Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Travels in a digital world

Portable GIS

GIS on a USB stick.

Announcement: Portable GIS Version 5.6 has been released! See this post for more details. Note archival links (not links to current version) are from, who reserve the right to arbitrarily limit downloads. If you have any problems, please contact me! As always it’s windows only (for now…)

Download latest version username: pgis password:pgis

Download previous versions

The philosophy behind this idea was to provide beginners with a ready-installed and configured stack of open source GIS tools that would run in windows without the need for emulation or a live cd. By taking out the often difficult installation and configuration, I hope to make it easier for beginners to get started with open source GIS, so they are not put off before it gets interesting and fun. Not only that, but having a fully self-contained GIS system may prove useful in a number of real-life situations.

Newly updated version 5.6 contains a self-contained installer, updated versions of all the constituent software packages, a new control panel, and improved documentation. It’s stripped down from the previous release, to keep the size of the download down and make it easier to maintain. If enough people ask for a particular package to be included I will build a new version.

The current set of software includes:

  • Desktop GIS packages QGIS (with GRASS plugin) version 2.14.1

  • FWTools (GDAL and OGR toolkit)

  • Apache2 and Php5

  • PostgreSQL (version 9.1)/Postgis (version 2.1)

  • Mapserver 5.6 and 6, OpenLayers.

  • Python 2.7 with GDAL 1.9 libraries and Psycopg2

  • Loader- for loading gml such as Ordnance Survey Mastermap into a PostgreSQL Database

  • Geoserver 2.8

  • Utilities- portable firefox, pdf reader and text editor

The packages and menu system are all open source, but each component has a separate license. Some of the components have been altered in order to make them drive-letter independent.


  • This is not for production use. In order to keep end user configuration to a minimum there are a number of security holes and as such it should be used for demonstration and home use only.

  • It is also not “stealth GIS”– no attempt has been made to leave no trace on the host system.

Support and Assistance: