Portable Adium

With a small modification, Adium can store all of your preferences and logs to an alternate location. This is primarily useful if you have Adium on an external, portable drive (such as a USB flash-memory drive, like the one shown at right) and want to keep both Adium and your preferences on that drive.

This is most useful for using Adium from a public Mac. You would plug the USB drive into a USB port, then run Adium, and it would leave no trace of itself on the Mac. (Obviously, you should get permission before doing this. We won't accept responsibility for you getting yourself thrown out or banned from the computers.)

An Adium so configured is called a “Portable Adium”. (There are also “portable” versions of other applications, such as Firefox).

Pre-assembled version

FreeSMUG maintains a Portable Adium which they have already assembled using the techniques described below. This is the easiest way for you to have a portable Adium.

Please note: FreeSMUG is not affiliated with the Adium team; any builds hosted outside the Adium website are not officially supported.

How to make one yourself

On a local hard drive, your preferences and logs are stored in ~/Library/Application Support/Adium 2.0, so that is the folder you must copy in order to move existing Adium information to a portable drive.

Making Adium portable automatically

Forums user Gand contributed the following script, which should be placed on your portable device with a folder named app in the same folder which contains the Adium application. A folder entitled profile will be created to store your portable Adium information.


here="`dirname \"$0\"`" 
echo "Starting Adium from '$here'." 
defaults write "$here/app/" "Preference Folder Location" "$here/profile" 
plutil -convert xml1 "$here/app/" 
open "$here/app/" 
echo "Done! Quit before ejecting your portable device."

Making Adium portable manually

This change must be made after each upgrade to your copy of Adium, as it is a modification directly to the application bundle.

In Finder, right-click (control click) on Select Show Package Contents. Double click Contents. Open Info.plist in TextWrangler. Add the following lines:

<key>Preference Folder Location</key>

near the bottom, just above:


You could substitute any path of your choosing.

Page last modified by Peter Hosey, 11 years ago