I am looking for an installer package where I can send out a thumb drive with the following:

Chrome Browser
A MySQL Database

and have these things installed in any version of MS Windows from XP on up by an installer on the thumb drive.

Any recommendations?

Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAsked:
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You can create an installer using nullsoft (free) to do all sorts of things:

Of course there are the paid, more popular installers like InstallShield.

Here is a list of installer software:

Also, how about
It seems to allow you to install to root of thumb drive and get  mysql, xammp. As for chrome, it is also offered on

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Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
My current thinking is using & running things in a web server mode from the thumb drive. seems VERY good. It appears that if a thumb drive is inserted in a USB port & that drive has chrome / XAMPP on it, it prefers that over other local hard dtive (c: drive) versions which is EXACTLY what I want.

Is that the way it works? Do you know?


I'm sorry, that I haven't actually used these very much. I discovered them a few years ago and thought they'd be handy to have on my jump drive, but in my work environment we already have the apps in question installed on computers and I haven't had to use it. So I honestly don't know the answer to exactly how they work.  I do know they are built to be portable, and run off a thumb drive, which is amazing.  I'd just have to try them out, like you are doing.  I don't actually use Chrome either so I am no help on that. I do use XAMPP, but not in a portable manner--at least not yet.
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Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
To SStory,

I posed a question (as follows) on one of their forums.

I'm sorry to be such a dummy, but I don't see how it works.
Here is my objective:

We want to create a web app that can run on the web server software XAMPP on a Windows PC.

We want to distribute the app via USB Drive for use on computers with no (or very slow) internet capability.

I have created a test version on a USB drive with Chrome & XAMPP. When distributed to the end user, how do they access it? Assuming the USB drive is E: on the PC, does the users just type E:(path to app)?

What if they already have Chrome and XAMPP on their computer. Does the stuff on the USB drive supersede what's on the local computer?

The response I got I thought very odd:

 Chrome Licensing

Chrome's license does not permit pre-installation on something like a USB flash drive.

Firefox's license permits this as long as you make no changes to it (this includes homepage and bookmark changes... those aren't allowed).

Something like QupZilla or Chromium would let you change whatever you want.

We usually recommend using something like the PA.c Platform in situations like this as it can handle running them both.

XAMPP can't run if something on the PC is already running on port 80 (note that Skype oddly steals this port).

I already installed the portable version of Chrome (as available from their apps list).

Can you suggest any other resource?

Or maybe I should just post the question I posted there onto EE?

On their support page for XAMPP:
"Installation without the Installer (Use this for portable use)
Note: Be sure not to run setup_xampp.bat, it is used for local installs"

From this page:

"Not using the setup script, or selecting relative paths in the setup script, is preferred if you are installing XAMPP on a usb drive. Because on each pc such a drive can have an other drive letter. You can switch from absolute to relative paths at any time with the setup script."

They are saying if something else u
sing port 80, the default port your broswer goes to for a website.
XAMPP won't also work on port 80.


So, I guess you could have an autorun.inf, but I don't think that will auto run from USB anymore.  

I don't think portableapps is about installing from a USB as much as running from a USB drive.

If you want to install to the user's PC (c drive) from a USB or CD, you will probably have to use one of the Installer programs I mentioned and do a lot of scripting and digging/debugging to get that working properly.

Which do you want to accomplish?
I think the possibility of the user having XAMPP on their machine and chrome could possibly cause issues, but I am not certain. Does your app involve MySQL, php, etc such that you need XAMPP?

Here is another possibility:

I have never used this and per the domain it appears to be from Germany. That being said, just glancing at it, it appears to allow you to run webserver from even a CD-ROM.  That seems pretty cool if you deem that the software and company can be trusted. I'd investigate before going with it.

Here are the stated features:

    Free! No royalties
    Complete WAMPP Server-Stack
    Runs directly from CD-ROM, USB Stick or Hard disk without installation
    Full featured webserver (based on apache)
    PHP 5.x support with many extensions installed (e.g. gd)
    Supports SQLite databases
    Runs on all versions of Windows from Win 98 and above, MAC OSX support is coming
    Support for MySQL 5 Databases
    Supports many PHP extensions (GD-Lib, PDO...) by default
    Support for Perl 5.8

Probably nothing will be 100% automated without writing some sort of program or install script.
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:

Thanks a lot for all this. Yes, I need php & MySQL.

In a nutshell, this is all about a large project we are trying to get (& have the inside track on) that provides a testing capability. The customer wants it to run with high speed internet capability, with low speed & with none. The end customers are schools in  countries where internet capabilities are spotty or non-existent.

We believe the way to do this is with a web technology application that can run in any of those conditions. If a thumb drive is used, after the testing, the drive is removed & physically sent in for results analysis. If slow speed internet, we may do the testing as with thumb drive, but "off load" the results (method TBD) & ftp them (or connect to a remote server & upload) in "off hours" where it can take 12 hours if needed.

So I'm trying to show a prototype (proof of concept) where we can do it all from a thumb drive. sounds REALLY good. I think some end users MAY have Win 98.
I lived in one for over 3 years, so I understand. ;)  From what I have read, it appears you could do it from a thumbdrive, but something will have to start it and because of nasty things that can be on thumbdrives they don't auto run things much anymore.  However, CD-ROMs do.  If possible you might write a CD-ROM with an autorun.inf that points to your on setup.exe which in turn does a silent install on everything you wish to do.  Another possibility would be something like Knoppix that can run linux entirely from a CD-ROM and connect to the Internet. However you'd need to know quite a bit to get it configured correctly and build your own modified version of Knoppix that already had your app configured, etc.

The other option is a Java or Dotnet app that doesn't need a webserver but can run stand alone, write to a thumb drive if present, or use the web to hit a webservice that you'd write on your end.  These are just some thoughts for free.   Wow, Win 98! That is bad.  However, Knoppix can run on a piece of junk machine and if you have someone who could custom configure it you might be able to ship a CD that, they just boot to and launch your app.
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:
My thinking was that if Chrome was on the thumb drive, the instructions would be to use windows explore & find chrome.exe (or whatever it's called) on the thumb drive, run it (double click) & enter on the address bar: "E:/localhost/startup.php" where of course startup.php "does the rest".

It would come with the database & the app (all the php programs, needed folders, images, etc.) on the thumb drive.

I'm VERY experienced with php, don't know Java at all & dotnet just a little

Probably have to have CDROM & thumb versions; some old machines might not have USB ports.

Thanks for all your insights, this goes well beyond my expectations from EE & I think EE is a GREAT resource.
I think the CDROM route with autorun.inf (Google that) and a setup.exe program that it points to that will start things off the way you want, could be used to do all sorts of things. If you want to spend the time to make something work that doesn't even need Microsoft Windows and runs on old hardware, then a customized Knoppix CD could really be the ticket.

One other thought is that you might, set up a Rasberry Pi
Its a $35 small computer, that can run Linux.  You could put apache on it and probably a db and depending upon how big the db will be, if the app is just a few users hitting that internal site and some other factors, you might be able to create a $35 turn key solution or so and sell the entire computer pre configured. Just a last thought.
Richard KortsBusiness Owner / Chief DeveloperAuthor Commented:

I'm trying to use Server2go. I installed it like they said (on a thumb drive), then installed FireFoxLite (like they said) on the thumb drive.

I cannot figure out how to access phpmyadmin (or anything else) on the E: drive.

Using, I just typed e:/local/host...............

I tried that with this one (localhost doesn't seem to work). I typed E:/<pathtophpmyadim>. It opens that stupid Yahoo can't find thing.

See attached.

Any ideas?
I have honestly never used this software. I just found it and it looked like it might help you.

Look in autorun.inf. What does it try to open?

If it tries to open server2go.exe, and you trust this company then you could just try running that file. Perhaps since autorun doesn't work on USB much anymore, you'd have to do that.
Again if you already have something else on your PC listening to port 80, then this one can't also.
As to PHPAdmin, I'm a little ignorant, but unless you have installed that I don't think it would be on there.
Docs should be in htdocs.  I have NEVER used that site, so I'd just have to dig and communicate with them like you will in order to see if it is a viable option.

Honestly a fat client app would be a lot easier to deal with than this, but as mentioned before a sufficiently knowledgeable person might take a RasberryPi for $35 and ship that whole machine, preconfigured entirely to the person also.

That being said, you generally have to read the manual. The documentation is apparently, per the site, at this location:

I would start there. It says it needs a 32-bit OS, which makes me think it's old, but you are shooting for old technology anyway.  Good luck.  I think there will be a lot of hurdles in writing this app in this fashion, but I'm sure if you dig you might be able to accomplish it.
Also, here as some FAQS.

Again, dated 2012.
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