App/Setup/Flash card

From XOWA: the free, open-source, offline wiki application

XOWA is designed to be portable. It can be stored on a flash memory card, and run from other machines. In theory you can take the same flash memory card and run it from Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

XOWA can be installed to a flash memory card simply by copying the entire root directory to it. For example, if you've set up XOWA on C:\xowa and your flash memory card is on X: then just copy C:\xowa to X:\xowa

Standalone JRE

XOWA can use a standalone JRE for Windows machines. This allows zero-install launches of XOWA from an flash-memory card on any Windows machine - regardless of whether or not Java is installed.


The standalone JRE can be set up in the following way:

  • Find the Java JRE. For example, on Windows, C:\Program Files\Java\
  • Copy the folder to XOWA's bin directory for your OS. For example, if you're on Windows 64-bit and your XOWA is set up on an external drive at X:\xowa, copy it to X:\xowa\bin\windows_64\java\jre. When you're done you should have a file called X:\xowa\bin\windows_64\java\jre\bin\java.exe as well as many others
  • Plug the external drive into a Windows machine without Java installed
  • Double-click xowa_64.exe. XOWA will launch using the copied JRE

If you want the same flash-drive to work on Windows 32-bit machine, then you need to do the following

  • Download a 32-bit JRE
  • Copy the folder to XOWA's bin directory: X:\xowa\bin\windows\java\jre


  • There currently is no similar process for Linux distributions. Note that various Linux distributions would have different binaries, and setting up distro-specific JREs does not seem useful (Debian JRE; Redhat JRE; openSUSE JRE, etc).
  • There also is no similar process for Mac OS X. I'm working on a standalone .dmg file for OS X, and when it is done, I will include standalone JRE support.

Developer notes

  • The embedded JRE uses functionality within the exe which in turn was built by launch4j. There is no specific code in XOWA to handle this function. Any issues with standalone JRE functionality will probably be resolvable at the launch4j level.

Portable setup

XOWA can be set up to run with a portable JVM from See:



Getting started