunLocally though! (I confess I do not actually get the chance to use my thumb drive much since I graduated college, most of my testing has been from my local-and-fast hard drive!)

For file downloads you can try downloading them to the local desktop for speed, then moving them to the portable drive afterwards. Smiling Just make sure you have Google Chrome set to ask for the download location every time (no Chrome settings are portable-ized... might be something I could look into I guess).

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all my chrome setting are optimized for portable use

I was thinking more of the

I was thinking more of the default download folder. You can't type in your own path, so you're forced to have an absolute path with a drive letter... not portable.

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Firefox stores the download location as an absolute path too, but John's launcher for it is able to adjust the drive letter to compensate. Any possibility you could implement that into your launcher?

High Speed

Watch out with "High Speed"--usually it justs means the drive is specified for High Speed USB, a.k.a. USB 2.0. Which says nothing about the actual speed of the drive.

Thanks for the

Thanks for the recommendation, but IMO the best "official" release would be a custom Chromium build tuned for portability, and maybe with a theme, too. Smiling It would also allow for it to be packaged with a more light-weight launcher and a simpler installer (instead of the current "download-and-optimize" installer).

I suppose it's a project I could consider tackling in the future, but last I tried Chromium doesn't compile in VS C++ 2008 Express... which is sorta a prerequisite for me to consider making any changes to it. Smiling And besides John Haller might still do it some day and save me the trouble. Eye-wink

I was thinking of making an "official" release on my blog and finally putting a link to it in my downloads section. Smiling But that's not quite the same.

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Flash (or other Plugins)

So I've gone 'round and 'round searching the web and I still cannot get flash plug-in to stay working on Chrome Portable.... I love the app.. flawless (in my experience) and fast (USB stick)... could I get a step by step "install"... just for my reference sake... thanks and again great work.

The actual online Flash

The actual online Flash installer probably won't work since it's a generic, downloadable installer and it will install Flash for local browser only. So here's what you do, we have to do it manually. Smiling

First you need to make sure you've got Flash installed locally... the non-IE version (cause it's different from the IE version). If you can view flash stuff in Firefox or Chrome you're good to go.

Now here's what you do:

1) Go to Start > Run and type %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Macromed\Flash

Hit OK and you should get a window with the Flash files.

2) Open another explorer window to your GoogleChromePortable folder. Go to App\Chrome. Make a directory called Plugins (you should have a numbered directory, maybe a Dictionaries directory, chrome.exe, maybe one or two other files, and the new Plugins directory). Go into thie directory.

3) Copy the following files from the Flash window into the Plugins window: NPSWF32.dll, NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe, flashplayer.xpt. Make sure you COPY and don't move or else you'll break Flash on the local system.

That should do it. IIRC that's what I did for Firefox Portable.

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I think you only need NPSWF32.dll. That's all I copied and it works fine. flashplayer.xpt is for Mozilla browsers (XPCOM bindings I think), and FlashUtil has to do with Flash auto-update (which would probably just try to install the update locally, if it worked at all)...

Well AFAIK those are the

Well AFAIK those are the files that the Flash installer installs, so I just include 'em. Not like they're huge files anyway.

I recognized the XPT as a Mozilla filetype but I didn't really know what it was for. I figured better safe than sorry! Smiling TFTI on what the pieces are for.

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Good news

My local Chrome just updated itself, and now I can run a local copy and the portable one simultaneously without issue. If the versions don't match, it appears Chrome just starts an instance of the already-running copy... however, the new instance uses the local profile, so still much better than the old behavior (not starting at all).

This is great...but...

This is really great. I'm happy to see it but using it on my PC at work has the same problem I had with running Chrome installed. It had problems with the network's anti-virus setup. To run successfully I have to run Chrome with the following: "C:\Documents and Settings\Keith_B.PTD\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --no-sandbox

It was adding the "--no-sandbox" that allowed it to work. Is there anyplace that this can be added for the portable version?

Thanks and Great Work!

K L Bollwahn

Parameters passed to

Parameters passed to GoogleChromePortable.exe will also be passed to chrome.exe

Unfortunately there is no way to add parameters to the PortableApps Menu... I may add an INI setting in a future release or something to work around this. However most other launchers have that functionality.

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Just as an aside, this switch is also required on Windows x64, interestingly enough... whatever Chrome's sandboxing model is, security-minded software doesn't like it (Windows x64 is more secure than the 32-bit versions). Which is ironic, because security is the whole purpose of the sandboxing in the first place!

Ah. The INI file already has


The INI file already has a setting... AdditionalParameters

Also the latest dev release of Chrome adds support for Windows 7 x64... if that is what you were having a problem with, try it again.

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I would, but I already put Win7 x86 on my laptop, and I no longer have the x64 ISO. I might go full 64-bit when Win7 is released, but for now I'm sticking with 32-bit.

Java plugin is not installed for portable chrome 3.0.197


I installed portable chrome 3.0.197. Java is already installed in my system. But when I surf a webpage with java applet, Chrome ask to install the plugin. I download it, but during installation it says it is already installed. So, Chrome does not update the plugin list or whatever.

Conclusion: java plugin is not working. Any suggestion?

EDIT: I finally solved it: a broken Java installation on my new laptop ;( Sorry for disturbing.

Can I suggest you link to the

Can I suggest you link to the newer thread in your original post and just use the one. It's fairly easy to get mixed up between them.

Thanks Advocate