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Run A Webserver From Usb-stick On Windows Guide

6 replies to this topic

#1 bakr_2k5


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Posted 18 February 2007 - 11:59 AM

Run a webserver from USB-stick on windows guide

A few weeks ago we got a 256MB USB-stick from school (yes I didn’t have one yet!), and I haven’t played with it since I got it till my computer broke and I had to use my moms laptop. Since I didn’t want to break up my moms laptop, I thought about my USB-stick and wanted to install a webserver on it. Though it can also be used if you want to demonstrate a project of yours to your clients or friends whatsoever! It can even be used as a real webserver! But please keep in mind that a USB-stick isn’t the fastest medium to run a webserver from.

In this guide we’ll be using:
* 256MB USB-stick ( Directory I:\ )
* HP Pavilion ze4500 laptop with Windows XP Professional SP2
* WAMP (Windows – Apache – Mysql – PHP) packages
Note: When I refer to the USB-drive, I mean the drive I:\. But you’ll have to change the path according to your own USB-stick!!

1. Installing XAMPP (lite) on USB-stick
In this chapter we’re going to install XAMPP (lite) from apache friends on a USB-stick.

XAMPP is a free software package containing the Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database and necessary tools to use the PHP and Perl programming languages. The program is released under the GNU General Public License and serves as a free, easy-to-use web server, capable of serving dynamic pages. Currently, XAMPP is available for Windows, Linux, Sun Solaris and Mac OS X (the X in its name could stand for any one of these operating systems; for example, WAMP and LAMP refer to Windows and Linux respectively).
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XAMPP

1.1 Downloading XAMPP (lite)
First, go to this address: http://www.apachefri...pp-windows.html. From there scroll down to download section, you’ll see three kind of packages:
* Installer
* ZIP archive
* Selfextracting 7-ZIP archive
You’ll need the ZIP archive or the Selfextracting 7-ZIP archive.

If you scroll down even more, I’ll find XAMPP lite, which is a reduced version of XAMPP, and is half the size of the full package. Here you’ll need the archives too and not the installer!

Now download the package you want
XAMPP (Selfextracting 7-ZIP archive)
XAMPP lite (Selfextracting 7-ZIP archive)

And save it to a location of your choice, though the desktop would be best for fast access and such!

1.2 Installing XAMPP (lite)
If you’ve downloaded the ZIP file, extract it to “C:\xampp”. If you’ve downloaded the Selfextracting 7-ZIP archive, double click the file and enter “C:\xampp” as the destination directory.

Now copy the extracted xampp directory to your USB-drive, and wait till it’s done. After it’s done, go to “I:\xampp” (Where I:\ is the USB-drive!) and double click “setup_xampp.bat”. This will configure PHP. Though I’m not very sure it’s needed, but it can’t hurt anyway!
When “setup_xampp.bat” is done, double click “xampp-controll.exe”. Now there’s popping up a control panel for xampp. To test if it’s working, start the Apache server and the MySQL server, and browse to http://localhost/ you’ll see the xampp splash screen and choose a language of your choice. Now click on “Status” in the left navigation panel. And check if the things are running that you want to have running. To test xampp even more, check out the demos which can be found on your left in the navigation panel.

Now if it’s working, you should make xampp a bit more secure. Click “Security” in the navigation panel. A new window will open and you’ll see that you’re xampp installation is pretty much completely insecure! Now scroll a bit more down and you’ll see a link to fix this. Yes, click it. Now you should only insert the fields in the MYSQL SECTION, and click “Password changing”. If you’re really paranoid with security you could also fill in the second section on that page, though I don’t think it will help much. And since you aren’t going to run a 24/7 server on a USB-stick, at least I hope for your visitors, you don’t have to be 100% secure!

Now you’re done setting up XAMPP (lite) on a USB-stick. And you can put your webpages and such in “I:\xampp\htdocs\”. Also you can remove the files and directories from htdocs since they aren’t needed anymore.

2. Installing WOS Portable on USB-stick
In this chapter we’re going to install WOS Portable on a USB-stick. WOS stands for Webserver On Stick, and as the name says, it’s intended to be ran from a USB-stick.

An Apachewebserver with PHP and MySQL develops its full power now on every USB Stick on the world. Faithful to the Plug&Play motto:

"Plug in and Play"

(Here it really works ;-)Just plug in your USB stick in any Windows ® computer. A complete Apache webserver with PHP and MySQL starts. And you can enjoy the full power of WOS (Webserver on Stick).
Source: http://www.chsoftwar...are/wos/wos.htm

2.1 Downloading WOS Portable
First surf to http://www.chsoftwar...are/wos/wos.htm which is the page for WOS Portable. On the left navigation panel click “download”. Now you’re prompted with a WOS X page, but we don’t what that because it’s much bigger than WOS Portable. So click “No thanks, take me to the download” button. Now if you already own a WOS Portable package you can choose to upgrade or to obtain a new package. For this guide, we’re going to click the “I do not have a WOS Portable II Package and want to obtain a new package” radio button, then we click go. Now we’re prompted with a package choose menu kind of thing, we have to select a few packages. For this example we’ll only take the “Apache2_SE, MySQL5_SE and PHP4/5_SE”. It’s your choice to choose PHP4, PHP5 or both. ‘SE stands for Small Edition’. Now when you scroll down, you’ll be seeing a calculator for the size of the packages, which is pretty handy since no USB-stick has the same capacity. So take a good look at it, that you don’t exceed you USB-sticks capacity! When your satisfied with you selections click the “Download now” button. Now you can download the file, save it to a location of your choice and wait till it’s done downloading.

2.2 Installing WOS Portable
Ok, we’re done downloading. Now extract the “wosportable.zip” file to “C:\wosportable”. Go to the wosportable dir and take a look, you see that there are three (3) files with the extension “.wos” these are package files which are unpacked and installed with “wos.exe”. So, double click “wos.exe”. Choose a language, we’re going for the English language. You’re now prompted with a screen where you’ll find your chosen packages from the website, just click “Install” at the bottom right. When it’s done you’ll see the server screen, click end. Now copy the wosportable directory (“C:\wosportable”) to your USB-stick (“I:\wosportable”). This might take some time depending on your USB transfer speed and such. Ok, when it’s done, double click “wos.exe” on your USB-stick, the server is started immediately, and your browser will popup. When the browser fails to load the first time, just hit the refresh button. Now you’re done installing WOS Portable!

2.3 Upgrading WOS Portable
As you might have seen we forgot to get “PHPMyAdmin” with WOS Portable. Just go to http://www.chsoftwar...are/wos/wos.htm again, and click download on the left navigation menu, click the “No thanks, take me to the download” button, now click he first radio button with “I have already a WOS Portable II Package and want to update it”, and click go. Scroll down till you find “PHPMyAdmin” and click “download now”. Just save it to your USB-stick in the folder “wosportable”! If you have the WOS Portable server still running end it by clicking on “End” in the server screen thing. And restart “wos.exe”, now you see that you can install “PHPMyAdmin” just click install. This might take some time! When it’s done it will start the server automatically. Now browser to http://localhost/phpmyadmin to verify the installation. And you’re done.

3. Last word from me
All this could be done with much more packages, but I don’t have them all you see. And since these two plus the writing took me almost two days, it wouldn’t be smart to take 100 WAMP packages! I hope you like my guide and that you can learn something from it. I made it with love so treat it with love! Also, I’m sorry I didn’t use any pictures in here, but since working on a laptop isn’t really comfortable for me I just skipped them. Maybe when my PC is fixed, I’ll edit it and add pictures!

When I have my PC up and running again, I’ll be making the same guide but then for Linux, I hope!


#2 bluefish


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Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:07 AM

This is awesome! It's just what I've been looking for. I work on a variety of different computers, and it's very annoying to have to set up servers on each one and make sure that I'm using the newest version of the server. It's great that you know these programs. I used WAMP5 before, and it's all right, but it went kind of weird on Windows 2000 (I'm not sure if it was just the version of Windows, but there was a bug). XAMPP seems to be better, with more features (not that I really need it - I'm a down-to-the-basics kind of guy, but it's handy all the same). And WOS is a real discovery. Kudos to you for bringing this to my (and hopefully other people's) attention!

#3 Guest_FeedBacker_*

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 10:26 PM

Excellent post. I've just come across it and wish I'd seen it a few weeks ago when I was setting up Apache, PHP and MySQL on my laptop. Never mind. I'm going to try installing XAMPP on a usb stick. If it fails I'll use WOS instead. I want to create a portable version of my work journal, this seems like just the thing.

#4 herper


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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:41 PM

the only thing i find wrong with this so far is why don't you just extract it directly to the jump drive to save the time??

I may be missing something though.

#5 Staldon


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Posted 18 April 2009 - 02:43 PM

For setting up a portable server I would recommend Server2Go. It has been specially made for setting up quick portable server. You can show your web applications directly from the CD or if you have it on USB you can work on it right away without installing or setting up anything. It does include the basic necessities like Apache, PHP, MySQL, Mod Rewrite, GDLib and other extensions for PHP.

Edited by Staldon, 18 April 2009 - 02:47 PM.

#6 yordan


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Posted 18 April 2009 - 08:01 PM

I would say that portable XAMPP is the best solution for this. You get it from here : http://portableapps....velopment/xampp

the complete, portable server

XAMPP is an integrated server package of Apache, mySQL, PHP and Perl (the AMPP in XAMPP) that all run from a removable drive. Everything is pre-configured and ready to go just by unzipping or installing it.

#7 Guest_(G)Rafa_*

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:21 PM

Great article!Run A Webserver From Usb-stick On Windows Guide

Thank you! I really needed a fast way to setup a portable server, MoWEs was the answer!Just a comment, in the article it seems as if you're suggesting that both HAVE to be installed, it could help for you to clarify these are alternatives and not both required.Other than that, great job!

-reply by Rafa

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