Port (an Application)

What Does Port (an Application) Mean?

To port, in the context of "porting an application," refers to changing software programming to allow the program to run with a different operating system than the program for which it was designed.


Also, sometimes simply port or ported is used when referencing hardware that has been changed to operate with a different OS o.

This term is also known, or referred to, as porting the application.

Techopedia Explains Port (an Application)

To port an application means to allow an application program to run on a different OS. Machine dependent sections of the program must be rewritten as these are sections of the program that will execute only on a certain type of computer. Programs designed to run on a variety of types of computers, using different OSs, are said to be machine-independent.

Programs easily ported are said to be portable; or stated differently, when the manpower cost of porting to a new OS is less than that required to rewrite the entire program (i.e. from scratch), the program is described as portable.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…