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Opera Portable for Mac (USB)

January 21st, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that Mac users now will be able to put Opera on a USB stick (or encrypted disk image) and carry their bookmarks and settings, mail, and everything else with them.

Linux/FreeBSD and Windows users can sit this one out, and skip straight to the changelog.

Mac user, please stay with me. You can install Opera to /Applications as you have always done, or you can put it on an external USB stick or an encrypted disk image and have your preferences go with you.

The rest of the blog post will cover technical details about the changes relevant if you are running more than one copy of Opera on your Mac.

If your unsure where your preferences are stored, open the opera:about page to see the full paths.

Opera Portable for Mac Installation

  1. Download and mount the disk image
  2. Drag Opera from the disk image to an USB stick or external drive
  3. Open Terminal.app and drag Opera from the USB stick and drop it ontop of the Terminal window
  4. Press backspace once then type /Contents/MacOS/Opera -createsingleprofile (should read …Opera.app/Contents…) then press Enter

You only have to run this once and it will create a hidden folder /Volumes/volume-name/.operaprofile/ that will contain all your bookmarks and settings, mail, and the disk cache. With Unite you can think of it as an instant-on server in your pocket. 🙂 There is also a short-form -csp.

Managing multiple installations of Opera

We’ve put an end to the use of the PrefsSuffix file to manage multiple installations. The -pd (personal directory) option have also been deprecated as we never used personal directories. Replacing it is -ps (preference suffix) which works as -pd used to do.

The default suffix for preview released changed with this build from ‘110’ to ‘Next’. You can rename your preference directories to mirror this change if you want to preserve user-data from previous preview releases of Opera 11.

Please note that you cannot easily move between a stand-alone installation and a regular installation. This is not even supported. We don’t expect much trouble for you if you carefully move files between installations.

Update 28. January: A better explanation of managing user preferences and portable installations on Mac.

Known issues

  • If Opera crashes immediately on start-up than please opt to restart Opera without extensions.

WARNING: This is a development snapshot: It contains the latest changes, but may also have severe known issues, including crashes, and data loss situations. In fact, it may not work at all.

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