Old 12-02-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default >> v4: Portable/parallel installation

If you want to try the REAPER 4 pre-releases without messing up your current v3 installation, there's this handy "Portable install" feature now:

Checking this option installs REAPER 4 to the destination folder without creating a "user folder" in %appdata% (so no files will touched/added/changed in your normal REAPER installation), all files go to the destination folder.

If you're overwriting an existing installation (REAPER 3 or 4) without having that checkbox ticked, REAPER will recognize your installation type and install accordingly.

However, keeping an eye on said "destination folder" and making sure you're installing the right REAPER version into the right folder is always recommended, but a mistake is usually not much of a problem (just install the proper version over the wrong one).

On OSX, you can create a portable install by dragging REAPER.app from the installer DMG to its own new folder. Then create a new, empty file in that folder and name it 'reaper.ini'.

Note: for a portable install, make sure you choose a folder that you have permission to create files in! In a portable install, all of your user preferences, keyboard shortcuts, glued files in unsaved projects, etc are stored alongside the REAPER application itself. If you install REAPER portably to your normal applications folder, you may not be able to save preferences, shortcuts, temporary media, and so on.

Last edited by schwa; 12-15-2010 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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So in other word, choosing to install the Alpha Pre V4 in Portable mode, gives you the ability to have both icon of Stable 3.73 release and the Alpha, both can be launched individually with no problem at all ?

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Old 12-02-2010, 02:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Solar View Post
So in other word, choosing to install the Alpha Pre V4 in Portable mode, gives you the ability to have both icon of Stable 3.73 release and the Alpha, both can be launched individually with no problem at all ?

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Old 12-02-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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Default How to run V3 and V4 Alpha "Side by Side"

I thought I would create a specific set of instructions since so many would like to check out the V4 prerelease without mucking up their V3 install. Its much harder to explain than it is to do. It really isn't that difficult at all if you follow a few basic principles.

I've done limited testing with this on XP and Win7. If you feed yourself with Reaper, wait until someone who doesn't confirms the instructions below so I can edit anything I missed. That is entirely possible since everyone's configurations can vary wildly; it's also late and I'm tired. Use this as a guide, not the definitive answer. I'd like to see someone confirm this and give their blessing first to be safe. Outside of that, I think it will work fine.

1. Backup your existing V3 install and settings

This is a safety step, don't skip it. Copy the following folders in their entirety to a safe location.

==> C:\Program Files\Reaper

==> \AppData\Reaper (Start > Run > %AppData%\Reaper) or C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Reaper (Vista/Win7) or C:\Documents & Settings\UserName\Application Data\Reaper (XP)

==> My Documents\Reaper Media (probably optional, should only contain WAV files & peaks)

2. Install Reaper 4 Pre Release

==> You must check the "Portable install" checkbox!

==> You must change the installation path to something other than the existing V3 location!

I recommend a USB pen drive or some other folder you have full rights to without any UAC protection. A folder on your desktop named ReaperV4 will even work for this. I suggest not installing it in C:\Program Files\ReaperV4 to prevent any chance of Windows of secretly redirecting any files to V3 locations just to be on the safe side.

[Default Installer Settings]

[V4 Coexistence Installer Changes]

==> Click next etc, and allow the install to complete.

At this point both versions are pretty much completely Side by Side and share zero common settings. If thats what you want, your done, Run V4 alpha and choose your sound card, VST folders etc. Stopping here means your pretty much testing Reaper 4 prerelease as-is out of the box with no customizations and zero V3 settings. If you want to go further and have V3 and V4 working while having V4 using the V3 settings, themes etc. continue with step 3 below..

3. Go ahead and launch V4 if you haven't already

Import your license if you wish. Go ahead and choose the soundcard and test basic functionality such as hitting play etc. I suggest spending 15-20 minutes at this stage checking out new features etc. If you import a bad setting over from V3 you wouldn't want to think it was a V4 bug etc. Be methodical, save some grief.

4. Copy V3 settings into the V4 folder

==> If your a cowboy copy them all at once, if more cautious copy them category by category test, shutdown reaper, copy the next, launch test and so on.
==> Copy the following folders into the V4 folder you installed to. If made the V3 backup copies in step one, just use AppData folder as the source:

Reaper.ini (optional) <== I don't really think this is needed. Make a backup of the V4 copy first.

5. Point your VST folders if needed.

If V4 isn't showing your 3rd party plugs, open Options > Preferences > VST > Add and add each folder that V3 has. In fact before you do this. Run V3, go to the same preference and copy the plugin paths to the clipboard. Close, V3, Open V4, Return to Options > Preferences > VST > Add and paste 'em in. Click Re-scan and let it scan all the Dlls. Note: I think Reaper is a single instance application. This means if V4 is open and you click on the V3 shortcut, V4 may pop into focus while V3 silently exits. (same vice versa). So don't let this throw you and assume V3 is busted. Shut down one version before attempting to launch the other one.


By this point you should have a V3 install that is untouched. It should function as it always has because nothing about it has been changed provided you followed all the steps above. You should also have a functioning V4 prerelease version containing 99% of all settings that are available in V3. When you are done using V4 and need to remove it, simply delete that single ReaperV4 folder. If you want to upgrade to the latest alpha release just download and be sure to install the update to that same V4 location (overwrite don't delete) and all will be good. If you open that V4 folder, right-click on reaper.exe > send to > Desktop (create shortcut) and you'll have a nice V4 shortcut on your desktop.

Remember, you backed up all the V3 settings right? So, you can always copy these back over to their original locations if you phat fingered the install and installed over V3. That should get you back to your original V3 confing in an emergency. If you open an important project, you can make a copy of that project if you want to be really cautious or save any changes to a new V4 project. Of course you have all your important stuff backed up anyway.

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Last edited by karbomusic; 12-02-2010 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:12 PM   #5
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whats the deal with the dual install on osx? not seeing the way right now

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Old 12-02-2010, 10:16 PM   #6
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is there any downside to installing REAPER as a portable install just to avoid having files in the appdata folder? ie, install reaper as portable install in c:/progfiles/reaper?

i never quite understood the point of the appdata folder anyway - why doesn't all this stuff just go in the /progfiles/reaper folder anyway? is it just for multiple user support? if so, couldn't that too be done all within 1 reaper folder under program files?
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:19 PM   #7
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to be honest, the portable install mentioned here is cool, but not completely nessecary if one simply does the following:

install reaper, wherever you like, with whatever options you want.

open reaper

go to options/show reaper resource path...

select everything from that folder


go to where you installed reaper


from now on, you'll have a portable installation, capable of surviving a reformat (providing it is on a separate partition/hard drive from your OS)

the advantage is you have the other options if you want (rearoute, etc) which, if you were to reformat, you could easily get back by simply installing reaper in that same folder, and enabling said options.

This is what I have done since v2 and all has been fine through 4a3
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:24 PM   #8
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hey JBM, if i do that though, wont my v4 install still run off the original resource path in AppSupport(osx)?
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