What tools do you use to test Portability?

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JohnTHaller
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#31 Post by JohnTHaller » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:48 am

For PortableApps.com, I use a series of clean virtual machines within VirtualBox. They're considered clean as they're a standard Windows install with just the defaults and all default Windows updates installed. The only added bit is the VirtualBox drivers to enable a fully functional testing environment. Virtual machines for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 in both 32-bit and 64-bit variants are kept up to date on our main testing rig. For testing portability, I do a Regshot of the registry and all local files on C: before and after running an app. Within the app, I try to make sure all the main functionality is accessed, especially ensuring that options are changed and saved, any "views" are altered where applicable, and that at least one file is opened/saved. Options and views ensure we catch any apps that might split settings between INI and registry. File open/save ensures we catch GTK and Qt apps that might store registry entries you might not expect.
PortableApps.com - The open standard for portable software | Support Net Neutrality

CornHolio the Gringo
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#32 Post by CornHolio the Gringo » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:23 am

Heya JohnTHaller.
I love all the effort You give into portableapps.com.
I myself has always trusted Your portable sofware.
Its seems "clean" and the default settings are always set for Privacy.

Love You man...

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JohnTHaller
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#33 Post by JohnTHaller » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:52 pm

CornHolio the Gringo wrote:Heya JohnTHaller.
I love all the effort You give into portableapps.com.
I myself has always trusted Your portable sofware.
Its seems "clean" and the default settings are always set for Privacy.

Love You man...
Thanks. Glad you appreciate it. We try to present the best possible version of each app we package, even passing updated icons and bug fixes upstream. As for clean, we scan every app with ~40 antivirus engines, digitally sign, and confirm file hashes in the platform for a reason. :)
PortableApps.com - The open standard for portable software | Support Net Neutrality

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tomcat
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#34 Post by tomcat » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:00 am

Well, I have a naive query.

It seems to me that just to test whether an app is portable, you don’t need anything. Just double click it and see if (UAC and) an installer appears. If it does, it’s not portable and you can block the installer.
Alternatively and better still, try to run it from a USB stick, the definition of portability, and again see what happens.

The problem I see is that some portable programs, that is the non-stealth ones, still write to the registry despite being portable. And to test stealth you do need a registry monitor of some sort. But stealth is different from portability. Are we mixing the two?

So, what am I understanding wrong?
If anything can go wrong, it will. (Murphy’s Law)

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webfork
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#35 Post by webfork » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:06 am

tomcat wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:00 am
It seems to me that just to test whether an app is portable, you don’t need anything. Just double click it and see if (UAC and) an installer appears. If it does, it’s not portable and you can block the installer.
Alternatively and better still, try to run it from a USB stick, the definition of portability, and again see what happens.

The problem I see is that some portable programs, that is the non-stealth ones, still write to the registry despite being portable. And to test stealth you do need a registry monitor of some sort. But stealth is different from portability. Are we mixing the two?
I haven't done much with UAC so I'm not sure what system calls go into that or what that specifically indicates, but portability is fundamentally about a program's settings. If all settings are saved to the local folder, but a few registry writes for minor or unimportant or functions like window location, that's still considered acceptable.

As far as stealth (at least on our site), writing anywhere other than a few system temp folders means you're not stealth (more here).

There's a third category as well that I think you may have come across called "noinstall" which means there's no program installer (usually getting around the need for admin access), but can still save settings to various places on the drive. Those tend to work fine on a USB drive test but every machine you plug-in to will require modifying settings all over again.

JamieLanger
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#36 Post by JamieLanger » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:01 am

guinness wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:42 am
So far I have asked: How do you update your Portable Collection? & What Software do you use for Submissions?, both receiving an interesting incite into unknown applications.

So carrying on with a Portable Freeware Collection theme, What tools do you use to test Portability? What applications, tools or regimes do you use to ensure the effective testing of Portable applications.

How do you test for Registry entries? Dependency issues? or files being created outside of the Application folder?

mySetup
System Explorer + VirtualBox (with the Sandbox feature to revert back to a clean system.)
Any application that can hold its configs and setups separately can be portable.

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webfork
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#37 Post by webfork » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:50 am

JamieLanger wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:01 am
Any application that can hold its configs and setups separately can be portable.
I'm not sure what you mean by "separately" but I haven't found settings portability that functions well outside of the application folder.

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Midas
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#38 Post by Midas » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:42 am

Theoretically, with programs that rely on '-confdir' style command parameters, you could adopt a sidecar config folder scheme for storing settings while keeping portability -- similar to the way Jportable is usually set. I fail to see any major benefits to such setup, but it's a possibility.

bitcoin
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Re: What tools do you use to test Portability?

#39 Post by bitcoin » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:39 pm

tomcat wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:00 am
Well, I have a naive query.

It seems to me that just to test whether an app is portable, you don’t need anything. Just double click it and see if (UAC and) an installer appears. If it does, it’s not portable and you can block the installer.
Alternatively and better still, try to run it from a USB stick, the definition of portability, and again see what happens.

The problem I see is that some portable programs, that is the non-stealth ones, still write to the registry despite being portable. And to test stealth you do need a registry monitor of some sort. But stealth is different from portability. Are we mixing the two?

So, what am I understanding wrong?
some of the programs that claim to be portable or appear to be portable (no installer) create folders for program settings at places like Win7>Users>AppData and leave them there

so if for example you use your USB drive with portable programs on someone else's computer (maybe you are a technician or just borrow a friend's computer) its leaving that junk there

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