Open Source Portable Apps: How and Why to Package Software for USB Drives, Cloud Drives and Mobile Storage

Tools and Techniques
Location: D133
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)

A portable app is a program that you can carry around with you on a portable device (USB drive, cloud drive, mobile phone, etc) and use on any Windows or Linux PC you plug it into. This session will cover why making your software portable makes sense and how to do it using open source tools. Making software portable for use on removable USB drives and cloud drives can improve its usefulness, make it available to a wider userbase and allow people to use it in ways that we, as developers, hadn’t considered. In this session, we’ll discuss:

  • What portable software is
  • How it works
  • Why users use it instead of and in addition to local software
  • How to make make software portable using open source tools without writing any code
Photo of John Haller

John Haller

John T. Haller is the founder and lead developer of, the world’s most popular portable software platform allowing anyone to take their applications with them on a USB flash drive or other removable device and use them on any PC. He has a deep interest in using computers and software in new ways and enabling software to work the way users think.

John is best known for creating portable software like Firefox Portable but has also become known for online jokes (see: MAFIAA ) and fun utilities (see: Billy Mays Caps Lock ). Before creating, he founded a web development firm, donated a kidney, worked in a tech startup, worked in a corporate bank, went to college and did various other things.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Harish Pillay
07/29/2011 5:30am PDT

John -

Please look at for some ideas about what I was talking about. It is being done by a security agency in Singapore (where I am based in) and I am trying to get them to look at a Linux-based solution. Now that portable apps has a Linux solution, I would like to explore that.


Harish Pillay
07/29/2011 4:30am PDT

Thanks, John for the talk. I am happy to see the efforts going on to make PortableApps for Linux.