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Google Gears Portable now available on addons.mozilla.org

tvierling - August 4, 2009 - 3:05pm

I went to some pretty careful lengths to put this together so as to fall under USC 17 fair use exemptions, but I believe this is legal to do, so here you go!


This version of Gears installs and works in Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition, as well as any non-Administrator account in a normal Firefox installation. This is because it installs into the user profile, NOT system-wide.

It's in "Experimental" status because it's brand new. Please, if you have an addons.mozilla.org account, log in before installing and add review comments. It can only be promoted to public status after it gets positive reviews.

The packaging for this is dead-simple, really: I have one sandbox WinXP system where the GoogleUpdate task is running, updating system-installed Gears binaries. When a nightly script detects a change, it e-mails a notification to me. Then all I have to do is ZIP the Gears Firefox folder, and upload it as an XPI file -- done!

No files in Google's official Gears distribution are altered, but the XPI includes only the files needed to work under Firefox; it completely (and deliberately) omits the IE binaries and the GoogleUpdate.exe app.

If this can get promoted to Public status on AMO, then updated versions will be detected by Firefox's built-in addon update mechanism automatically, no GoogleUpdate required. This is how the extension really should be for Firefox users (and is, for every platform EXCEPT Windows).

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It may be portable, but it

It may be portable, but it cannot be downloaded onto a Linux box. I'll have to come back after I start a Virtual Machine.

Downloading via non-Windows OS

Gears for Linux already installs as an XPI from http://gears.google.com/ ...but I'm presuming you are trying to copy it to disk for use on a Windows system, or for use under Wine/CrossOver? Yes, it's a little lame that AMO doesn't easily allow you to download an extension for a different target platform.

The current version is downloadable to disk by going to the following link. Enable the "Let me install..." checkbox if required, then *right*-click on "Accept and Install" and "Save Link As..."



It even seems to store the Gears data in my portable profile. This is fantastic. Thank you.


google now just calls it Gears. Maybe you could rename the app to Gears...

take a look at this:



I don't know why its not turning into a link

It's still called Google

It's still called Google Gears in the Firefox Add-ons manager (as part of the RDF description that goes with the binaries), so I'm following that naming. If and when that changes from "Google Gears" to just "Gears", I'll follow suit.