Best practice to manage Sandboxie Classic and Plus Portable

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science2002
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Best practice to manage Sandboxie Classic and Plus Portable

Post by science2002 »

I am an old fun of Sandboxie. I would like to have a feedback on the following scenario, in Win10:
  • -1) I use Sandboxie Classic mainly (if not exclusively) with browsers (Edge and Firefox). The Sandbox folder is in C:\ as usual.
  • -2) I would like to use Sandboxie Plus portable in an external SSD (Sandbox folder included) and to install other applications within it.
Now I tried, but I realize that 2) interfers with 1) by at least removing from view the default Sandbox set in C:\.
I would like to keep the Sandbox Classic as it is. And yet I would like to have Sandboxie Plus portable in my external SSD.

Is there a way to manage both without mess up their Sandbox, or worse their other settings?
Thanks for any feedback.

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bastik-1001
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Re: Best practice to manage Sandboxie Classic and Plus Portable

Post by bastik-1001 »

@David, maybe this should be explained by some documentation or the installer could mention it, when extracting the files.

When one tries to install Sandboxie-Plus, with Sandboxie being already installed, a message gets shown that Sandboxie needs to be uninstalled before the installation process can continue.

What I can say is that there can be only one active instance of Sandboxie (or its managers Sandboxie Control and SandMan). It's the same core components, like the driver. As far as I know, that means, if one forces A and the other forces B, whichever was started first would apply.
[...]by at least removing from view the default Sandbox set [...]
If by that, you mean that SandMan (default user interface for Sandboxie-Plus), does not show them, then this is being the case as for the portable version, its sandbox configuration is stored in the Sandboxie.ini in the root folder of the portable extraction. (Sandboxie-Plus.ini, just holds user interface preferences.) The installed version uses the Sandboxie.ini which is typically located in C:\Windows

My assumption is that it isn't supported to have this kind of set-up.

science2002
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Re: Best practice to manage Sandboxie Classic and Plus Portable

Post by science2002 »

Thanks @bastik-1001 for your answer.

If I understood it, you think that the scenario of having:
  • 1. - a Sandoxie classic fully installed in your pc, main driver (with a sandbox folder also in C:\);
  • 2. - and an external drive containing Sandboxie Plus portable with some apps already installed in its sandbox (also in the external drive;

these latter apps cannot be run with 2., given the presence of 1.

So there is no settings to accomodate the two Sandboxies without messing up the two sandboxs and the two Sandboxie.ini: Classic and Plus Portable. Is it correct?
Last edited by science2002 on Sun Apr 28, 2024 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bastik-1001
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Re: Best practice to manage Sandboxie Classic and Plus Portable

Post by bastik-1001 »

Sure, it's nice if I can be helpful.

Having multiple instances of Sandboxie, Sandboxie-Plus or Sandboxie-Plus portable can lead to conflicts, only one instance of any given sandbox manager (Sandboxie Control, SandMan) can interact with the driver the provides the isolation. If there is force rule, that forces some app into Sanboxie's control it should work for the first instances, but not the second instances. In theory, they could try to force the same app into different boxes, which have different settings, so only once instance could possibly "win". I don't know how it is handled if another instances tries to launch some app.
[...]without messing up the two sandboxs and Sandboxie.ini: Classic and Plus Portable.
The Sandboxie.ini in C:\Windows and the Sandboxie.ini in the folder of the portable extraction are independent. Sandboxie should not be able to be aware of the other Sandboxie.ini and therefore not mess with it. The portable extraction, should use the Sandboxie.ini in its root folder. The sandboxes themselves should also be independent, as long as they are not stored in the same path. By default, Sandboxie will create a sandbox with the given name in C:\Sandbox, so that colliding names would be messing the contents of the sandbox. Using FileRootPath= (This can be set manually or the path can be set when setting up the sandbox with the New Box Wizard of Sandman), which I assume you meant, when you mentioned putting it on an SSD with the sandboxes on it.

Assuming, two portable instances of Sandboxie-Plus on two different external drives would be something that works, as long as only one instance is used a given time. E.g. SSD A is connected to the computer, the portable version of Sandboxie-Plus is started and is used for some sandboxed apps with the sandboxes and that drive. After usage, it is terminated and potentially even the drive is disconnected. SSD B is connected, having its own portable version of Sandboxie-Plus, which gets only started alone to sandbox some apps on that SSD, where the sandboxes are stored. I know that this is not your use-case, but this is a possible use-case of two independent instances. The goal might be, only to see entries of sandboxes in the user-interface that are available as only that external drive with instance holds them. Otherwise, it is possible to have one installed version (assuming that to be easier to maintain, as the number of sandboxes and external drives increases) which points to all sandboxes on those drives, assuming it is for storage reasons and not portability and the drives are always connected or connected when needed. Another use-case for multiple portable Sandboxie-Plus instances could be moving from system to system, where the portable version is located on the external drive along with the sandboxes.

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bastik-1001
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Re: Best practice to manage Sandboxie Classic and Plus Portable

Post by bastik-1001 »

I try to make it short, since the last reply is quite long.
[...]
1. - a Sandoxie classic fully installed in your pc, main driver (with a sandbox folder also in C:\);

2. - and an external drive that contains already a Sandboxie Plus portable with some apps already in its sandbox placed at the same external drive
[...]
Both can't be active at the same time.
So there is no settings to accomodate the two Sandboxies without messing up the two sandboxs and Sandboxie.ini: Classic and Plus Portable. Is it correct?
Sandboxie itself does not take care of it, as far as I know. If a custom path is used, that does not collide with existing sandboxes, the instances should not mess with each other's settings, since the installed version uses the Sandboxie.ini in C:\Windows and the portable version its own Sandboxie.ini. (I don't if the portable instance would use the system Sandboxie.ini if its own is missing.)

science2002
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Re: Best practice to manage Sandboxie Classic and Plus Portable

Post by science2002 »

Thanks again @bastik-1001.
I do not know about conflict between drivers. But I know that 'Sandboxie Plus Portable' writes something to the registry. This conflicts with the information set in the registry by the other Sandboxie (in my case, the Classic version, but it could be another Sandboxie Plus) that was installed conventionally.

For this reason, I believe that when I run the 'portable' Sandboxie from D:, it messes up the address (and probably something else) of the installed Sandboxie in C:.

It would be ideal to enable the two Sandboxie versions (installed and portable) to coexist to some extent, as one takes the portable version as an application that can be used from one PC to another without leaving afterall traces in the host OS.

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bastik-1001
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Re: Best practice to manage Sandboxie Classic and Plus Portable

Post by bastik-1001 »

You are right, I did not consider the registry values.

@David, why does the portable version of Sandboxie set registry values? Can this be redirected to an .ini file?

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