How to use PortaMu to run Mu anywhere

PortaMu Logo

Sometimes it’s not possible to install Mu because the computers you have available are locked down by somebody else.

Perhaps you find yourself running a workshop in a library or your school’s network administrator is more likely to say “get off my lawn” than “let me help you with that”.

Don’t worry, thanks to the remarkable work of 14 year old Josh Lowe, you can run Mu from a pendrive (those dongle-thingamabobs for storing files that you plug into the computer’s USB port).

This technique should work on both Windows and OSX.


Download the correct 32 bit or 64 bit version of PortaMu for your operating system.

To find out whether you need a 32 bit or 64 bit installer:

open pc properties
system type

There is also advice on Microsoft’s website for finding whether you are using 32 or 64 bit Windows.

Once you’ve downloaded the correct zip file, extract it (right click, then select extract) onto the already attached pendrive. When you plug the pendrive into a locked-down computer, navigate to the folder on the pendrive where you extracted Mu and double click on the Launch Mu.bat file to start. It may take some time for Mu to launch because of the relative slowness of pendrives.

Sometimes, depending upon the machine you’re using, Windows may say that it is protecting your PC from an unrecognised application.

Windows protector

The solution is to click on the “More info” link:

Windows protector

Then click on the “Run anyway” button.

Windows protector


You simply need to download the existing OSX installer, copy it onto the pen drive and double click it on the pendrive. However, instead of copying the mu-editor icon to the “Applications” folder, you should simply double click it and Mu should launch. As mentioned before, this may take some time and, when run for the first time, OSX may ask you to confirm you want to run it.

That’s it!