Make Mendeley Desktop portable (for USB Drive)
It would be great if Mendeley Desktop could be a portable application that can be run from a USB hard drive or stick.
I have my ebooks and PDF on a USB disk to have the things I need everywhere with me. Therefore I use my disk on several computers. Formerly I have used Jabref which doesn't need to be installed: Mendeley should support the same feature where I simply copy the app files into and let the application run from this location.
Because i don't want to install it again and again when i use another computer.
A version of Mendeley Desktop for Windows which can be installed on shared computers without admin rights is available from http://s3.amazonaws.com/com.mendeley.download/Mendeley-Desktop-1.5.1-win32-NonAdmin.exe
This is not a full ‘portable’ version that stores everything on a USB pen, but it may help some users.
Actually it is already possible to run Mendeley desktop off a USB stick!
Simply save the Install file to a USB file on your USB stick called "Mendeley".
Then run the file from your USB stick - when it asks for the install path, point it back to the same "Mendeley" file you already have the runfile stored in, and let it install itself there. To run it, simply open the "Mendeley" file on your USB stick where you installed the program, and click the icon for the Mendeley Desktop. It worked for me!
I can see this would be useful for students on a campus but..
On each computer the drive could have a different drive letter so I can't imagine this will ever work and is definetely not cross platform.
I find it much better to use the web syncing feature between several machines. Ok, if you have a large library its a bit of a pain to make a temp library then sync the files and then remove the files from that library and do it again with the next batch. Seems to work though...
Søren Porskrog commented
I don't understand why makingit portable to USB is that important as it would be much easier to use Mendeley together with Dropbox (www.getdropbox.com) which is a bridge on the web to all your other PCs, laptops, mobiles etc.
This is the one reason I would still recommend Zotero over Mendeley.
I am strongly in favor of having this on an external hard disk or USB drive. In fact it will be a prerequisite to use the system.
Ekaterina Volkova commented
I see an issue with this in my case - I constantly have to switch between Linux (on two laptops), Windows (one desktop) and Mac (one laptop) . I think it would be great if one of the three options could be realized:
1. a single Mendeley installation (with its database and all the pdf files) on a portable drive. This would require platform independence, which would set uncomfortable limitations
2. having Mendeley installed on each machine and make each intallation look for the documents on the portable drive upon each program launch.
3. increasing the online library space. The new preview version works very well with detecting duplicates so one can potentially keep the documents on various machines and keep uploading them to the on-line library.
Great Idea! That would set free people who travel a lot and use many computers in different places!
Is it possible to use one library on two different platforms - PC and Mac? Let's leave aside the question about synchronizing libraries between different computers. I have both PC and Mac and it would be very usefull to be able to use Mendeley with the same library on both computers (not simultaneously though). Is Mendeley able to link the same document to file path on two different file systems?
Oh yes. I live on portable hard drives. being able to move Mendelay onto a 100gig or more pocket haed drive (I now carry 500 gig in my briefcase) would solve my Mendeley portability issues.
It is possible to do this now on windows, with some trickery using junction.exe to create a hard link from your profile directory to your USB stick; that way, it appears to Mendeley that your profile data is still stored in C:\Documents and Settings\your user name\Local Settings\Application Data\Mendeley Ltd\ , as it expects, but that directory actually lives on your USB stick, and is just linked to from the Application Data directory. The downside of that is that Mendeley won't work at all if the USB stick isn't plugged in! So, now I've gone down a different route, of storing my PDFs on the web; I don't know of a Mendeley interface for to that yet, but I'm hopeful that it will happen.
Qiu Li commented
Will this in the next release?
Richard Baird commented
Agreed. This would be extremely useful for all of us who use multiple PCs at work.
Roberto Landaeta commented
I agree. Mendeley on the Web doesn't have full functionality, and I do most of my research (i.e. downloading and reading papers) on the campus' computer, which is heavily controlled and I can't install programs without permission.
Maybe it works on an USB stick...but I don't know if Mendeley can watch a folder with a relative path.
definitely useful for students or between different machines.
Just been testing ... I installed it to a USB stick at work & it seems to work at home; now, granted I've no data in it, but wanted to see if it was feasible to have it & all pdfs on same USB stick.
I'd also find it very useful - just for portability between home & work & multiple omputers in each location. (PC & laptop in each!)
Timothy Eager commented
This would be especially useful for students doing research on campus...