How can make Processing run as a stand-alone, portable S/W?

I have installed Processing 3.5.4 on an external (portable) hard disk and I have changed the default Sketchbook folder (C:\Users{username}\AppData\Roaming\Processing) to one on that external hard disk, for the purpose ro run Precessing as a stand-alone app. Yet, this folder is re-created (after I delete it) and ‘preferences.txt’, etc. are stored there.

So my question and problem is “How can make Processing run as a stand-alone, portable S/W?”, i.e. w/o the need of using the default Windows disc C:?
Because, if I bring my portable disk to run Processing on another system, I don’t want to use disc C: which is not mine. Locical, right? Besides, this is the meaning of a portable version of any S/W, isn’t it?



Related topic:

I did manage to build a portable version years ago from the source code.

@sableRaph It would be nice to see a portable build available for download from the Processing Foundation.



Update here:


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Hi glv, thanks for suggesting the idea of a portable build for Processing. To make sure we have all the information we need and can keep track of progress, could you please create a feature request on the Processing4 repository? This will make it easier for me to discuss this idea with our lead developer, Ben Fry, and figure out what’s needed to make it happen.

I also wanted to remind everyone that Processing is created by a small group of volunteers who work hard to keep it running and make it better. If you have knowledge in Java and want to contribute, we would be thrilled! We have a lot of open issues that you can help us fix or new features to implement. Every code contribution is highly appreciated and it makes a huge difference in the development of Processing. Thanks for considering it!


@olliebean, the link you suggest offers an impossible solution:

SET USERPROFILE=%~dp0\settings

According to this method, the USERPROFILE becomes {folder}:\settings.
Notice the double slashes …
But this is not all. The worst thing is that the Windows system is messed up and all the apps that use that variable have a problem, ebidently so, because the defaut foloder C:\Users{username} contains all sort of data thw a lot of apps expect to find there, and they don’t. Including Processing itself!
(Unfortunately, the topic is closed and I cannot report this totally unacceptable post regarding the problem of portability of Pocessing.)

Really, from my little experience with this forum, I find the average technical level in here really very low. This also reflects the big problems that the Processing S/W has.
And the bad thing is that I cannot find a real solution for a portable version. Only half solutions and even these create more problems than they solve.

So, I guess, that there is no portable vewrsion of Processing, I will unistall also v. 3.5.4 as I did with 4.2 and I will not bother you more! :smiley:

Hello @alkis, I’m sorry that Processing is not currently meeting your needs. As I mentioned above, code contributions are very much appreciated. Even though the previous issue has been closed, you are welcome to open a new issue and/or make a pull request that addresses the limitations you mention. Let me know if there is anything I can do to facilitate this.


Hello @sableRaph,

Will do when time permits… busy days for me!

A plug and play portable version may be of benefit to some.

I was able to create a portable version and already shared this information:

  • Creating a new build from the source code.
    That is the beautify of open source!

  • From the GitHub issue that @GoToLoop shared. Thanks!
    There is a link at the end to documentation about these features.

Either of the above can be simple or a challenge depending on experience level.

I was able to do the above by gleaning insight from the wealth of knowledge provided by the Processing community and applying it.

It was a challenge the first time years ago to build from the source code but was simple enough this time around for me… experience was gained from that first effort.

Adding a settings.txt was much simpler!


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I don’t understand this thread. I just copy/pasted my Processing app (version 4.1.2) to a USB thumb drive on my Mac. The app runs just fine from this thumb drive. I created a USBDocuments folder on the thumb drive also and copy/pasted an old demo sketch into it. I was able to run the sketch in its new location without problems. Below is a screen shot of the new location for Having it on a thumb drive is about as portable as it gets. Next I’m going to pull the thumb drive out and plug it into another mac and see if it runs there.

Just tried the demo file on another mac and it runs ok there too. It’s portable as far I’m concerned. Maybe someone else with a mac can double check my findings.

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The definition of a portable application is here:

Instructions for moving the Sketchbook and Settings Location are here:

In the portable Processing 4.1.2 version for W10 that I made all of Processing including the Sketchbook and Settings Location are on my flash drive.

Preferences on one of my W10 PCs reside on flash drive (K: drive) :

Preferences on another W10 PC reside on the same flash drive (J: drive) :


I’m not sure what you are trying to say. Is Processing already portable in your opinion?