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Portable Visual C# Express

asmith3006 - June 23, 2006 - 8:53am
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What are the chances of this working as a portable app?
I'm working on a project in C# at Uni but they don't have compatible software on campus so this would be really helpful.

Any thought?



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Chances: slim to none.

Visual Studio requires the .NET Framework to be installed locally before it'll run, which already rules out portability.

-  [aim: fatcerberus]
I have no witty remarks or quotes to share at the moment.

Most computers have .Net

Most computers have .Net installed these days don't they?
I didn't think it attacked the registry because it uses .Net so it'd be quite simple to do?

no, there are many PCs

no, there are many PCs without .NET
Remember a portable thumb/drive can be connected to many computers, mostly those at school and work does not have .NET until it's really needed

Embrace your dreams


A Microsoft app that doesn't use the registry? Ha! That was good for a laugh, anyway. Laughing out loud

Ahem. Visual Studio 2005 does, in fact, use the registry to store all its settings. Just because most of the program is written in .NET doesn't mean it doesn't utilize the registry. In actuality, there are a ridiculous amount of registry keys related to Visual Studio 2005 in there if you look for them, some under HKEY_CURRENT_USER, some under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

Portability for this isn't going to easy to pull of, if it's even possible. And even if you do somehow pull it off, you're going to run into issues wrapping its registry keys, since writing to anything under HKLM requires administrative rights, something not typically granted to you on public computers.

-  [aim: fatcerberus]
I have no witty remarks or quotes to share at the moment.


A better idea would be to use SharpDevelop as it's open-source. We'll have to do some research in order to find out how to make it portable though (with the excpetion of .NET being installed).

In other news, .NET 3.0 will be shipped with Windows Vista so .NET is definately going to be an option for portable applications in the near future.

Rob Loach [Website] [Projects] [Blog]

.NET 3.0?

Somehow I doubt MS will have another version of Visual Studio ready when Vista ships. .NET releases always seem to coincide with new versions of Studio.

Anyway... .NET may be an option for portability in the future, albeit not a very good one. You'd be tying yourself to Vista. That's akin to tying your application to XP today.

-  [aim: fatcerberus]
I have no witty remarks or quotes to share at the moment.

I know this isn't the case

I know this isn't the case for everyone, but I don't remember the last time I used a computer that doesn't have XP on it to be honest.. they do at school, home and uni and work.

I've spotted one major flaw with my request (ignoring the registry and .net for a moment), it seems Visual C# express requires 500MB to install for some reason. Don't think I want to load 500MB of my memory stick each time!

Ah well. Didn't think it would be possible but worth a shot.

Thanks for feedback.

That's why....

That's why you look to open-source software, like SharpDevelop.

I have an interesting system working for .NET programming where I use PSPad to edit files, .NET Prebuild to generate project files and NAnt to perform builds.

The 24MB .NET 1.1 installer has worked on every computer I've tried it at (XP and 2000) without having to restart the machine. I have it on my USB key.

Rob Loach [Website] [Projects] [Blog]


You still need administrative privileges to install .NET, something you don't normally get on public computers. The standard assemblies have to be registered in the Global Assembly Cache, which, I believe, requires write access to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

-  [aim: fatcerberus]
I have no witty remarks or quotes to share at the moment.


Do you need administrative priviledges to install Mono?

Rob Loach [Website] [Projects] [Blog]


I'd check, but the site won't load. Know of any mirrors?

Edit: Nevermind. It's working now, though it's still pretty slow. Their server must be overloaded.

Update: I just tried installing Mono on a limited account under Windows XP. The first time I tried, it was unable to create the directory in Program Files (I'm guessing Limiteds are denied write access to that folder). Trying again, I changed the directory to C:\mono and it seemed to work, until the very end. I received a bunch of errors (which I ignored) that the installation was unable to create keys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

After all this, I tried running some of the sample apps. All of them threw System.IO.FileNotFoundException with error info "could not load file or assembly."

Update 2: Just installed Mono on an admin account. Installation went off without a hitch, but I got the same results trying to run the sample apps: they all threw exceptions and quit.

-  [aim: fatcerberus]
I have no witty remarks or quotes to share at the moment.


I hate exceptions.
Is Mono open-source?
Cause then we could check how it handles the exceptions, if at all.
R McCue
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