300+ free and legal portable apps (over 9GB), up-to-date, & new apps regularly (Jul 28, 2014: Transmission-qt).
Get the fast, new 64GB PortableApps.com Companion, encrypted PortableApps.com Carbide, or carry your KeyZ.
PA.c Platform 12.0 Beta 3.2 (May 20, 2014) | PortableApps.com needs your help: Please donate today.

Portable VirtualBox to portablize any and every app you want?

dividschmivid - February 22, 2012 - 1:59pm

so this is my first post. i've been all over this portable app scene for years. i have close to 2000 programs in portable format open source and otherwise. while i don't use them all, they are just waiting to be used when the time or task is right. i generally have anywhere from 5-700 programs installed on my system that have a high potential use rate. wish i could upload a dir2html list of them for brainstorming purposes. and the funny thing is i find out every day that there are new and useful programs being released all over the web. portableapps.com has a great collection, but they dont even come close to sites like winpenpack or portablefreeware.com. however, we all know the advantage of the portableapps platform as it is an integrated package with java. so, i'll blog the rest of this rant and get to the point.

i've found that with a simple install of portable virtualbox from...

http://www.win-lite.de/wbb/board208-specials/board59-user-area/board49-u...

...you can install any os you please and if an app you like to use messes with your registry a little more than you'd like you can just piggyback it onto the virtual machine(vm) of your choice. personally i have a 10gig vm with xp sp3 installed that houses nokia suite, itunes, google sketchup and google earth among others. apps like synfig and mixx might work nicely on a vm.

now the only problem with a vm on virtualbox i've found is usb support and that can be a problem for many. however unless you are doing capture through a usb device, you are virtually free to do just about anything on your vm...even copy the vm to a linux box or any machine that can use virtualbox. that means using all the traditional routes to portable apping should be compatible.

another problem is of course space and resource requirements. i personally have never run into space problems as i make it a point to have copious amount of terabytes to work with so understood if you can't go this route because you only have a 1 gig stick or pda mini-sd to work with. also the luxury of not having dual-core 2+ghz processors and a gig or more of ram to allocate to your vm makes things touchy. however, i have run an xp vm on a puppy linux install on an atom board with zero speed issues.

now on my x200 i can run 3 xp virtual machines over top of a physical install of xp with portable thunderbird firefox skype libre office free commander and other piddly things all at the same time with no speed issues (except when i have like 20 tabs open in firefox:-)...). now that's pushing the ram capabilities of xp, but with 8 gigs of mem on a win7 64 bit machine, you could do some serious damage.

anyhoo, just a solution for you power savvy folks out there who just can't fit the square into the circle. any problems with this solution? any cool and intersting ways to take this method to new heights? love to hear what you think. i never was one for trolling...


( categories: )

one major issue is that

one major issue is that virtualbox makes use of drivers and that requires administrative privlidges to install drivers and remove them when virtualbox is done using them and not only that 32bit drivers iirc will not run on a 64bit operating system thus making this idea impracticle and most likely almost impossible to run if you don't make the system requirements and if you don't have administrative privlidges.

And on top of that portablefreeware.com and other sites do not really use the same standard to make apps truely portable like we do, We have a tried and true method to make most applications portable and we do regular testing to make sure that they are portable by our definition and standard.

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

any alternatives?

Is there any alternatives to VirtualBox which are portable or could be portable?

Alternavies to VirtualBox: http://alternativeto.net/software/virtualbox/ Laughing out loud

yes but useless

in theory, someone may try to design something like that, but what for? such system will not be able to communicate with the host system, possibly not even properly sharing the display resources, so what it should be used for?

There are solutions to start some small linux distros in limited capability with quemu, but also this needs a special universal driver installed to be able to do anything people will expect it to do.
( http://portableapps.com/node/21307 )

And even pubuntu, the colinux based distro, needs 4 special drivers to be able to share windows resources.

It is the lack of any practical use for it , so no one does develop anything like that.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

Portable Virtualbox requires

Portable Virtualbox requires installing drivers which are temporarily installed then removed after exiting the software. In this respect, it requires administrator privileges to run.

There is an application called Ceedo that lets you install most software directly into a portable sandboxed environment: http://www.ceedo.com/. You can install applications together, meaning you can install plugins and your favorite web browser in one package without having to copy dll files! I also love the GUI! Unfortunately, it is not free, is slow, not compatible with drivers, and runs in the same account. Ceedo desktop looks really incredible but it is still on version 1.00 and I have not tried it yet: http://www.ceedo.com/products/ceedo-desktop.html. It replicates a whole desktop and runs applications with administrator privileges!

There is also http://www.cameyo.com/. It can package portable applications similarily to Thinstall, and the newest version (2) has an awesome GUI and can install apps directly into a virtual sandboxed environment(like Ceedo)! It is also free.

There is also StrataApps: http://www.appsense.com/labs/strataapps. It is similar to Ceedo, but much better. It is faster than Ceedo, and is completely free! I like the GUI, but not quite as much as Ceedo and Cameyo. You can install apps directly and have administrator privileges!

Can you compare them to Sandboxie?

Which, like Ceedo, isn't free (although it has no time limit).