Mainly I want to know if this can be done on OS X. Answers pertaining other operating systems are also welcome though.

I know that it is possible to launch Blender.app from a USB thumb drive and use it on a Mac. But I believe a new Preferences folder is created in ~/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.76 (or whatever the Blender version number is)

  1. Is there a way to get Blender to also use preferences from a folder on the USB drive?

  2. If Python is not installed on the Mac, are there any workarounds that don't involve installing it on the system? (Not planning on running my own scripts, but add-ons may rely on it?)

  3. Will I get hassled by Gatekeeper, even if I'm running the app from an external drive, and not modifying the Mac?

The goal here would be to have my own startup .blend, keyboard shortcuts, and add-ons that I would normally have at home - as soon as I plug in to another Mac, without needing to change the configuration of that Mac.



There are three places blender looks for addons and config files, they are referred to as local, user and system - If config files are found in the local location then the user and system locations are ignored.

So for your blender preferences you need to place them inside blender.app. Which would be blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.76/config/startup.blend You can also add any extra addons here, you should be able to use blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.76/scripts/addons which will match with the normal settings directories and keep all your additions in one place. If the addons don't work there then put them in blender.app/Contents/Resources/2.76/scripts/addons_contrib

You will also find the bundled python included with blender while you are adding your config files, unless deleted, this copy of python will be used by blender before any system installed python and you shouldn't have any trouble adding any third party modules here (as long as any dependant libraries are available).

I haven't used a mac for a few years so I can't comment on how this will interact with gatekeeper, but remember the gatekeeper settings on the machine will be the biggest factor.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, sambler! I had no idea that Blender will first look inside its own .app package for config files. Glad to know that. $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Feb 23 '16 at 15:09

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