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Perhaps the major problem with portable apps is the process of updating them smoothly. Most portable apps lack of a good procedure to update them (maybe because many of them is not made to be portable).

How can I ensure my portable applications are up-to-date?

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which portable apps are you talking about ? –  Andrew Keith Dec 8 '09 at 0:56
    
All kinds. That's the problem :) Some of them have good auto-updater's and works fine without app had to be properly installed, but most ones was not made to works in that way. –  bigown Dec 8 '09 at 3:51
    
portableapps.com will include an update mechanism in the 2.0 of their menu system. A fairly stable beta is already available. –  oKtosiTe Dec 15 '10 at 1:34
    
@oKtosiTe: GTK, I will try it, thanks. –  bigown Dec 29 '10 at 4:06
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2 Answers

Windows apps?

update-notifier

checks your installed applications, including any *.paf.exe portable applications, for updates against its server.

EDIT: As Molly pointed out, this .paf.exe updatability only applies to applications from those clever folk at portableapps.

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aren't *.paf.exe files just the self-extracting archives (installers) for applications from portableapps.com? then it would pull the latest version alright but that wouldn't automatically update the extracted portable application (which could be anywhere, maybe on a USB stick that is only temporarily connected) –  Molly7244 Dec 8 '09 at 1:30
    
Yes, you're right. I've learned something today! –  outsideblasts Dec 8 '09 at 1:45
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And the problem is not knows when a update is released, but update properly when the app is not installed in regular way. –  bigown Dec 8 '09 at 3:55
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One way of ensuring your portable apps remain up to date would be to create a script with line for each app containing something similar to the following:

cd \folder_with\Apps

wget -c URL_to_Apps_site_with_download_path/app_to_get

What this file will do is change directory to the folder your portable app is stored and and download the URL you enter in your script. Provide you keep the links up to date, running the script from time to time will ensure that your portal apps remain up to date.

In order for the above to work you will need wget installed.

The only problem is that some apps names include version number in their download link so it might require some maintenance or automation to keep the script up to date.

Some other thoughts on how to achieve this:

  • the other option is to use some online service providing combined installers, but that cannot be automated
  • if you have an RSS reader for news, you can monitor the sites through that tool
  • you can also monitor RSS emissions on sourceforge to see when a new version is released
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