User:G0ldfish/Portable QGIS

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Portable QGIS on usb stick

To run QGIS 1.8 Lisboa from usb device on several windows machines:

  • Download the latest version of the standalone windows installer.
  • Install it to some directory on your usb device (e.g. E:\test\).
  • The installation creates shortcuts to start QGIS Desktop in the start menu and on the windows desktop. These point to a batch file named qgis.bat in E:\test\Quantum GIS Lisboa\bin\. Navigate there, right-click the file and choose edit.
  • With version 1.6, qgis introduced a new startup option "--configpath" that allows to store data outside the user directory of the local computer where it normally would be saved. You need to include this in the last line, so change
start "Quantum GIS" /B "%OSGEO4W_ROOT%"\apps\qgis\bin\qgis.exe %*


start "Quantum GIS" /B "%OSGEO4W_ROOT%"\apps\qgis\bin\qgis.exe --configpath "%OSGEO4W_ROOT%"\config %*
  • Start QGIS by double-clicking the batch file (or create a shortcut to the file in a convenient location).
  • On other windows machines you can simply start QGIS the same way. If the usb device is mapped to a different drive letter, you need to edit the batch file to reflect this. It is the third line:

Change E: to whatever drive letter the device currently has.

  • QGIS seems to use relative paths by default. In a portable installation it would probably be a good idea not to change this.
  • QGIS saves some settings to the windows registry, e.g. whether to show tips on startup. If you wanted to remove QGIS related data from a machine, you would delete the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\QuantumGIS.

(Installation tested with QGIS 1.8.0 under Windows XP. Running QGIS 1.8.0 from usb device tested unter Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 with 1 GB RAM minimum.)