Ending Windows 95/98/Me Support

John T. Haller's picture
Submitted by John T. Haller on April 27, 2010 - 3:08pm

PortableApps.com is formally announcing the end of Windows 95/98/Me support in the PortableApps.com Format, Installer, packaged apps and the PortableApps.com Platform. It's been a long time coming and has been discussed quite a bit internally and externally, so we'd like to officially announce the end of support as well as the reasons why.

Read on for more details...

Final Windows 9x Platform Release Is 1.6.1 This Week

Barring any bugfix releases, the final version of the PortableApps.com Platform/Suite that will support Windows 95/98/Me will be the 1.6.1 release this week. The upcoming release of the 2.0 Platform will run on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and future versions of Windows. The 1.6.1 release will still be available, as all our releases are available, via our SourceForge project.

Apps Ending Windows 9x Support

As most users know, nearly all of our major apps dropped support for Windows 9x quite some time ago. Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, Sunbird, GIMP, Pidgin, etc all have dropped Windows 95/98/Me support. For the handful of apps that do continue to support Windows 9x, the portable versions released by PortableApps.com will not function on these unsupported versions of Windows.

Switching to Unicode: Installer, Launchers, Platform

The main reason for this change is to enable full support of Unicode across our entire ecosystem. Unicode allows all languages to be displayed on any Windows PC, regardless of the PC's set language. This will enable a Japanese user to be able to use the platform and all their apps on an English version of Windows while traveling. It will also enable us to properly support Unicode languages like Georgian, Khmer, Pashto, Vietnamese and others that we can't currently support properly.

Legacy Suite Release Possible

If there is enough interest from users, we may release a "Legacy" version of the PortableApps.com Suite. This would include the final 1.6.1 version as well as the last working versions of our major apps for Windows 95/98/Me. While not recommended for normal use (as the apps are discontinued and unsupported, they may have security issues and other bugs), they may be of use to specific users in specific areas. If you are interested in such a release, please post a comment here and let us know why.

Moving On To 2.0

Once the 1.6.1 release is posted, we will begin to post the details on the 2.0 updates to the PortableApps.com Format and Installer and begin releasing apps in the new format (which is why app releases have been slowed the last two weeks). Soon after, we will be posting the first Unicode beta of the 2.0 Platform, making our next step into the future of PortableApps.com.

Story Topic:


I don't know if a legacy suite is really necessary, maybe just have a page with download links to all of the last working versions for Windows 95/98/Me. That way individual programs could be downloaded rather than one giant package.

but I would very much like to have at least the empty suite in legacy format , so one can then put the legacy apps into it.

I vote definitely for the possibility to have the legacy still available.

Also I would find it nice, if the last legacy version would be still present for download of the most important apps, like ff, tb and similar.

For why:

clearly first to use it on legacy systems, yes there are still many around, I use number of then still even professionally.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

John T. Haller's picture

We're continuing to support Windows 2000 (and actually include it in our test suite of OSes) for the platform/updater/installer as well as all apps that do support it (most do, some apps like Chrome and GIMP do not).

As FF, TB, OO.o. etc have all dropped Win 9x/Me support, there's not a lot you can do. The versions of FF that support it are very outdated and quite likely have security issues, so I wouldn't recommend it for use.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

NathanJ79's picture

A legacy suite would be a good offering. And why not? Does SourceForge limit you on space? If not, go for it. It's not like it would ever be updated, right?

Here's a wild idea: An alternative to the top suite (the one with Open Office) which includes the legacy suite in some fashion that allows the current suite to load on modern systems, but the legacy suite is defaulted to on 9x/ME platforms. For people that need it. Can you even get 1GB flash drives anymore? 2GB drives are on their way out -- 4GB is the new "basic flash drive". (Isn't that scary? I remember thinking 64MB and 128MB flash drives were "cool".) I think 16GB is more "standard" in terms of "what people want". That or 8GB, but 32GB is nearly as likely, too. And if you have a portable hard drive, it's a no-brainer; on Newegg.com they start at 80GB, but for ~$10 more you can get a 250GB or 320GB.

So I propose the question be changed from "why?" to "why not?".

John T. Haller's picture

I don't think we want to go the shovelware route for suites. Some of the illegal portable software sites have 200+ apps in them. But you're only going to use maybe 10 or 20 of them anyway. Random utilities you have no use for, 10 apps that do the exact same thing, etc. They're basically shovelware suites and they do that to force you to download all the apps so they can count that one download as 200 downloads.

If a use does want to add all apps, it will be easier in the 2.0 release with the updater. But I don't think we'll go the route of having a downloadable suite with everything in it. Or, if we do, it'll be optional (as all of our suite apps have always been) and probably updated less frequently. Either way, this is a separate discussion from ending Win9x support and doing a legacy suite, so if you'd like to discuss it further, let's do a forum post.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Chris Morgan's picture

My opinion is that it could be helpful to just have the Platform, Suite Light and Suite Standard builds, plus a series of download links to the last compatible version of all our apps which ever supported Windows 98. (This would take time to evaluate. I don't have a copy of 98 at all though so I can't help.) After this no new apps we release should support Windows 98 as they will use NSISu which is 9x-incompatible.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

This is pretty much what I was trying to say up top. There should be a page with links to each program's last compatible version. The good thing about this is since all old versions are stored on sourceforge, the page would only need to be created once and would never need updating. It might be a bit of work to put together, but once it's done, it's done.

I've been in situations outside the US where a few non-networked production systems were still running 95 or 98, and would have benefited from being able to use a portable app to complete one or two specific tasks. Having the installers or apps available on a CD or USB stick would be great, and if one app couldn't do what I needed, being able to try a similar one may have made the difference between completing the task and not.

I don't use the portable apps launcher, as I prefer an alternative. But I do use a large number of the applications. So please make each available individually and then we can play Mix and Match, or is it Pick and Mix, I don't know.

I don't think there is any need to worry about the potential user's capability. The unthinking Microsoft loving herd have all trotted away after those OSs that Portable Apps continues to support. Those of us who refuse to follow the herd have chosen to do so for specific reasons. Mine is the MS licence conditions, and particularly its arrogation to itself of powers to delete from MY PC any programs that MS has decided (without consultation with me) should not be there (see Vista).

If anyone is needed to test applications on Win98SE, please let me know as I have a machine that I could allocate to the task.

In the meantime, please include my request among the numbers asking for continued (or revived in many cases) access to the versions that work with Windows 98.

it seems this is a good example of a need for a wiki associated with pa.com... this could be anything, of course, but would ideally be some sort of privately maintained organism, for appearances sake.

a sort of gpl wiki hosting site would be nice, wouldn't it?



John T. Haller's picture

There's no need to create or maintain anything in an ongoing basis. From here forward, neither our apps nor our platform (other than the upcoming 1.6.1 release of the platform but not the apps) will be able to install or run on Windows 95/98/Me. All installers as well as many launchers (some to start, all eventually) will be Unicode-enabled and incapable of running on Windows 9x. None of the major apps support Win 9x any longer anyway. Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, OpenOffice.org, GIMP, Pidgin, SeaMonkey, VLC, Songbird, AbiWord, etc, etc will not run on anything pre-dating Windows 2000. And the old versions that do still run on Win9x often have security issues and outstanding bugs that will never be fixed.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

So while we are awaiting the upcoming 1.6.1 release of the platform, could someone please prepare a list of the versions of each app that was known to work with Win98?

I ask because I do not live here, I have not followed the changes in storage locations over the past few years, and I cannot find my way round all the places on SourceForge that have been used.

I realise that I must be a disappointment to those who have fully bought into the Microsoft "Continuous Upgrade" program. Nevertheless, I choose not to spend money buying upgraded hardware so that I can run a more bloated OS that will run more bloated programs that will do the same tasks in no quicker time. I will make my own judgements on the risk of running an app with unpatched problems, compared with the software licence complications that I noted in an earlier post, and the undoubted bloatware of which everyone is aware.

So please, just a list of where all the "Last for Win98" versions are, and a commitment not to take the files down in the vindictive manner of Microsoft and HP and one or two others. Then I will be gone, never to darken your doors again, and you may heave a sigh of relief.

John T. Haller's picture

We don't take stuff down from SF. We leave it up for records and in case anyone wants to play with it. We don't run changelogs and many other apps don't either, so we don't necessarily know the last version of the non-major apps that worked on Win98, for example. We know with apps like Firefox (3.0 dropped Win9x) and OpenOffice.org (3.0 dropped Win9x). You can judge whether you want to use them with the security issues and increasing lack of support (many wesbites are dropping support for Firefox 2).

This has nothing to do with any conspiracy or buying into a continuous upgrade program. It's a simple question of resources and support. We can either support Win9x and have no options available for folks with Unicode languages... or we can support Unicode and drop Win9x. We're not going to develop two separate menus for each. We don't have the development energy or testers. And Win95+98+Me use is much smaller (0.07% and falling) than the number of people using Unicode-only languages. So the decision is easy. It's a simple matter of developer time, money and userbase. Time and money are limited resources, so we allocate them to what makes sense. Our new development environments don't support Win9x anymore either.

Win9x support is gone for most software and the few apps that still support it are dropping it currently. If you don't like Windows activation I would suggest Windows 2000. It runs on much the same hardware and is still supported through next month when it is end of lifed. Even after that, many apps will continue to work on it (though some won't officially support it) because Windows 2000 is a Unicode OS and shares much with Windows XP, Vista and 7 in terms of structure and APIs. All our stuff still works on Windows 2000 (with the exception of apps themselves that do not like Google Chrome, GIMP and SpywareDLLRemover) and will for the forseeable future.

And finally, if you really just hate the Windows 'upgrade machine' and activations, there's always Linux. We even make sure our apps run in Wine under Linux. There are even minimal installs dedicated to outdated hardware.

In the end, we're sorry you won't be able to use our software, but we have to do what's best for our overall userbase with the resources we have.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Thanks John for taking the time to rehearse the usual arguments. I am glad you recognise that WinXP Activation could be a problem to some. Before that came Windows Genuine Advantage for Win2K, including a requirement to let the boys from Redmond rummage around your hard disk before they'd let you download stuff from their servers. Equally I am glad that you recognise keeping up with the most newest glitzy-est hardware is not for everyone. Many in the computer field react in outrage and horror to the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". But why? Just so that they can give malware writers further opportunities? For example have a look at the crap that Adobe have written in to Acrobat since they declared Acrobat 5 obsolete; who seriously needs executable Javascript in a document (from Acrobat 6)?

In life we must all make our choices. Thanks for making the choice not to take this "obsolete" software down, that is greatly appreciated.

Obsolete Fred

I think we should just let Win9x/ME rest in peace. Users should be gently encouraged to move bravely forward into the future not trepidatiously cling to the past.

As long as the presumably small group of remaining Win9X users can find the legacy versions, they can compile suites themselves. As Steve, I think it was already said, it just takes time away from the already busy developers.

My ideas about it:
One thing could be having a legacy link on every App page. For a user it would be a lot of clicking through all the pages, but that's the case too if I want an App update today.
Not one huge suite but a legacy link on every page, even on the Suite page.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

John T. Haller's picture

It was supposed to be tomorrow (meaning yesterday) but I realized just before pushing it out that there were a couple language bugs in it with some new translations. It's being repackaged now and will be posted later today. (Update: But will probably actually post tomorrow AM NY time)

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Make a 700 or 698/7 mb limit on the size of the legacy package.

One downloadable iso that fits on a cd-rom. Zip it for faster download.

Why bother with any other option? Development of such is at a standstill.

People with slow internet speeds can go to their library, or starbucks. Hate to plug starbucks as all that milk makes my eyes itch, but I will plug Einstein Bros. Bagels.



ps. appropos as cd-roms are legacy as well


But does that mean that all the Apps included in the 1.6.1 release (and 1.6) will currently work in Windows 98? I was not aware of this (I know... RTM)and have an old Mitsubishi Amity XP with 98 on it. This would be great news to me!
Whatever, thanks for one of the most wonderful things since the OS itself!

The supported OSs are listed on the application page.
Some like Notapad++ and Keepass work from win 95 to 7, others like Abiword, OpenOffice, PokerTH and all Mozillas only work Win 2000 and up.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

The 1.6 release refers to the Portable Apps Platform, also known as the Portable Apps Menu.
While there are apps that are included when you download the Suite, they are all developed and supported separately from the Menu, and each have their own version numbers. Their compatibility with any OS is determined by the original developer of each app.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

I believe the 98/me apps should not be completely done away with, and I feel I speak out for those who are not able to speak out at the moment, because they are unable to obtain a newer version of windows and must settle for their current version, or because they are an all version of windows lover and would like to continue to work with any and all versions of, what I feel are absolutely fantastic portable apps.

Persons who work on any version of windows available to travelers, ministers, or business professionals finding themselves at the disposal of a 98/me version of windows, or older, could most definitely profit from the use of your 1.6.1 portable apps version.

The possibilities are endless. From my heart to yours thank you, to all who contribute these applications. You are Cyber heroes, for the less fortunate and others.

Thank you, for considering this comment and the comment of all those who love your portable apps, that support all future and older versions of computers operating systems.


I use a site quite frequently for legacy versions, called FileHippo.com
They not only post the latest versions of the same software as Portable apps (but in normal, installed versions), but have links to almost every past version ever released. This is very helpful when the newest and latest won't run on an older machine. I find myself assisting computer users in third world countries, and many times they have older hardware donated by do-gooders. (I'm getting quite handy with windows 3.1 machines!)
It might be nice for the PortableApps folks to do something similar. Maybe not going back to W31, but at least including W98 stuff.
As was mentioned before, some of the portable applications are quite broad in their scope, and it would be nice to have a chart/table of apps vs. OS.
And.. did I miss something or is 1.6.1 still in process?

Chris Morgan's picture

We don't need anything like FileHippo; all our older versions are still available on SourceForge if you look at the project download page.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

I use T-bird portable 15014 a lot on older machines, and your archives don't go back that far. Where can I get it (or tell folks with ancient boxes where to get it)?

Status on 1.6.1?

Chris Morgan's picture

At that time all our apps were separate projects in SourceForge. This is the page you'll want for that.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

I remember a set of instructions somewhere explaining how to update the portable version of an app, using the "normal" version. In my case, you have T-bird on the SourceForge site, but there is a normal T-bird Can this "normal" version be used to update the portable version? And does this apply to other older versions of other apps?

doesn't really help! If the latest launcher doesn't support Win98, you are stuck with an older version of the app. Period.

And as Chris pointed out, you don't need Filehippo to get older version of our apps as they are all on Sourceforge. Some older ones are in separate projects, the rest is in the one currently used.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

the last one I found on the old Thunderbird project was and then to
Maybe John did a newer one of the 1.5.? line, but that is on the other project which keeps giving me a 500 error.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

I'd say yes to a legacy release, but not necessarily a complete suite. As a previous post indicated, a simple Legacy Platform Only release and a list of links to all (or at least the most frequently used) apps that still support Win9x (eg. final versions that support 9x such as Firefox 2.0 etc.) would make life a little bit easier for anyone still using such platforms. I have only recently (within the past couple of years) moved completely away from Win9x (98SE in my case), but I still fully understand the needs of anyone who still has to work with such platforms on a regular basis. They are still out there, though hopefully their numbers are dwindling (for their own benefit and safety). Also in agreement to a previous post, it'll be a bit time consuming to compile that list of links (download links back to those previous versions of the various apps on Sourceforge ), but once it's done, it's done; none of those directories or links should ever change, so updating those links later won't be necessary (or by the time they do change, nobody will need the legacy suite anymore). That's my 2 cents worth :). It's not about giving people an excuse to cling to the past; it's about giving those stuck with the past a way to cope with it ;).

- on a side note, anyone reading this who happens to know someone running an outdated system with 98, 98SE, or ME might make the following suggestion to them.. If it has at least a 133MHz CPU and 64MB of RAM, it'll probably run Windows 2000 (and likely better than its existing OS - from personal experience). Just be sure to tell them to make certain that they have the correct device drivers for any odd/unusual or quirky hardware ;).

Imagine a high school in Peru with a bunch of donated computers from us good folks in the US, and they all run W98. No money to even replace missing keyboards! I am on-site with a CD (yes, CD, that legacy media!), trying to get them basically functional. I don't need a suite, but a decent browser, e-mail program, and some basic office function would be nice. I try to use portable apps, because I can leave easily restored backups, and apps can be moved around at will to other boxes.
But we are definitely "stuck" in the past. Microsoft won't even help us by providing a Spanish-language version of W98. They don't mind cuz they gotta study English anyway!

"It's not about giving people an excuse to cling to the past; it's about giving those stuck with the past a way to cope with it."


I realize that some people don't have a choice as far as Windows goes, but then I would argue that they should be staying away from the fat-cat corporate America anyway and use Linux instead.

There are plenty of Windows-like, user-friendly, Linux desktop solutions that are free, faster (especially on older hardware) and less of maintenance problem (in the long run).

I'm not suggesting that third-world nations, or those less fortunate in general be damned , but there are always options.

Since Windows 7 is so different from Windows 98, there really isn't a great advantage to sticking to the Windows platform. And, even if you could get a more recent version of Windows, those machines may not be able to handle it.

I've mainly used two different distros of Linux: Knoppix and Ubuntu

Knoppix is a great run-from CD version of Linux that I've been able to run on a wide variety of machines.

Ubuntu is one of the most widely distributed Linux OSs. It can be downloaded in a large number of native languages. It is extremely easy to use and has a very simple software installation system (usually the weakest point of a Linux distro)

Both of these come bundled with OpenOffice and Firefox, as well as a variety of other programs; for Ubuntu, you should be able to install Thunderbird, or you can use the included e-mail program Evolution.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

I'd agree that Linux is probably the "best" solution by far for those still using older systems, and I can add a few other excellent distros to the list.. DSL (an extremely small - 50MB - distro that'll run even on an i486), Fedora (uses the same Gnome desktop as Ubuntu, so it's more or less as user-friendly, though it is a completely different beast underneath, which is a good thing in the Linux community), and Puppy Linux (also very small, but it's very full featured). You left out a very important added bonus of Linux though, and that is that most Linux distros can have Wine installed thus allowing them to run pretty much all of the portable apps here :).

But of course, there can never be just one solution to a problem, and for the alternative solution, there's always that "Legacy Suite" or "Legacy Platform" :).

What happened or is happening to 1.6.1? If we need closure on the legacy set, then let's close, and those of us who have to deal with it will just deal with it. No solution will fit all, but whatever solution is presented can be worked with. 8)

I never had that great of luck with running PortableApps with WINE. WINE, because it does nave to follow Windows lead, will always be behind in using the latest Windows software. You just gave another very good reason reason for a legacy PortableApp Suite.


I'd say it's a reason to have older versions available, not necessarily a reason to have a dedicated suite. As long as users have the option to put together Windows 9x compatible versions themselves.

I'm still not exactly sure why people run Wine. Is it because you run Linux at home, but encounter Windows on the public community so you are kind of forced to use Windows applications (if you want to be able to use one application across the board)?

That's kind of ironic because I always thought, if you'll pardon the sweeping generalization, that Linux users were all about sticking it to Windows, but it doesn't seem like you're sticking anything if you have such a dire dependency on Windows.

It's actually the opposite reason. For most people who run PortableApps portably, Wine is necessary if they normally use Windows, but encounter a Linux system and they want to use the apps on their USB drive. Of course, the host system needs to have Wine installed, but that's fairly common on most major Linux distros.

DocRon's case is special, tho. He's trying to set up computers in Peru, but all there is there is W98. If he wants to leave this school with a robust setup, sticking to W98 is a bad idea, because there is diminishing compatibility with software as time goes on, and NO support from MS. And since he has NO money, the only logical OS is Linux.
Most of the major apps we have here are available in a Linux version (tho non-portable), so it would be best for him to use the Linux version of these. However, if there is a Windows-only app that he needs, well, there's Wine.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

That's like saying for most people that run PortableApps, Java or .Net is necessary. Well of course, if they use apps based on those platforms but it's also possible you could go your entire life and avoid all of those. I can't think of a time I've ever encountered a Linux machine in public other than perhaps a university computer lab.

In DocRon's case, I can't think of any reason why on Earth he would want to run PortableApps on Linux. These will, as far as I know be essentially desktop machines and so the people using them won't care about portable applications. As you said yourself, most of the applications here have a Linux equivalent.

I get that Wine has it's uses, but it's not perfect and I don't know why users would purposely go out of their way to use it. I think using Wine is the special case. just my opinion.

.. would be if he wanted to carry his personal settings between computers without affecting any local installs. Actually, his is definitely a special case in which I'd recommend a local Linux install (Ubuntu, Fedora, or Puppy) AND a "live-usb" install of the same OS (and maybe Puppy as well if he were to choose one of the others for the local install). That way, each system has its own OS for student use, and he has a portable OS on a thumb-drive, with all his personal settings, that he can use for backups or system rescues. Only, now that I think of it, if these systems are REALLY old, they may not have USB-Boot capabilities or even USB ports for that matter :?.

I thinking more from a general end-user perspective. If they can barely scrape together computers for a community setting I doubt they have so much as a typewriter in their homes, so portable apps for them are completely irrelevant. Typewriters don't have USB ports.

Naturally, from an administrative perspective then yes, portable apps might be useful, but that's a separate issue.

As for USB ports, I would guess they have at least v1.1 but they probably don't have boot capabilities. Also, I agree that Puppy is an excellent choice; very lightweight yet comprehensive and it's easy to use. Ubuntu is not a good choice IMO because while I like it, it's much more resource heavy, not good for older computers particularly those with

sure would be nice if there was a sort of database of programs with their specific requirements. It sucks to try to run firefox on an older machine, for example


"Forget the Admin: I['m] thinking more from a general end-user perspective."

In his case it'd be sort of like putting the cart in front of the horse. Basics first, then build from there, resources permitting (not likely for a long time).

Yeah, Ubuntu can be a beast for sure. I wouldn't really try to run it with less than 1024MB myself. Best I've ever seen stock in a machine that shipped with 98 was maybe 128MB tops, usually between 16MB and 32MB, but that really depends on age.

Puppy I know can run from the Live-CD and save files, settings, and additional software added during a session back to a thumb-drive. Next time you boot from the CD with the thumb-drive plugged in, it'll automatically pull all of those files and settings. Great for systems with USB but no USB-boot support. All speculation of course as to his environment ;).

(Not trying to stir up trouble, just brainstorming for reasons even I don't know. I like the odd challenge.)

Back on topic again, you've got me thinking more about portable apps vs Win9x and how we use portable apps in general. I still think an empty legacy suite with some guidance to obtaining the legacy portable apps would be beneficial, but I'm wondering just how often any of us will ever run into 9x during our daily lives? Sure there are still a few 9x systems out there in some homes and schools, but it seems as though, with their dwindling numbers, that such systems could be circumnavigated easily enough. Where do most of us use our portable apps? I personally use them at home and at college (Win XP and Win 7 on both ends, though I primarily use a Mac at home). In the business sector, I can't imagine anyone still using 9x at all, so really a legacy release would be for those few who may still be working towards an upgrade at a later date. I'm thinking mostly U.S. and other more technology oriented countries here, not so much developing areas where the horse really should come in front of the cart (basic functionality first, then building up as resources permit).

I would appreciate it, because not only do I still use Windows 98 on a couple of computers, but also have them on virtual machines. I suppose in some year I will have to run Windows 98/Millennium/Net4 programs all on virtual machines, as I do with the net4 stuff. While I do use PortableApps on flash drives, I more often use them on on the hard-drive (including on virtual ones Wink ), it does make it handy to keep programs bunched in one place. Anyway please do make it easy to get the legacy material.


CDs: I'd like to see a *.iso.zip cd and dvd download. Separate folders for *.paf files and other portable programs, which you may not be able to re-distribute... a GPL or 'Other re-distributable' files folder (?) ok, stick with the *.paf files for now. The 'community' can make the other stuff. You can do *.zip files of each type of software, paf or other, then do the iso yourself, if you like. Send it to friends in the mail.

Windows: Dx11, etc. will always make windows necessary, if you game. Otherwise, I guess it is just a novelty to use 98, since so many linux types are better and can winE. I find it interesting to imagine a room with legacy computers and legacy operating systems. Perhaps connected to legacy internets?

On topic:

Legacy *.paf? Whatever. I like my legacy CD idea. My aunt uses an old computer. She would probably balk at the PAPl (that is not a good acronym...) PAM, though.

I guess a nice christmas gift might be some version of linux optimized for win(X) system on a stick with a working winE and PAM (?) Nice to have it plug and play!

[have to make versions for X-speed/power computers, rather than just thinking of legacy operating systems, DSL (486?), Puppy(586?), Debian (pII?), Ubuntu (needs a PIII-1Ghz, 512mb...)]

[versions of portable programs would have to be able to run on older, wimpier machines...]

a daunting task

How bout a PAM (PAP?) for those 'one laptop perchild' machines?



and the answer is:

a floppy disk with a boot loader for a cdrom disk with a boot loader for usb drives with a boot loader for linux, which autoloads winE, which then loads the portable apps for w98 that works for older machines that can't run wXP. 2 partitions on the usb stick so you can run your portable apps on other machines, the other for the linux for w98 machines.

also, a wiki for portable apps that work on w98.

one sec:

ok, heres the wiki:


what am i doing wrong with this code?



What code?

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” Dr. Seuss

Opinionly...outdated is a GRRR word,getting one in currently IS lucky! Waiting is out of the question. I vote to at least keep what you made before the next one disappears! blast! So thanks.

I am interested in a packaged version of the legacy Win98 apps. We have a number of clients at work that use such older OS's for certain applications and there is no upgrade path available. In those instances, such a compilation of portable legacy applications would be ideal. As someone else mentioned here, even if they were made available as a single .iso to be burnt to a CD would be good - and in fact is probably what I would do regardless. All we really need are the various system utilities and diagnostic tools, notepad++, etc. Games and word processors, etc are not a priority for this sort of usage IMHO.

Most of the people asking to retain Windows 98 compatibility are saying they need such as they do not have modern enough equipment to run Windows XP.
For my browser, I am using the last version of Firefox which would run under Windows 98. I upgraded this machine to Windows XP, and XP did some things I didn't like so I blew the XP installation away and reinstalled Windows 98 SE.
I have a program called 98Lite which completely removes Internet Explorer, and I have never installed Outlook or Outlook Express on any Windows 98 machine. I have also turned off all automatic updates in all programs and removed the ability of Windows 98 to even DO automatic updates.
I have a PIII 800Mhz notebook with a bad video display which I use as my main machine. This is connected to my desktop keyboard, monitor, and mouse with a 2-port KVA switch. I also have a desktop machine which is an Athlon x64 4400 with 2Gig of ram and two screaming 15K rpm SCSI drives which I use for applications which require more horsepower than is furnished by the PIII 800Mhz machine. By using the notebook for most of my computing and running the desktop only when I needed more power, I cut around 100KWh per month from my electric bill. This is because, living in Florida, anything which puts heat in the room will also require more air-conditioning power to remove the heat so generated.
I have found, over time, that the only thing I need the horsepower of the main machine for is photo editing - even the CAD program works at a reasonable speed on a PIII 800Mhz. All of my browsing and e-mail usage is on the machine running Windows 98SE. The XP machine is not allowed to talk to the internet.
The desktop is running an enterprise version of Windows XP. The Enterprise version was marketed to businesses, required a minimum purchase of five copies and did NOT have Windows Product Activation. I use a program called XPLite which removes Internet Explorer AND Outlook from Windows XP. I have also turned off all automatic updates in all programs and removed the ability of Windows XP to even DO automatic updates.
As I learned what Windows Genuine Advantage was before Microsoft first attempted to install it as the price of getting some upgrade or other, I also managed to avoid WGA as well. I am probably one of only a very few people who have legal copies of Windows XP which are NOT tied to specific hardware. As I consider requiring WGA before you can get support to be identical to being unsupported, insofar as I am unconcerned, Windows XP has been unsupported since 2005! The cost to do this has saddled me with paying for twice the number of copies of Windows XP than I am actually using as well as not being able to get any support or upgrades beyond SP2.

I have been running Windows 98SE with Internet Explorer removed for two years without any antivirus software or any firewall, and I have not gotten any virus or spyware! Back when Windows 98 was more common, I think I got the love bug virus, but with no Internet Explorer dlls to talk to, it could do nothing and my e-mail program at the time, set to text only, flagged it as an improperly encoded audio file. Windows XP, with the much greater ability to run programs from files, is, IMHO, far less secure to surf the internet with than Windows 98SE with Internet Explorer removed.

I have two identical notebooks (same make and model) and a Windows install I do on one of them can be used in the other merely by removing the drive from one notebook and putting it in the other notebook. When I first install a version of Windows, I copy the C:\ drive partition from the drive in that machine two other hard drives, one of which is then placed on a shelf and remains unused for sometimes a couple years. The other is removed from the backup machine and recopied every so often, so it is very close to a duplicate of the system partition I am using.
Should the system drive in my main machine get corrupted so that Windows fails to run, I just remove the drive from the backup machine, put it in the drive carrier for the first machine, delete the system partition on the main machine and recopy it from the system partition on the backup machine - total time necessary to recover from corrupted windows files, maybe 15 or 20 minuets. Shouls the notebook drive lock up solid, I merely but the drive from the backup machine in the main machine, and then get a new drive and copy the drive now in the main machine to it and put it in the second machine, making it the backup drive, takes a little longer, but no great problem. should a video card die in the main machine, I can just move the drive to the backup machine and I'm good to go.
We all know that no version of Windows has ever taken out the garbage, and so the only way to get a machine back to where it runs as fast as when you first installed Windows and all the applications. This used to take me a couple - three days. Now when it comes time to reinstall windows, I merely take the drive on the shelf, which has Windows as it was first installed. Delete the windows partition in the main notebook and copy that partition onto the drive - total time to reinstall windows and all the applications - 15 to 20 minuets.
You will notice that none of these strategies will work if I am using an OS which ties itself to specific hardware - reason one of why I will NEVER, NEVER run Vista or Windows 7 - I do not choose to work for two or three extra days just so MSoft can tie itself to specific hardware in an effort to sell more copies of Windows by making Windows not transferable between two machines.

Firefox portable and Thunderbird Portable are on the data drives or partitions in both machines and NO Data is EVER saved in the C:\ partition unless there is no way to avoid it, in which case the data is also copied to some other partition. All computers have at least a Drive G and there was a time when I had on one computer, partitions up to "P".
Whatever browser and e-mail program I use must be able to be used by any operating system I might access it with, so the Firefox I use on my XP machine is also the last 2.x version so it can also be used by Windows 98. Eventually it will also be accessed by Linus under WINE, even though Firefox also makes a native Linux version. I do not care if it can be accessed by Vista or Windows 7, as I will not be using either of those operating systems EVER!
There are native Linux versions of Opera which will also use the bookmarks, cookies etc the Windows version uses if both are installed on the same drive, and there are two different portable versions of Opera both of which run under all flavors of Windows, so I will probably go to Opera if I can figure out how to do some of the things for which I have add-ons in Firefox.

Continued Windows 98 support would be nice as it benefits those of us who believe in using no more computer power than is required to do something, so as to minimize the use of electricity, and correspondingly oil and coal. Just don't confuse me with the tree huggers who are always advocating something like electric cars which appear to reduce pollution but actually increase it!

John T. Haller's picture

You're welcome to continue using the old version of the platform, 1.6.1, along with old versions of the apps that support Windows 9x. We have no intention of removing this from the servers.

We've already dropped Windows 98 support as none of our major apps support it any longer (Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, OpenOffice.org, Pidgin, GIMP, VLC, Notepad++, FileZilla, etc have all dropped Windows 98). As none of the base apps support 98 any longer, there is no reason for us to hold back development of the platform and format and keep features like improved language support out. The 2.0 Beta 5 and later releases of the PA.c Platform similarly drop Windows 98 support.

Later this week, all remaining apps are being converted to the new PA.c Installer with improved language support and updater integration, dropping all Windows 95/98/Me support. All app releases since June 4th no longer support Windows 98.

You are welcome to continue to use the existing 1.6.1 platform, which does support Windows 98, along with the older versions of our packaged apps that are the last versions supporting Windows 98. Keep in mind, of course, that the older apps are no longer supported and nearly all have serious, well-known security vulnerabilities that are only fixed by upgrading to a current release that does not support Windows 98.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

I've never used the suite or the launcher. I always use apps individually. There were a couple apps listed in the "suite" which I thought I might want, but there appears to be no way to get the last versions of these without the launcher, or having to download the whole suite (over dial-up), and redownload many apps I already have. I use dial up because my sister, who lives with me, spends two months a year in a small town in the NE where they are not ABLE to get anything faster. If we got cable or DSL , the additional charges for using dial up up there for two months would double our internet access bill for the year.
I use portable apps and I am philosophically against apps which have to be installed, and now apparently, the portable apps themselves have to be "installed" negating the very advantage I see in portable apps.
I think we have a difference in what is meant by the term portable. For me it means something which does not need to be installed and comes in a .zip file, for you it seems to be something which can be run from portable media, with a menu which automatically launches and then brings up everything you have on your normal computer at home, but on somebody else's machine.
Outside of E-mail or Browser, the things I would want to use as portable programs on other people's machines are things they are unlikely to have, my CAD program, or my photo editor for example, both of which I made "portable". In fact, I might use my CAD program to create a drawing on someone's machine and then copy the CAD program itself to their machine so they could further modify the drawing if necessary.
With apps which needed to be installed, it took several days, after installing Windows, to reinstall all my apps. By using portable apps wherever possible, I was able to cut the time necessary to install all my apps after reinstalling windows in half. I've never run anything from a flash drive or a CD.
I believe, based on two years experience running Windows 98 SE with no anti-virus software or a firewall, that I have concrete empirical evidence that Windows 98 and any associated applications, IF Internet Explorer is yanked out by it's very guts and all updating functions for all software is turned off, is MORE secure - not less - than Windows XP or any later versions.
If you are creating an INSTALLER for individual apps which has an update function, I would have to avoid it anyway, for I do not WANT things to be able to update themselves automatically. Many years (over a decade) or so, I got something with one of the automatic dialers which would dial up a site and automatically start downloading something. It would not allow you to turn of your modem, or even exit windows by clicking on "Start". As, since I always insist on knowing exactly what my computer is downloading on from the net, I knew from the modem lights something was suspicious, I merely reached around the computer and pulled the phone line from the back.
When I first started using XP, I had the Firewall set and everything. All of a sudden, I couldn't get on the net and the modem was active all the time. Come to find out, Microsoft had managed to turn off my firewall and over ride my security settings so they could push SP2 onto my computer. 254MB over DIAL UP. A month later, Microsoft issued a security patch as it had been reported that through a bug, the Microsoft firewall could be turned off, but it had been Microsoft themselves who had been doing this a month earlier. I believe this was intentional back door code inserted into Windows by Microsoft, and only became a "bug" when enough people caught them using it.
I also managed to escape WGA, as Microsoft was never able to automatically "update" my machine to have it. Now the XP machines are not allowed to talk to the Internet at all, as I do not trust software companies, especially Microsoft, not to change my computer in manners I do not want, or to even make changes that make it stop working completely under the guise of "updating" it!

If you're having difficulty locating last known versions of PortableApplications supporting Windows 98, then post those specific application names here. I'm sure somebody can point you in the right direction. All old major versions are still hosted on SourceForge. For the more popular apps like Firefox, links to older versions are provided directly on the bottom of the Firefox page. You are never forced to use the Portable Apps Menu.

By the way, if there's any confusion about the PortableApps definition of a what a portable app is, then you can clarify that by reading this page.

The PortableApps executable installers here facilitate ease-of-use for users of all technical abilities, and ensure a more uniform standard across all apps. Putting something in a zip file doesn't automatically make it portable, like-wise having an application have to be "installed" doesn't automatically make it non-portable. What matters is how the application interacts with the host system, the changes it makes and what it leaves behind. PortableApps apps are designed to leave little* or no traces behind.

*Dictated by the base application being portabilized. Google Chrome for example relies on some Windows features for certain functionality and so some traces of it's presence may be left behind and this may be unavoidable.

Ok, so I want to be able to run Linux on Windows from a portable stick or drive, which can then run winE, which can then run portableAPPS.com menu from the stick.

Granted, I may never actually use this, but I still want to be ABLE to do it.

I know there are Linux distros that run on Windows, can they run from a stick?

Any versions of LoW that can run from a stick on w98?


I would like a Legacy Suite compiled not because of Win98 but because of the old Flash Drives I have. They won't run on my Win7-64bit computer.

So far The Legacy Suite consists of:

Portable Apps: 1.6.1
Firefox Portable Legacy 36_3.6.28
Thunderbird Portable Legacy 31_3.1.19

Anything else I would have to test on the drive and a Win98 computer. If they work on Win98 then I'd test on WinXP.

Has anyone else complied such a list and tested them ?