|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2009)|
|Original author(s)||John T. Haller|
|Developer(s)||Rare Ideas, LLC|
|Initial release||March 2004|
|Stable release||11.2 / 14 October 2012|
|Preview release||12.0 Beta 2 / 27 December 2012|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Size||6 MB (Menu only, without any applications)|
|License||Open Source (Menu and most hosted software)|
PortableApps.com is a site offering portable software for Windows. Programs distributed in the .paf.exe format can be installed on and used from removable media such as USB sticks without modifying the Windows Registry; the application folder can be simply deleted.
The project started out of a portable version of Mozilla Firefox in March 2004. John T. Haller then expanded the project to include Mozilla Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org. Soon the open source group of portable programs outgrew Haller's personal website and he moved it to a community site, PortableApps.com. The site currently hosts various projects created by forum members. The site is also used for bug reporting and suggestions. Some PortableApps distributions are hosted on SourceForge.
Application installers designed for use with the PortableApps.com menu follow the convention of using filenames ending in a .paf.exe extension, include HTML documentation and store data in the Data directory, allowing for simple backup of data with the PortableApps.com Backup utility. Installers intended for use with the PortableApps.com menu should be NSIS installers, generated with the PortableApps.com Installer, but can be compressed archives with self extractors, or any installer executable.
The majority of applications can run on most computers with Windows 2000[update] or later.Many apps will also run under Wine on Unix-like operating systems. Older versions of many apps support Windows 95/98/Me, but no new releases support these systems.
The PortableApps.com Launcher (also known as PAL) is used to make applications portable by handling path redirection, environment variable changes, file and directory movement, configuration file path updates and similar changes, as configured.The PortableApps.com Launcher allows software to be made portable without the need to write custom code or make changes to the base application. While some of the software packages released on PortableApps.com currently still contain their own custom launchers, the PortableApps.com Launcher is used in all new apps released.
Users had complained that the progress of PortableApps.com releases were too slow and inconsistent. This was the case till 2010 (version 2); but since the release of version 10, updates have been much more regular and consistent.
The PortableApps.com Platform is not required to run portable apps, but it's available to provide a more integrated experience. Features include:
- A menu of installed portable apps
- Apps Directory to find and install new apps.
- Search functions for your USB flash drive.
- An updater to keep installed apps up to date
- Portable Fonts
- Backup tools
- Comparison of application launchers
- List of portable software
- Portable application
- Portable application creators
- "Our Team". PortableApps.com. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
- http://portableapps.com/news/2012-10-14--portableapps.com-platform-11.2-released Retrieved on 2012-11-03.
- "PortableApps.com Hits 100 Million Portable Apps Downloaded". PortableApps.com. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
- "About PortableApps.com". Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Admins, PortableApps.com (2008-02-22). "PortableApps.com Update (Week of Feb 18, 2007)". PortableApps.com. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- "PortableApps.com: Portable Software/USB". portableapps project on SourceForge. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Admins, PortableApps.com (2012-07-10). "Application Compatibility". PortableApps.com. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- Admins, PortableApps.com (2010-04-27). "Ending Windows 95/98/Me Support". PortableApps.com. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- Admins, PortableApps.com (2012-07-10). "PortableApps.com Launcher". PortableApps.com. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- Forum, PortableApps.com (2010-06-07). "The road to 2.0". PortableApps.com. Retrieved 2012-11-04.