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[PortableApps] The only Portable Application Maker


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#1 Shirin Zaban

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 09:21 PM

=============================================================================
The only Portable Application Maker
=============================================================================
Hi
I have searched a lot of places in web and i have found just one program that can make
portable application:That is VMware ThinApp.

Ofcours there are many tools that can be used to make portable Apps,but most of them are
just launchers not makers.I mean these programs at real world ,are just for launching the
executable file of the application,that you have made befor.They do not make files and
folders needed for you.

But "VMware ThinApp" makes all work ,When you want to have a potable version of a program,
"VMware ThinApp" captures the setup process of that,then makes an executable file,that is
portable version of your installed program.

I am sorry that "VMware ThinApp" is not free and if you use trial version to make portable
application,this applications will work just in limited trial time

By the way i am going to say how to make portable executable file by this program.

################################################################################
#####
Note:
------


_ I suppose that we want to make portable version of "ArtIcons Pro 5.14"

_ I suppose you have downloaded and installed "VMware ThinApp" from link below .
note that trialversion will work only for 60 days.

http://www.vmware.co...oducts/thinapp/

_ I think it is better to do this tutor process inside VMware or other your favorite
virtual pc,then check the result in your system.

################################################################################
#####


1_ Run ThinApp (see Fig_1) and click NEXT .

2_ In new window (Fig_2) click NEXT.

3_ Program will check the system and will save the system settings befor installing
"ArtIcons Pro 5.14",then will show fig_3.At this time minimaize ThinApp window,begin
to install "ArtIcons Pro 5.14",and after finishing setup process, maximize ThinApp
window and click NEXT.

4_ After awhile a window like fig_4 will be seen. click NEXT

5_ In next window select "USB flash/portable media) as fig_5 then click NEXT.

6_ In next window select "Merged isolation mode" (see fig_6).

7_ In next window select "No compression" (see fig_7) and click Next.

8_ In next window click "Buid Now" button (see fig_8).

9_ After a while program will say "build complete". Now click on "Finish" button.

10_Now go to "VMware ThinApp" installed directory\Captures\ArtIcons Pro 5.14\bin\
you will see "ArtIcons Pro.exe" (see fig_9),this is your portable articon and you
can copy that in any where in any system,it will work portable.

================================================================================
======

Notes:
==========
By this program you can make MSI package for your program and some
other works,that i am not going to talk about them in this tutorial.

have nice times

Shirin zaban

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#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 09:31 PM

It looks like a very good tool, just too bad that it isn't freeware.

Thank you for the tutorial, it's a good introduction to this program.

:cheers:

#3 billonious

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 10:42 PM

it is the ex Thinstall, that vmware aquired it.

#4 ispy

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 12:30 AM

Hi billonious :cheers: ,

With all the talent that is flying around Boot-land could we the "Royal We" cobble together something similair?

Regards & Respect,

ispy?

#5 billonious

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:10 AM

...could we the "Royal We" cobble together something similair?


hey Ispy, please be more specific to make my brain work :cheers: , because I don't catch you.

:cheers:

#6 ispy

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 09:51 AM

Hi billonious :cheers:

hey Ispy, please be more specific to make my brain work :cheers: , because I don't catch you.

Sorry! My appologies billonious.

What I mean to say or hinting to say is seeing as this is the "Portable section" wouldn't it be nice if "we" could put together a program or routine (preferably portable) that would do a similair thing to "Thinapp".

Thinapp makes snapshots before a program is installed to list the installed fileset & also note the registry changes
as stated by Shirin:

I am sorry that "VMware ThinApp" is not free and if you use trial version to make portable
application,this applications will work just in limited trial time


It may be difficult but fun to produce a freeware version even if it does not have all the bells & whistles on?

Mucho regards,

ispy :cheers:

#7 paraglider

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:49 PM

Not exactly a cheap application - $5000 for the application to create the packages.

#8 MedEvil

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 02:59 PM

It may be difficult but fun to produce a freeware version even if it does not have all the bells & whistles on?

Which one of you is the programer with the expert knowledge about Windows internals? :cheers:

The most hidious thing about making apps portable is handeling access to the registry. Unless you find some free program which can do that for you, i'm afraid, you don't even have to bother start trying with the other stuff.

:cheers:

#9 pscEx

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:07 PM

Which one of you is the programer with the expert knowledge about Windows internals? :cheers:

The most hidious thing about making apps portable is handeling access to the registry. Unless you find some free program which can do that for you, i'm afraid, you don't even have to bother start trying with the other stuff.

:cheers:

I'm to 110% sure that trackWBInstall captures all the information and can create environment-independent reg entries, copy list etc.

But how to combine all the results into one exe w/o using a complier / linker?

Peter

#10 billonious

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:08 PM

Which one of you is the programer with the expert knowledge about Windows internals? laugh.gif


It is time to uncover the true about who I am. My name is mr Linus Torvalds. :cheers:
Posted Image


for free install watchers this is your playground

#11 pscEx

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:12 PM

It is time to uncover the true about who I am. My name is mr Linus Torvalds.
Posted Image


I think he is coming from Finland, Norway or any other of these regions with low temperatures and low alcohol allowance


Peter

#12 MedEvil

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 04:14 PM

I think he is coming from Finland, Norway or any other of these regions with low temperatures and low alcohol allowance

Hence he moved to Greece! :cheers:

#13 was_jaclaz

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 04:23 PM

Hence he moved to Greece! :cheers:


Yep, where he is known to locals as "OUZO, the stoned and sweating programmer".....
:cheers:

jaclaz

#14 pscEx

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 05:46 PM

I'm to 110% sure that trackWBInstall captures all the information and can create environment-independent reg entries, copy list etc.

But how to combine all the results into one exe w/o using a complier / linker?

Peter


Let me come back to seriousity:

Does have anybody a suggestion, idea or just 'crazy idea' how to do that?

Peter

#15 MedEvil

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 06:15 PM

As said, collecting the info about needed files and registry entries is simple.
The hard part is is managing the registry access of the portable app on a host system.
It has to work like fbwf does for the file system.

And no, portable app from portableapps.com are not really portable apps.
Trying to run a portable app while one has already installed the same app, will result in the settings of the installed app being screwed up.

Also if their portable apps crash, they leave garbage in the registry behind.

All they are is, less messy than running the app straight after maybe merging a reg file to the host system.

--------------------------------------

A cheapo version like the portableapps one could be done with a batch file or similar:
- saving the registry entries for the app on the host system, if it exists
- writing into the registry the data of the 'portable' app
- running app
- closing app
- saving registry entries for app back to stick / or not
- deleting registry entries of the portable app
- writing back the saved registry keys

:cheers:

#16 paraglider

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 06:31 PM

Thinstall virtualizes the OS:

Application virtualization, including VMware ThinApp 4, decouples applications from the underlying
operating system. Abstracted operating system resources are presented to the application as virtual
resources. The result is a higher degree of independence, isolation, and encapsulation than those installed
directly into an operating system environment.

That is a none trivial task to achieve.

#17 pscEx

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 06:48 PM

@Medevil,
@paraglider,

thanks you both for your replies wich can be logically added for my question.

For a 'standard' developer w/o having a support team, it seems to be impossible to develop something like this with reasonable effort.
(That proofes the price of 5000 $)

Therfore, let's come back to reality and try to develop good scripts to install the (fixed) apps into the PE.

Peter

#18 billonious

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 07:06 PM

first. thinstalled or ThinApped software does not work in livexp, under normal conditions. The error is "thinstall can not be initialized". I am not in the mood for digging into registry march. I am just a penguin.

second. forget ouzo and Uzi :cheers: which shots your head, unless you want to have a huge headache next morning. This shit is only for touristic consumption. Even ganja is softer. For safe drink demand Raki/tsikoydia because is free from added substances. Pure grape juice.

#19 pscEx

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 07:15 PM

For safe drink demand Raki/tsikoydia because is free from added substances. Pure grape juice.

I got to know Raki a couple of years ago in a nice restaurant anywhere in the near of the Chalkidiki region, and I liked it.
I've been in that restaurant some evenings, and every evening ...

BTW: The Greek and Turkish people seem not to not really like each other. Why they do have the same name for the same (or similar?) product? I think, that also the Turkish Raki is destilled two times.

Peter

BTW: What about thinking about 'OFFTOPIC'?
But the converstion is nice.
Maybe Jaclaz will delete all of the OFFTOPIC stuff and gives us a :cheers: or :cheers:

#20 MedEvil

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 10:32 PM

For a 'standard' developer w/o having a support team, it seems to be impossible to develop something like this with reasonable effort.

Have a look at sandboxie for some inspiration. :cheers:
It does what would be needed and more and was made without a huge team!

:cheers:

#21 was_jaclaz

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 12:51 AM

second. forget ouzo and Uzi :cheers: which shots your head, unless you want to have a huge headache next morning. This shit is only for touristic consumption. Even ganja is softer. For safe drink demand Raki/tsikoydia because is free from added substances. Pure grape juice.


Sure, but you just told us you were actually Finnish...I've seen few Finnish people in Greece that were NOT tourists....:cheers:

:cheers:

@psc
Form a rational point of view, this thread (with the possible exception of the as always pondered and "serious" contribution by paraglider and the - if I may - unusually :cheers: almost completely serious contributions by Medevil ) is mainly surreal and undoubtedly the end result of drinking too much booze of some kind or however being in an altered state of mind, so, why not applying Rule #12 and go on with the fun? :cheers:

jaclaz

#22 sanbarrow

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 01:11 AM

Thinapp runs on top of MOA but IMHO it does not really make sense for LiveCDs.
It also is not able to handle kernel drivers and has problems with some services.

Example: VMware converter as a thinapp builds into a 54 Mb standalone exe - it fails cause it can't start kernel drivers and services.
Converter packed into a wim and launched from a batch needs about 27 Mb and works.

#23 billonious

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 09:35 AM

BTW: The Greek and Turkish people seem not to not really like each other. Why they do have the same name for the same (or similar?) product? I think, that also the Turkish Raki is destilled two times.


This must be the last offtopic post because I see censorship coming. The word raki is neither greek nor turkish. It is arabic. About the hate, greeks accuse turks for destroying byzantine empire, and reversely turks accuse greeks for destroying ottoman empire. What a lovely neighbours! They still have not found the trick to communicate. Do you know that turkish vocabulary have much common with magyar and finnish? Common roots from Urals (Huns,central asia)

Sure, but you just told us you were actually Finnish...

in fact my roots are from your country. My last name is Petris. :cheers:

#24 ispy

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 10:47 PM

Hi folks :cheers:
EDIT - Removed previous quotes!
I must say I like the Demolition giant penguin, billonuous!

& so in summary virtualisation of software for portability seems very clever coding is requirred but MedEvil makes reference to batch fiiles & a util called sandboxie whether or not MedEvil is making reference to the development team or in fact whether sandboxie could be a possible candidate for virtual usage or know MedEvil a bit of both maybe a tentative step forward!

Are we looking at thinapp the finished product exclaiming a freeware clone cannot be achieved or is there an alternative option, not as sophisticated but could achieve a similair effect in a different way. The complexity of the program that we want to turn into a portable version should not be over-looked either but why not start out in a small way & add to it as we go along - bite size progression. Anyway do not want to turn this post into a full scale epic as I usually do but then again....

Could this batch file script below be cannibalised for restitution of registry scripts?

This set of scripts will perform a system state backup after adding additional software or hardware, providing a significant value to the responding analyst and client. We currently are testing a methodology which allows a complete system state restore from the Recovery Console. If a client then adds an additional configuration to their system and it will not boot, we have a process that allows for a 3-5 minute turnaround.
This batch job performs a system state backup and then deletes the system state backup file leaving an updated directory to restore the registry and security information from a later point in time.
When you install Windows 2000/XP, the Windows 2000/XP Repair directory structure looks like this:
06/28/2000 02:55p 438 autoexec.nt
06/28/2000 04:31p 2,577 config.nt
06/28/2000 04:35p 118,784 default
04/03/2002 01:24p 20,480 DS_SAM
04/03/2002 01:24p 20,480 DS_SECURITY
04/03/2002 01:24p 5,844,992 DS_SOFTWARE
04/03/2002 01:24p 20,480 sam
06/28/2000 04:32p 522,914 secsetup.inf
04/03/2002 01:24p 20,480 security
06/28/2000 04:30p 141,118 setup.log
04/03/2002 01:24p 5,844,992 software
06/04/2001 02:59p 2,392,064 system.bak

Once you've performed a system state backup, a directory Regback is created. The directory structure for a possible recovery point is located now at: c:\winnt\repair\regback. The directory structure for c:\winnt\repair\regback looks like this:

05/09/2002 10:26a 143,360 default
03/27/2002 02:56p 626,688 NTUSER.DAT
05/09/2002 10:26a 20,480 SAM
05/09/2002 10:26a 32,768 SECURITY
05/09/2002 10:26a 12,009,472 software
05/09/2002 10:27a 2,433,024 system
03/27/2002 02:56p 8,192 UsrClass.dat

I've created a system recovery file that can be used via the command line from the WIN-PE disk or the Windows 2000 Recovery Console. The batch job performs a backup of the current files in c:\winnt\system32\config\ to the c:\winnt\options\registrybackup directory.

:: Create a directory for backup of suspected defective registry.
mkdir c:\winnt\options\registrybackup

:: Backup suspected defective registry.
copy c:\winnt\system32\config\software c:\winnt\options\registrybackup
copy c:\winnt\system32\config\default c:\winnt\options\registrybackup
copy c:\winnt\system32\config\sam c:\winnt\options\registrybackup
copy c:\winnt\system32\config\security c:\winnt\options\registrybackup
copy c:\winnt\system32\config\system c:\winnt\options\registrybackup

Next, the batch job restores files from the c:\winnt\repair\regback directory to c:\winnt\system32\config\.

:: Restore registry and security information from system state backup.
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\software c:\winnt\system32\config\software
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\software
c:\winnt\system32\config\software.sav
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\default c:\winnt\system32\config\default
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\default c:\winnt\system32\config\default.sav
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\sam c:\winnt\system32\config\sam
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\sam c:\winnt\system32\config\sam.sav
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\security c:\winnt\system32\config\security
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\security
c:\winnt\system32\config\security.sav
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system.alt
copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system.sav

You'll also notice that we save an additional copy of each file from c:\winnt\repair\regback to c:\winnt\system32\config.

I have intentionally blue screened my machine with 3 versions of pcAnywhere and recovered using this procedure described above. This procedure when implemented is a huge lifesaver and add value for the client and support analyst.
These ideas were founded on material from the book: Mastering the Windows 2000 Registry by Peter D. Hipson (Sybex, 2000)
Scroll down to view the script.
: BackupSystemState.bat
TITLE Update System State and Registry Files Stored @ c:\winnt\repair\regback\COLOR F@ECHO OFF cls:: Purpose: Backup batch file used to perform backup of ::          system state prior to troubleshooting anything.:: ::  Author: John Sharpe::  Title:  Desktop Support Analyst::  Date:   March 12th, 2002:: ::  Intent: Provide better customer service in less:: 	    time.:: Recover Your Operating System By Restoring Registry and Security Files:: If you cannot recover your Operating System via the Last Known Good Option:: Boot to the Recovery Console or WinPE Boot Disk.  :: Execute the RecoverOS.bat file from the Recovery Console via c:\winnt\BATCH RecoverOS.bat.  :: Execute the RecoverOS.bat file from the WinPE Boot Disk c:\winnt\RecoverOS.bat%systemdrive%TITLE Map B: to a share where scripts reside so scripts have the correct path.::	\\jsharpw2\win2k$\MapDriveB.batclscd\clsTITLE Erase temp files prior to backing up user profile.clserase *.tmp /smkdir c:winnt\options\backup\clsTITLE Update System State and Registry Files Stored @ c:\winnt\repair\regback\ntbackup backup systemstate /j "Command Line System State Backup" /f "c:winnt\options\backup\%Username%SysState.bkf" /aclsdel "c:winnt\options\backup\%Username%SysState.bkf"TITLE Copy operating system recovery file to c:\winnt.	xcopy /s /h /r b:\RecoverOS.bat c:\winnt:: RecoverOS.batTITLE Recover Your Operating System By Restoring Registry and Security FilesCOLOR F@ECHO OFF:: Purpose:  Recover Your Operating System By Restoring Registry and Security Files::	     If you cannot recover your Operating System via the Last Known Good Option::           Boot to the Recovery Console or WinPE Boot Disk.  ::::           Execute this file from the Recovery Console via c:\winnt\BATCH RecoverOS.bat.  ::	     Execute this file from the WinPE Boot Disk c:\winnt\RecoverOS.bat:: 	:: Courtesy: Jerold Schulman:: Modifier: John Sharpe:: Title:    Desktop Support Analyst:: Date:     May 2nd, 2002:: Intent:   Provide better customer service in less time.:::: Create a directory for backup of suspected defective registry.mkdir c:\winnt\options\registrybackup:: Backup suspected defective registry.copy c:\winnt\system32\config\software c:\winnt\options\registrybackupcopy c:\winnt\system32\config\default c:\winnt\options\registrybackupcopy c:\winnt\system32\config\sam c:\winnt\options\registrybackupcopy c:\winnt\system32\config\security c:\winnt\options\registrybackupcopy c:\winnt\system32\config\system c:\winnt\options\registrybackup:: Restore registry and security information from system state backup.copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\software c:\winnt\system32\config\software copy c:\winnt\repair\regback\software c:\winnt\system32\config\software.savcopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\default c:\winnt\system32\config\defaultcopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\default c:\winnt\system32\config\default.savcopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\sam c:\winnt\system32\config\samcopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\sam c:\winnt\system32\config\sam.savcopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\security c:\winnt\system32\config\securitycopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\security c:\winnt\system32\config\security.savcopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config\systemcopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system.altcopy c:\winnt\repair\regback\system c:\winnt\system32\config\system.sav

Even if this script proves not to be useful for the aforementioned portable progey it is still a handy script to have for a rainy day! If you would like a copy of the batch scripts see below N-Joy!

Regards & Respect,

ispy :cheers:

Attached Files



#25 MedEvil

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 12:02 AM

ispy, please don't throw everything together.

Can a real universal portable solution be created. Yes.
Can it be done by one person alone? Yes.
Does this person need to be real good with the windows internals? Absolutely!
Can it also be done by a novice? No way!
Can something that resembles portable software, though with huge holes in it, be created by a novice? Yes, it can. As with everything in life, the needed work/knowledge is exponential to the quality of the end product.
Do i even need a special portable solution to run my favorite programs on other computers? Not necessary. Most programs will work just fine, without being properly set up.

:cheers:




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