Old 04-24-2018, 04:49 AM   #1
andyp24
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Default Truly portable installation

Hi all

What are the relative advantages/disadvantages to a portable install vs OS based install?

I wonder whether I can create a disk which I could carry around with me that contains a portable Reaper setup including the executables for both Mac and PC, and all my plugins, themes, configs etc. Then wherever I went to work I could have a working and familiar setup (barring a bit of manually selecting audio drivers etc)

How easy is this to do?

Andy
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:32 PM   #2
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VST3 is not portable.
You will not be able to take your VST3 plugins with you.
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:50 PM   #3
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You can have everything you ask for except possibly/probably the plugins, depending on what you use.

VSTs that require installation deeper in to the OS (e.g. on windows they might add registry keys, use a dedicated installation directory somewhere, etc.) probably aren't going to work.

But those that are just a .dll (on windows) can be put in a custom-made directory in your portable install and you can point reaper to it. I haven't done this: presumably it would be a hardcoded path as opposed to a relative path, so you might need to tweak it when using it somewhere new and do a re-scan. (I also don't know the mac world well and how this all works there.)

With a few VSTs that offer an option of where to install you might be able to run the installer and install them to the custom directory in the portable install and they will put whatever they need to operate in there and work fine. But again, if they depend on the registry for whatever reason, probably not going to work. It's annoying that many plugins install this way, but it's the way of the world, unfortunately.

Some discussion here: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=164645

Basic info on portable installs is in a link in my sig, below.

I'd recommend using a portable install even on your main machine. They're great.

-c
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:53 PM   #4
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VST3 discussion insub referred to here: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=164957

...but it's not clear to me from that thread that VST3's must live in their typical directory only and can't be moved. Is that really the case? Seems bizarre, if so.
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:43 PM   #5
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The other problem I've had in windows is drive letter. When you attach the flash drive to another machine it might get assigned a different drive letter than the path for your portable VST2 FX. So, you have to direct reaper to the new path, they are not relative.

If you can go all native ReaEffects and JS FX then running the portable is very easy on multiple machines.

Ultimately, I decided to just keep replicating my setup on each machine. I only use free 3rd party plug-ins or paid ones that allow multiple installations without iLok, specifically for this reason. I move between 3 machines at different locations, so I only purchase plug-ins that allow 3 or more installations and an easy way to deauthorize individual installations.
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:07 PM   #6
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Perhaps we should submit an FR for relative directory paths in the plugin config section? (Assuming it's not already possible, and that the FR hasn't already been made.)
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:10 PM   #7
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Put all your VST2 plugins into this folder of Reaper portable main directory:
UserPlugins\FX\VST

Reaper will scan them portably = no matter what letter your drive has assigned etc..
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akademie View Post
Put all your VST2 plugins into this folder of Reaper portable main directory:
UserPlugins\FX\VST
Nice. And what is stopping this from working for VST3 plugins?

And OP note that the above trick still won't work for VST2 plugins that require registry keys, etc.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clepsydrae View Post
Nice. And what is stopping this from working for VST3 plugins?

And OP note that the above trick still won't work for VST2 plugins that require registry keys, etc.
I think VST3 is registered with the system. Sort of like COM DLLs such as DX plugs are. AKA regsvr32 but don't quote me as I've never looked into it for VST3 and is an assumption - though I do think it is some form of that even if it's the DAW specifically looking in the official location.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clepsydrae View Post
VST3 discussion insub referred to here: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=164957

...but it's not clear to me from that thread that VST3's must live in their typical directory only and can't be moved. Is that really the case? Seems bizarre, if so.
Some work from any dir (among them Span, YouLean's Lodness Meter, sTilt) others don't (among them Spectro, Schope). And the ones that don't work outside of their home dir typically crash Reaper when you try to use them from another dir (https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=170873)

EDIT: But let's not go there again (the linked to thread, I mean)
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Last edited by Fabian; 04-25-2018 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:17 PM   #11
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Geese. "Progress" as usual.
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:52 PM   #12
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You can assign a permanent letter to the usb drive:
https://www.howtogeek.com/96298/assi...-in-windows-7/
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinknoise View Post
You can assign a permanent letter to the usb drive:
https://www.howtogeek.com/96298/assi...-in-windows-7/
Thanks, I already knew how to do this. The problem was remembering to set the drive letter right away and the same in each machine. Then, like a noob, I assigned too low a letter, which would usually work in one machine but not the others. I have the same problem with my sample libraries. I assigned too low a letter and when I have to change it, I need to go back to all the different software and point them to the correct directories and rescan again. One of these days I'll get it right the first time.

After several maschine migrations, I just decided that a native install was simpler for me.
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