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I am trying to setup a simple cross platform server that would be completely portable and work on windows, mac and linux.

Some Background: I used to only have a windows desktop. This desktop has ran xampp to power some php scripts that are an interface to a database. Recently I got a macbook pro and have been wanting to work the database locally but putting it on a server is out of the question as i frequently use my laptop where there is no internet connection. I was thinking that i could put the database on a usb drive and just use different binaries depending on the system i was working on.

Im looking around I've seen several posts about similar things but there seems to be issues (which i have run into) with xampp for mac being hardcoded to run out of /Applications and refuses to run from /Volumes/USB (the usb stick mount point). Further more, no one has directly addressed the issues that im sure ill run into with having multiple binaries using the same database.

Id like to here what you all think would be the best soluion for this. I think that I may need to go in another direction but am not sure where.

Note: Ive already tried doning a virtual machine saved on the usb drive but it took several minutes to boot and performance is slow.

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the application you want to use is virtualbox, install it on each of your environments, set up your VM in one machine on the usb using something like linux and webmin to manage it

then create/import it using same setup details pointing to the VHD on the usb disk, bear in mind that performance will likely be somewhat lower due to the disk being on USB and not SATA, this has the advantage of being somewhat portable too

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