I recently purchased a netbook (Samsung N210) to display my work on the road with propective clients. It took a bit of doing but I know have a configurationand workflow that works for me. During the transition, I ran into two problems:
1. Difficulties maintaining a stable httpd
I experienced a problem which others reported: httpd would shut down immediately after startup. This problem crept in and was spurious. I came to conclude that this occured because I was running XAMPP directly off a USB stick. I tried to resolve it but ultimately worked around it by removing XAMPP from the stick and installed it directly on the hard disk of the netbook. I now use drive letters in my XAMPP configuration and run apache and mysql as services.
The web site source code, on the other hand, continues to reside on the USB stick.
In my office, the USB stick lives in my workstation and serves as the local site for my WordPress. I modify the files on the USB stick and test with XAMPP which is installed on the workstation with a configuration similar to the one on the netbook. When sources are okay, they get uploaeded to the production site.
When I go on the road, I pop the USB stick out and boot up the netbook, where (with the help of a modified hosts file) I can run the entire package without net connectivity – great for showing off existing work to prospective clients.
2. Mutlisite configuration
I suppose it is dangerous to try to outthink the experts. When I first moved a production multisite WordPress installation run locally, I tried to make selection database changes to update the sitename (DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE). This was an utter failure. I arrived at a configuration where I received the error: Unable to Establish a Database Connection
When I commented out the single line in wp_config.php that defined MULTISITE, then the error resolved so I could access the primary site.
In the end, I accepted that I had to perform a broad stroke change to the use of domain names in the database. My workflow to sync my netbook now goes as follows:
1st: Move USB stick containing source code from workstation to netbook
2nd: Export contents of production database to an SQL text file on the netbook, remembering to add DROP TABLE
3rd: Edit the SQL text file, replacing all instances of the product domain name (www.mysite.com) with the domain name of the local site (mysite.localhost).
4th: Import run the SQL file
5th: Test changes on the netbook at http://mysite.localhost