MAKE PORTABLE APPS WITH VMWARE THINAPP

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MAKE PORTABLE APPS WITH VMWARE THINAPP

Post  Admin on Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:01 am

Here's a recap on what vmware thin app is:
VMware ThinApp is an application virtualization solution.[7] As with similar products from other vendors, it is able to execute applications without them being installed in the traditional sense by virtualizing resources such as environment variables, files and Windows Registry keys. The virtual environment presented to the client is a merged view of the underlying physical and virtual resources, thereby allowing the virtualization layer to fool the application into thinking that it is running as if it were fully installed. ThinApp does not have any pre-installed components and does not require the installation of device drivers allowing applications to run from USB keys or network shares without ever requiring Administrator rights. ThinApp converts standard application installers such as .msi files into self-contained EXE files which includes everything required to run. Unlike self-extracting ZIP files, ThinApp does not extract files to disk or require system registry changes in order to run applications. ThinApp supports all released Intel-based Windows systems from Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2008, Terminal Server 2000 & 2008 from both 32bit and 64 bit editions. ThinApp does not yet support Windows 7.



Things needed:
* A Virtual Machine with Windows XP or Vista (XP recommended) (VMware Workstation is the software used here, but you can also use software like VirtualBox)
* VMware ThinApp


1. Set up a XP Virtual Machine
2. Install VMware ThinApp in the Virtual Machine
3. Run "Setup Capture"
4. After running Setup Capture, it asks to install the application: install the software you want to make portable
5. Reboot if required (don't worry Setup Capture will start next time the Virtual Machine boots up)
6. Customize the options of your application (accept licenses, disable "tips of the day", etc...)
7. After doing the above, close you application and run "Setup Capture" again (it might be already open)
8. Click "Next" until you get to the "post install scan": wait a little...
9. Choose the executable you want to be the main container (for example: Firefox.exe in case of Firefox, this will be the file to contain all the data, the other files will just be shortcuts that link to it...)
10. Choose the inventory name: the nome of your application is a good choice and click "next"
11. In this screen you are given the option to choose if you want the app to store it's data in the user profile (this way an aplication is "tied" to a Windows installation) OR locally (on the folder where the portable exe is), use the second option if you want the app to be 100% portable and to use it in a USB Flash Drive, and click "next"
12. Choose the compression type ("Fast compression" recommended) and click "next"
13. Choose the "Isolation Mode" (the default one is OK) and click "next"
14. Click "Build Now"
15. You can now go to the project folder by clicking "Browser Project"
16. The portable executable of the application is the the "bin" folder
17. Copy the file out of the Virtual Machine (you can use a USB flash Drive for that)
18. Test if the packed application can run on your PC


SOURCES:
http://hacktolive.org/wiki/Make_portable_applications_with_VMware_ThinApp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMware_ThinApp

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