Portable development setup for Python on Windows

WinPython

https://winpython.github.io/

All-in-one distribution which comes with many difficult-to-build packages preinstalled. And their ...-Zero version is great for thumb drives!

Pip works just fine, but installing packages that require C compiler is always a pain on Windows. May be I should look into conda and see if it offers a portable variant.

NOTE: there are unofficial binary wheels for most common Python packages at http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/ The site's hosting is a little unreliable, so it might take a few trys to fetch a package.

Git Portable

https://git-scm.com/download/win

Git for Windows is now recommended by official Git website, and there always is a portable version.

This package provides not only Git but also bash and a basic MSYS environment (coreutils, sed, grep, awk, etc) which make life on Windows so much easier! Also, it comes with VIM preinstalled, which is a damn good editor and is preferred by many developers.

GNU Make

http://www.equation.com/servlet/equation.cmd?fa=make

Unfortunately Git for Windows does not come with GNU make preinstalled, so we have to download it manually. Great guys at Equation Solution are regularly building standalone versions of GNU Make for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows.

Downloaded file has to be placed somewhere in PATH.

GitHub with SSH keys

https://help.github.com/articles/connecting-to-github-with-ssh/

I don't know if it is even possible to setup HTTPS authentication without installing GitHub Desktop, and SSH key authentication works with GitHub same as everywhere.

I keep the keys on my laptop and the rest of the environment is on a thumb drive. That way I can develop anywhere I want, Windows comes as a given (sadly), and I don't have to worry about keys security, because they are not exposed to random computers.

Official documentation recommends using HTTPS just because it's easier for newcomers (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/11041729)

  • It does not require generating public/private keys and uploading the correct one to GitHub
  • HTTPS is allowed everywhere and SSH might be blocked by a firewall