It would be a great step forward for Freenet if you could make it portable.
This would allow people to install on portable encrypted hard drives or containers and increase security much, much more.
At the moment Freenet creates a user account and leaves other traces that would do no one good unless they use something like TC's hidden OS.
Most applications need admin rights to install on Windows. On unix, Freenet is self-contained within the installing user. More broadly, we don’t really want to encourage people to run Freenet for a few hours a day here and there behind other people’s NATs as low uptime is very problematic for the network; if you do need to run Freenet from a webcafe, use a laptop.
One final point: Freenet could benefit from being "portable" i.e. not leaving any traces, even if you don't run it on third party machines (which is generally a very bad idea since they're probably infested with keyloggers etc). If you can help us build a more portable package, let us know. (A bundled browser has a lot of advantages too).
More than several probably: You would have a small core of nodes with good uptimes and a huge number of nodes with low uptimes. This might be a feasible model but would likely need major work on routing and other stuff. IMHO it is distant future, and would need a lot of simulation work first. Using your laptop is much more secure, that's the main difference: The cafe owner, the police, or anyone else who left some malware around, can steal your node identity, impersonate you, read your download queue, etc; it's not a good idea generally to run a node on a computer belonging to somebody else whom you have no good reason to trust. If your node is actually portable with its full node identity, as opposed to bootstrapping a new node on the cafe PC, then it's pretty equivalent otherwise. The other issue here is packaging - we don't have the expertise, although in principle I can see some benefits to having a self-contained folder with a browser and a node and so on, it would need some platform specific work and ongoing maintenance (which isn't a reason not to do it, it's a reason why we'd need help from new volunteers).
Mr Ling commented
I'd also like to have a portable version.
Freenet doesn't need admin rights, and I don't see how a portable version would decrease freenet's uptime.
It would rather add several short uptimes to the already existing one.
Also, what is the difference between plugging in a usb stick at the webcafe and bringing your laptop there? Up- and downtime is the same in both cases.
I absolutely agree with this suggestion, and am disappointed at toad's response. A freenet instance which can be carried on a thumb drive or similar would be of significant value.
"If you do need to run Freenet from a webcafe, use a laptop" is completely unrealistic for many, and that this was presented as a 'solution' to the issue suggests that the supporters and developers of Freenet are not interested in seeking solutions to the very real problem of censorship which currently exist for many users.
Without containing into portable installation Freenet will never be free, anonymous or private. I am amazed of the developer's reluctance to face this major problem.
Can you give any more information about your rebooting? I really don't see how Freenet could cause this. Most likely your computer is overheating or something?
P. Krom commented
On my Win7 64bit Freenet causes spontanous reboots. I hadto uninstall
Windows users already have the "Start Freenet"/"Stop Freenet" in the system tray, if people were so inclined to only run a few hours a day they already have that option.
Portability is simply a cleanliness thing. If people are able to, for example. format their C:\, and not be hassled to re-install FreeNet *since portable version is self-contained in "D:\PortableApps\", it would be a very nice thing. Amung other advantages.
Also, I don't believe most applications need admin rights :). Most applications think they need admin rights, but, it isn't the same thing.
I also would love to see a portable version of Freenet. I am in a situation where I absolutely cannot have something like Freenet installed on my computer without compromising my freedom. I know others who are in very similar situations.
A portable version of Freenet that I could more easily hide would be useful to me.
hidden user commented
The main feature of a portable app is that it does not save any information outside it's own folder. This is a highly useful feature for a service such as Freenet when the secret police knock on your door. Wipe one folder and *POOF* - "Freenet, what Freenet?"
BTW, Why do you need my email address to post comments for a anonymous service?