I love PortableApps!

I was telling a colleague about the virtues of KeePassX and how it’s part of the PortableApps suite,  when I realized just how much I’ve come to rely on my PortableApps USB flash drive. Switching between various Windows desktops and laptops, it’s been convenient to have the same apps available on each system – but especially to have the same config settings and user profiles. The apps are all free, and almost all of them are open source. The convenience of the new PortableApps Platform is also really great, with automatic checking of apps for updating, and then downloading and installing.

Here are the PortableApps I’ve been using on a fairly regular basis:

  • 7-ZipPortable – zip and tar archive file utility (I use the extremely efficient 7zip native format as well, but not as often).
  • FirefoxPortable – as a consumer I tend to stick with IE, but as a developer it’s FireFox with plugins: Web Developer, Developer Assistant, PHP Developer Toolbar – and especially Pencil for wireframing.
  • FreeCommanderPortable – a nice dual-pane file explorer with lots of goodies, and supports remote file systems using FTP.
  • GIMPPortable – for advanced bitmap graphics editing (no way can I justify PhotoShop for the occasional use I need).
  • WinHTTrack – for cloning websites locally for offline browsing or easy local inspection of HTML/images/content (WinHTTrack isn’t actually a PortableApp, extract the portable version from the Httrack project to the PortableApps directory, then refresh the men app icons).
  •  IcoFXPortable – for editing application icons.
  • InkscapePortable – for creating and editing vector graphics drawings (an alternative to Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw – which I also can’t justify for only occasional use).
  • InfraRecorderPortable – a basic CD/DVD recorder (it’s nice to have the same recorder handy, regardless of what might be installed locally on a system).
  • IrfanViewPortable – my Goto graphics file utility for viewing and simple manipulation (cropping, scaling, filtering, converting between file types, etc.).
  • LibreOfficePortable – Fully-featured office suite for when MS Office isn’t available (maybe one day LibreOffice will merge back into OpenOffice, but I’m not holding my breath).
  • LightScreenPortable – an easy to use simple screen shot grabber.
  • Notepad++Portable – my Goto text editor for simple text and source code with syntax highlighting when an IDE is too much.
  • PDFTKBuilderPortable – Basic PDF manipulation such as compiling multiple documents into a single document, extracting one or more pages from a document, rotating a page in a PDF document, etc.
  • PuTTYPortable – the defacto ssh client (I especially like right-clicking to paste highlighted text at the cursor).
  • SumatraPDFPortable – in case Acrobat Reader isn’t installed (which is rare), but also as an alternative – sometimes it will render a not-quite-standard PDF when Acrobat Reader refuses to.
  • SynkronPortable – for synchronizing directories (e.g. between a local directory and one on my PortableApps USB flash drive).
  • TaskCoachPortable – TaskCoach is a cross-platform task manager I’ve started using for personal web app projects so it doesn’t matter whether I’m currently on a Windows or a Linux laptop.
  • ToDoListPortable – is another task manager, but Windows only. I started using this one first, and I’m still using it (as well as TaskCoach) because it supports assigning tasks to different users and then filtering on assignee (whereas TaskCoach is pretty much for one user’s personal tasks only).
  • VirtuaWinPortable – provides multiple virtual desktops for making sense out of too many open windows (although unless you have a fast processor and lots of RAM, you’re probably better off closing windows instead).
  • WinDirStatPortable – for understanding where all my drive space has gone.
  • winMd5SumPortable – for calculating and verifing md5 file checksums.
  • WinMergePortable – for three-way code merging, although mostly I’m using it with only two files for a nice graphical comparison of differences.
  • WinSCPPortable – another dual-pane file explorer, but with one of the panes being a remote Unix file system accessed via scp.
  • XAMPP – a Windows Apache/MySQL/PHP stack for web app development, plus a few extra goodies (you have to download XAMPP separately and extract to the root of your USB flash drive, and then use the XAMPP Control Panel PortableApp for easy access).


One Reply to “I love PortableApps!”

  1. I seem to use most portableapps tools, which is a testament to how great the tools are that they portablise. I believe there’s only a few apps I don’t use of theirs, which is bad when you realise there’s a ton of them in their forums that aren’t officially released.

    My portable apps folder is freaking 10GB!

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