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PortableApps.com is a compilation of free and open source applications made by John T. Haller that run directly from any storage equipment, like a flash drive, iPod, external hard drive, or even directly from the computer. These applications have the feature of not leaving any data on the host computer. These applications can run on almost any computer with Windows 95 and above or with Linux under Wine.
Being hosted on SourceForge.net, the PortableApps.com project has gained some popularity.
A portable application is a computer program that can be carried around on a portable device and used on any Windows computer. Software is typically loaded onto a USB flash drive, USB hard drive, iPod or other removable media. All of the program settings and data are stored on the portable media. When the program is shut down and the device is unplugged, no personal data is left behind. There are no registry entries, no administrator privileges or additional software needed.
PortableApps.com started out as a batch script to run Firefox from a flash drive. It then grew once Portable Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org were released and soon out grew John T. Haller's personal website. He branched it off to a community site devoted to the development, promotion and use of portable applications, as a way to centralize the knowledge and development efforts of multiple portable application efforts. All official PortableApps.com software is open source.
Some of the most famous applications made by PortableApps.com are Firefox Portable and Thunderbird Portable; but there are several others, like OpenOffice.org Portable - an office suite, ClamWin Portable - an antivirus, and VLC Portable - a multimedia player. Many forum members help creating and developing more portable applications.