Portable applications

Hello, I am aware that the concept of being able to run an application from an arbitrary location has been discussed in the past, but I wanted to express my interest in it and my reasons why:

  • I always took for granted the ability to run software off a CD or a flash drive without installing anything on Windows, and matter of fact still do. And I recall my disappointment from a decade ago to find out that Android wasn’t capable of something similar, even my old Nokia phone didn’t require me to put my jar packages in a specific folder or any other inconvenience.

  • I like the idea that the whole application with everything it needs is in this one folder that you can move to any location, and it still works, even if you try it on a computer other than the one it came from. It’s like a game console, you plug in the cartridge and that’s it.

  • I’ve never tried Amiga, but I’ve heard that it’s plug-and-play design was one of the factors that made it a popular choice for video games.

  • Think of when your computer is short on storage memory, and so you move some files to an external device. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to do the same with software without losing the ability to run them? I really think that apps should be treated like images, videos and other types of files.

I do understand that a lot of people don’t mind having to install a software or moving it to a specific location before getting to use it. However, it would be much better if there was an alternative with which it is not needed in my opinion. The user should have the option.

I would like to know what do you think of it today and hope that you would consider this feature, thank you.


Native Haiku applications usually work that way. Just copy the executable wherever you want and run it. The only drawback is you won’t get automatic updates from the package manager.

Ported applications, however, have a thousand dependencies, and managing these is hard. For these I would recommend to use the package manager, but if you really don’t want to, you could manage to find all needed libraries and copy them in a “lib” directory next to the executable.

So, you have the option. It is just more work for you.


Thank you for your answer. I just tried that with vvvvvv and it worked even after I’ve uninstalled it. I think that this feature deserves more attention.

One more thing, if I ever try to run an old software that requires a library that is older than the one offered by the system, would it be enough to, as you said, put it in a /lib directory and have the system use it instead of the shared version, or would I need to downgrade the system? Thanks

If I remember correctly, the libraries that you put under /lib have priority when run the executable.

So, no. You don’t need to downgrade the other installed as a package.


That’s cool.

Yes so it is, i create some packages of old beos apps for haiku, including the libs into the program folder.

I like the way haiku manage the files. First i have the same thinking like you and i am not afraid about including the package managing system, but after i understand that good idea behind it, i do not wont miss it anymore.

I the past, every one copy, install, duplicate there files there they want and you have the same libs on several positions in the system. The free space of the system get smaler and smaler.

My only problem i have with the haiku pms is that you can not install several versions of a library side by side, but the rest is great.