Portable Web Server

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 28, 2008
Updated • Nov 22, 2017

Server2Go is a portable web server that can be run from any storage space in a Windows environment.

It can be placed on USB devices, removable devices, CDs, DVDs or the hard drive of the computer. It requires no installation at all, and can be run right from the location where it stored in.

The web server can be downloaded in various configurations. The various configurations range from a bare-bone Apache web server to a web server supporting MySQL, SQLite, Pearl and PHP. The configuration only has an effect on the type of applications that can be run on the web server. Most webmasters will probably need at least MySQL and PHP support to run websites locally, in a network, or even publicly.

While that is not the case for serving plain HTML websites, most advanced sites require some form of database and scripting language.


You can start the web server with a double-click on the server2go.exe file that is located in the root directory of the program extracted folder structure.

This will load the various web server modules and display a start page in the web browser. The pms_config.ini file can be used to change various settings of the web server including the default web browser, the port and whether the modules like MySQL or PHP should be started as well.

The actual files of a website are placed in the htdocs directory of the web server. Loading them can be as easy as pointing your browser to or some subdirectory of it depending on the type of site.

MySQL comes with phpMyAdmin which is accessible from the main interface of the web server. Server2Go offers an uncomplicated way to run a web server, it is especially helpful in environments where software installations are restricted.

Update: Server2Go is still being updated regularly, for instance when new release versions of PHP, SQLite, MySQL or PERL are released. The download size depends largely on the selected package. It ranges from a 12 Megabyte exe file with a bare bones system to a 90 Megabyte download that comes with everything Server2Go has to offer.

Update 2: Server2Go is no longer available. While you can download a copy of it from third-party sites, you will end up with outdated components which may have security and other issues. It is recommended to use a different solution instead, for instance to use XAMPP instead.

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  1. snoop911 said on January 1, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Does it have curl support?

    If I can’t host my own, I’m looking for a good hosting company that allows me to host and run curl scripts, any recommendations?

  2. Ben Nguyen said on December 30, 2008 at 6:02 am

    How does Server2Go compare to MoWeS or XAMPP ?

  3. MK said on December 29, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Nice find. I’ve been using MoWeS Portable as my webserver and it works great.

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