Java-based processors are highly portable, as long as each platform has a modern Java interpreter. (How modern depends on the individual processor and version. Check the processor's requirements list.) With Saxon, Xalan-Java, FOP, and other Java-based processors, you can install a few Java archives without any compiling and produce identical results on Linux, Unix, Windows, and Macintosh.
Processors written in C such as xsltproc and Sablotron are less portable. You need a version compiled for each platform you want to run it on. Many are available in precompiled packages, such as RPMs for Linux or Zip files for Windows. But the packaged versions can lag behind the latest version, so you may need to compile it yourself for a given platform. The C code is written to be portable, but there are always issues that come up when you have to compile.
The PassiveTeX FO processor is unique in that it is written in TeX, a typesetting language. TeX is also very portable, but it is currently difficult to get PassiveTeX to work properly with the DocBook XSL stylesheets
Another portability consideration is file permissions. Some packages may try to install files into areas of a filesystem controlled by a system administrator. If you do not have the necessary permissions, you may not be able to install a given package. All of the processors can be installed elsewhere, but you may need to spend time figuring out how to do so.
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