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Here at CyberNet we always try to point out when applications are portable because, let’s face it, there are some apps it’s nice being able to take with you without the worry of having to download it again or reconfigure it. The problem is that many of our favorite apps aren’t portable, but a free program called Cameyo looks like it may be the cure for this.

What is Cameyo? It is a simple and free way to do application virtualization. Ironically, you’ll have to install Cameyo, but it’s worth it. When you run the app all you’ll have to do is hit the “Capture installation” button. From there you’ll see a small little popup that says Cameyo is creating a snapshot of your system. After it’s done with that you’ll run through the normal installation process of the program you want to “virtualize”, and then click the button indicating that it completed. It will then look to see what changes the program made to your system, and will create the files needed for you to carry your newly virtualized app around with you.

I tried this out on Google Talk and it worked great. They also show it working with apps like Windows Live Messenger, iTunes, Skype, Google Chrome, VLC, FileZilla, and more. You’ll also find that it includes a package manager (as seen in the screenshot above) that lets you navigate through and even modify the files that it has saved.

Another reason why this is so cool? You can virtualize an app with Cameyo, configure it to your liking, and save it off somewhere safe. That way if anything ever gets screwed up with the application, or a new version comes out that you don’t like, you can just revert back to the one you saved. Cool, huh?

Cameyo Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)

There Are 17 Comments

  1. Sounds cool, but can it really save iTunes and your iTunes library in one file? Even if it does, Cameyo will have to update the EXE after you close portable iTunes so that newly added tracks are saved too. Ah well, it’s still a nifty invention.

  2. megasharezone.blogspot.com

    If this program Cameyo can make all Application portable, it is really so great. I have to try it. Thanks for share.

  3. Skype, Google Chrome, VLC, and FileZilla already have portable versions at PortableApps.com.

    I have one concern with programs like Cameyo: If it records changes to your system after the snapshot, doesn’t also capture changes made by other processes during that time frame as well? If it really only tracks changes made by the installer, then what is the purpose of the snapshot in the first place?

    • For the initial setup it tracks all changes. So yes, other changes are also recorded. You can go through the package editor and remove anything unnecessary if you want.

      After the initial run, however, it writes the files directly to the app folder. It doesn’t always go by the change-tracking method.

  4. Can I use it to make my Windows apps behave like Mac apps?
    I mean, if it really works bug-free why should I install anything on my Windows if I can virtualize everything and avoid messing with my registry and go through a lot of pain when uninstall is needed?

    If I got it right with this Cameyo I can install everything by just copying to a folder – say, a applications folder – and then uninstall by deleting it from the folder much like I do on a Mac, which is great!!

    • In theory it should work fine with what you’re talking about doing. You will, however, have to install each app one time in order for it to get bundled appropriately.

      I’m also not sure what kind of performance hit you will see with the more demanding apps.

  5. Yeah, I’m doing it right now and for what I’ve noticed it takes a GREAT deal of patience as it requires a snapshot of the system for each app installed.
    Sure will take some time (a lot!) to have everything virtualized but since the payoff sugests it’s worth the effort, I’ll do it. =)

  6. I haven’t taken the time to read through all of their info yet, but if they are packing everything into a single exe, when you run that on a different machine, is it inserting those values into the registry on that machine?

    If so, not only is that not “portable”, it won’t work if you don’t have rights to do those registry “inserts” (think shared machine at a hotel or something) and honestly, is a little intrusive. If someone wants to run a quick app on your PC/Laptop, do you really want them adding what will soon become orphaned “records” into your registry?

    • No. What it does is it creates a virtual machine. Where it would use values from the registry, it takes its own virtual registry and uses those values instead. Everything is encapsulated

    • As far as I know that is not the case. All changes are written to the self contained package, including all registry edits.

  7. what about those softwares which require a reboot to complete the installation.
    cause while rebooting, cameyo will get terminated and only the software installation will run automatically after the reboot.

  8. Will not work with apps bigger than 500meg. Tried using for for a few games I wanted to take with me on a flash drive. Gives error when trying to load.

  9. VMWare ThinApp, which is the original portable program maker saves the first snapshot and then asks you if you want to resume the next time it’s run. So even when its terminated, you can still resume later on. I dont know if Cameyo does that because I havnt tried it yet ( as im on a mac right now) but if it does, that’s most likely how it works.

  10. dear fellows

    I am new to Cameyo, i have created docs i virtualized OpenOffice , where are the docs saved, it says it exists?

    thanx for help

  11. I tried to make itunes portable but when i tried to run it on a different computer it said it wasn’t installed correctly. How do I fix this?

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