Portable application

portableportable applicationsportable softwarePortable appPortable Appsportable versionsApplication portabilitydoesn't have to be installedPortable versionportably
A portable application (portable app), sometimes also called standalone, is a program designed to read and write its configuration settings into an accessible folder in the computer, usually in the folder where the portable application can be found.wikipedia
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Windows Registry

registryRegistry Editorregistry keys
The application does not write to the Windows registry or store its configuration files (such as an INI file) in the user's profile; instead, it stores its configuration files in the portable directory.
For example, .NET Framework applications use XML files for configuration, while portable applications usually keep their configuration files with their executables.

Installation (computer programs)

installerinstallationinstalled
Some applications are available in both installable and portable versions.
A class of modern applications that do not need installation are known as portable applications, as they may be roamed around onto different computers and run.

USB flash drive

flash driveUSB flash drivesUSB drive
Portable applications can be stored on any data storage device, including internal mass storage, a file share, cloud storage or external storage such as USB drives and floppy disks—storing its program files and any configuration information and data on the storage medium alone.
Flash drives are used to carry applications that run on the host computer without requiring installation.

AppImage

KlikKlik (packaging method)
There are also cross-distro package formats that do not require admin rights to run, like Autopackage, klik (now called AppImage), or CDE, but which gained only limited acceptance and support in the Linux community in the 2000s. Around 2015 the idea of portable and distro independent packing for the Linux ecosystem got more traction when Linus Torvalds discussed this topic on the DebConf 2014 and endorsed later AppImage for his dive log application Subsurface.
AppImage is a format for distributing portable software on Linux without needing superuser permissions to install the application.

Application virtualization

virtualizationcontainerscontrolled testing
An alternative strategy for achieving application portability within Windows, without requiring application source code changes, is application virtualization: An application is "sequenced" or "packaged" against a runtime layer that transparently intercepts its file system and registry calls, then redirects these to other persistent storage without the application's knowledge.
Applications can be transferred to removable media or between computers without the need of installing them, becoming portable software.

List of portable software

applicationsportableportable application
For the purposes of this list, a portable application is software that can be used from portable storage devices such as USB flash drives, digital audio players, PDAs or external hard drives.

Snappy (package manager)

SnappySnapSnap packages
Similarly, Canonical released in 2016 Snap packages for Ubuntu and many other Linux distros.
Snap application packages of software are self-contained and work across a range of Linux distributions.

Portable application creators

MoleBoxNovell ZENworks Application Virtualizationportable application creation
Portable application creators allow the creation of portable applications (also called portable apps).

PortableApps.com

PortableAppsPortableApps formatJohn T. Haller
These portable applications can be used from removable media such as USB flash drives.

Subsurface (software)

Subsurface
Around 2015 the idea of portable and distro independent packing for the Linux ecosystem got more traction when Linus Torvalds discussed this topic on the DebConf 2014 and endorsed later AppImage for his dive log application Subsurface.
As Subsurface binary software deployment for Linux users for the various Linux distributions turned out to be problematic, the packaging was changed to a portable, self-contained, distro-agnostic AppImage in 2015.

MuseScore

For instance, MuseScore and Krita followed in 2016 and started to use AppImage builds for software deployment.
MuseScore also runs as a PortableApps.com portable application.

LiberKey

LiberKey is a platform for freeware or free and open-source portable applications for Windows.

WinPenPack

Since that date, 15 new versions and hundreds of open-source portable applications were released.

VMware ThinApp

VMware ThinApp (formerly Thinstall) is an application virtualization and portable application creator suite by VMware that can package conventional applications so that they become portable applications.

Computer program

programprogramscomputer programs
A portable application (portable app), sometimes also called standalone, is a program designed to read and write its configuration settings into an accessible folder in the computer, usually in the folder where the portable application can be found.

Data storage

data storage devicestoragestorage media
Portable applications can be stored on any data storage device, including internal mass storage, a file share, cloud storage or external storage such as USB drives and floppy disks—storing its program files and any configuration information and data on the storage medium alone.

Mass storage

mass storage devicemass-storageBacking store
Portable applications can be stored on any data storage device, including internal mass storage, a file share, cloud storage or external storage such as USB drives and floppy disks—storing its program files and any configuration information and data on the storage medium alone.

Shared resource

network shareDisk sharingnetwork shares
Portable applications can be stored on any data storage device, including internal mass storage, a file share, cloud storage or external storage such as USB drives and floppy disks—storing its program files and any configuration information and data on the storage medium alone.

File hosting service

file hostingonline file storagecloud storage
Portable applications can be stored on any data storage device, including internal mass storage, a file share, cloud storage or external storage such as USB drives and floppy disks—storing its program files and any configuration information and data on the storage medium alone.

Floppy disk

floppy disk drivefloppy drivediskette
Portable applications can be stored on any data storage device, including internal mass storage, a file share, cloud storage or external storage such as USB drives and floppy disks—storing its program files and any configuration information and data on the storage medium alone.

File system permissions

read-onlypermissionsfile permissions
If no configuration information is required a portable program can be run from read-only storage such as CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs.

CD-ROM

CDCD-ROM driveCD-ROM XA
If no configuration information is required a portable program can be run from read-only storage such as CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs.

DVD

DVD-ROMDVDsDVD-9
If no configuration information is required a portable program can be run from read-only storage such as CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs.

Command-line interface

command linecommand-linecommand line interface
Some applications which are not portable by default do support optional portability through other mechanisms, the most common being command-line arguments.