Cameyo: Build Your Own Portable Apps

by JL Beeken on 9-15-2010

If you’re a fan of portable apps, this will probably interest you.

Cameyo is a virtualization application that turns ordinary software installations into portable versions.

Portable software can be carried around on a flash-drive or external hard-drive and used on any available computer. It doesn’t need to be installed or reinstalled when you change your computer or your operating system. If you want to try a program and then uninstall it, it’s as easy as deleting its folder. It’s a world in your pocket. See Portable Apps for a more in-depth explanation.

The demo video of Cameyo is without sound and totally confusing so I’ll give you the steps. There’s really nothing to it.

First, download and install Cameyo. This is the entire interface, and the only part you need right now is “Capture installation”.

Cameyo Application Virtualization

Cameyo

When you click on that button, a small screen will show up saying,”Taking initial system snapshot before installation”. That’s exactly what it means. Cameyo is taking a screenshot of your system before you install whatever you’re going to install. So, have that installer close by ready to go. This process will take a few minutes.

Packager, Cameyo

The next screen will say, ” Install the software you wish to package.”

Cameyo

So, follow the installation process as you normally would for any software. In order for Cameyo to make a portable version, you first need to install the desktop version as usual. So, you’re going to end up with both.

When you get to the last installation screen, let the program open if it wants to and take care of any registration details. This way everything will be included in the portable version and you don’t have to do it again.

Then, close out and in the little Cameyo box, click “Install done”.

Now it will say, “Taking post-installation screenshot”. This will take a few minutes, or longer, again depending on the size of the program.

When that’s finished, a window will pop up named “Main Executable”. There may be only one choice in the lower box called [ProgramName].exe. Or there might be two including one called Uninstall.exe. Highlight the one that opens the program and click OK.

The next Cameyo screen will say, “Building Package” which, again, takes awhile and then you’ll see “Package Successfully Saved in …” and it will tell you where it is, your desktop by default. A folder will suddenly appear on your desktop with the program name.

From there, just move it to where you keep your portable apps. Mine automatically show up in my PortableApps menu.

I tried this with three small programs and had success all 3 times. Then I tried it with a larger program and it was successful again, although it took longer to build and the portable version seemed to take a few seconds longer to open than the desktop version. My laptop is extremely slow to open programs so I’m not taking this as fact. I’ll have to wait til I get back to my desktop to find out.

Cameyo is in beta and does not guarantee to work with all programs. The catch, of course, is that it only works when you’re first installing software. You can’t use it to make portable apps out of software that’s already installed unless you uninstall it first. So, the best time to use it is when you’re doing a fresh installation of all your software, or when you’re installing something new.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

JL 9-16-2010 at 5:50 PM

P. S. I made 7 portable apps and then I started to get bored with it. Another major drawback is that if your app requires an update, you’ll have to uninstall the desktop version (if you haven’t already) and go through the whole process again.

However, some may find this useful if there’s a program or two that you really want to take with you to the library, for instance.

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