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...
...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...