Virtual Hosting: Making it portable

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Virtual Hosting: Home | Name based | PAC | Browsers and PAC | Making it portable | Issues

Browsers and PAC
Uniform Server 3.5-Apollo

Virtual Hosting & PAC making it portable. Both Firefox and Opera teams have made this a no brainer just install (unzip) and go. Not sure which one to use, download both have a play and then make your choice. If you are using another portable browser try that at least it will save you the download time.

Note: For these tests I originally used Firefox Portable V 2.0.0.2 and Opera USB V 9.20. I have taken the opportunity to try out the latest incarnations, both are excellent and run faster than previous versions on my old USB stick.

Uniform Server

Copy your Uniform Server folder and all its content (development sites) to the top level of your memory stick.

Start uniserver.

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PAC file

Copy your pac file (test.pac) into Uniform Servers root folder www (Location L:\Uniform Server\udrive\www)

Note: Your memory stick drive letter will probably be different its unimportant.

Firefox Portable V3.0

Download the latest version of Firefox Portable from: Portable Apps

File Firefox_Portable_3.0_en-us.paf.exe File size 8.0MB (Disk space 33.3MB)

Installing Firefox:

On your memory stick at the top level create a new folder named fx3 (choose any name you like)

To install Firefox Portable, double-click on the file downloaded. When prompted select the folder fx3 on your memory stick and click OK. A FirefoxPortable folder will be created and all the necessary files installed.

To run double click on FirefoxPortable.exe (located in folder *\fx3\FirefoxPortable)

Install your pac file:

  1. Run Firefox by double clicking on file FirefoxPortable.exe located L:*\fx3\FirefoxPortable\FirefoxPortable.exe
  2. Type about:config in the address bar, then press [Enter]
  3. Type autoconfig in the Filter bar
  4. Double-click the network.proxy.autoconfig_url (edit box pops up)
  5. Type-in http://localhost/test.pac
  6. Click OK

Uc pac firefox c.gif

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Opera V 9.50

Download the latest version of Opera Portable from: Opera USB
File opera950en.zip File Size = 6.41MB (Disk Space 11.3 MB)

Install Opera:

Unzip the file to your USB-drive - that's all you have to do L:\opera950en

Note: Your memory stick drive letter will probably be different its unimportant.


Install your pac file:

  1. Run Opera double click on file operausb.exe located L:\opera950en\operausb.exe
  2. Select Tools > Preferences
  3. Select Advanced tab
  4. Select Network (menu on the left)
  5. Click Proxy servers button
  6. Check on the Use automatic proxy configuration checkbox
  7. Type-in http://localhost/test.pac
  8. Click OK twice to close both dialogs.

Uc pac opera c.gif


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IE

My original comment still stands "Well!"
I have taken a serious look at it this time and it's just not portable.

Problems

I tried several methods of installing the PAC file as a file type (file://...) and failed. In the end I resorted to using http://localhost/test.pac as the path and placed the PAC file in UniServer’s root folder www.

I think the root cause is both Firefox an Opera store an absolute path to the PAC file (includes the drive letter). Hence when I changed drive letter they were unable to find the file.

Summary

Interestingly both Firefox and Opera suffered from the same problem, not being able to use a file address. Certainly no major problem, they both performed flawlessly with the PAC file was placed in UniServer’s root folder.

Interestingly a few days after publishing several issues came to light.

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Uc small logo.gif Ric