Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro

25 07 2010

I have to admit, I am on the portable apps bandwagon – I cant live without my portable windows apps, meaning I dont have to install software onto restrictive machines – but still be able to do what I want to do (putty / portable firefox with foxproxy etc etc). Now that I have started using DropBox – I have my various Windows machines pretty well sorted with Apps & Data from anywhere. I was curious about other portable apps for Linux / MAC etc and stumbled across this one for Linux Portable Apps from my MakeUseOf feed – its worth a read.

Portable Apps for Windows and Mac have been around for a long time, but are less common in the Linux world. Due to the complexity of Linux dependencies, and the different way different distributions locate these dependencies, the portable Linux application long seemed like a pipe dream.

Until now.

New website PortableLinuxApps features a number of portable Linux applications, which will work on any Linux distribution. These can run off your flash drive or from a folder in your home directory; it doesn’t matter. Best of all, there’s documentation out there to help you make your own program, should you not be able to find what you’re looking for.

via Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro.




2 responses

27 07 2010

So long as the kernel exports the same ABI all you need to do is statically link the application when you compile it. It then doesn’t matter which distribution you run it on. There’s no dependencies because everything is statically linked.

Sure, you might end up with a 60Mb executable, but that’s the price you pay for total portability.

The wording of this “portable Linux” site indicates that they have absolutely no clue how Unix works (or they’re being intentionally misleading), which means either way I wouldn’t be trusting any application from them.

27 07 2010

some good points made … perhaps “work with any linux” was a bit overzealous – their site says “These Apps have been tested on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) 32-bit, OpenSUSE 11.3 (GNOME) 32-bit , and Fedora 12 (GNOME) 32-bit. Just Download, Make Executable, and Run! ” so hardly any linux & their forum is pretty new.

Some searching around seems to indicate they run ok on Mint also (linuxmint) which is my HTPC distro of choice at the momemt, and is really just a forked Ubuntu project. I havent seen any reports of nasties in the apps, but you make a valid point & it would be an interesting vector – “here’s a bunch of free packaged, standalone apps – just download & run” – I imagine the success rate for compromises by including something nasty would be pretty high, given that its aimed more at the “what’s a linux & how do I install an app” level…. food for thought.

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