GIMP Portable Support

Many of the most common issues that arise when using GIMP Portable are addressed here. Please read through the various topics to see if any of them address your question. You can also post a message on the GIMP Portable Support Forum.

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GIMP Portable-Specific Issues

General GIMP Issues

Installing GIMP Portable

To install GIMP Portable, just download the portable package at the top of the GIMP Portable page and then double-click it. Select the location you wish to install to and click OK. A GIMPPortable directory will be created there and all the necessary files installed. That's all there is to it.

Using GIMP Portable

To start up GIMP Portable, just double-click GIMPPortable.exe file where you installed GIMP Portable on your portable drive. Then, use it just like you would a local copy of GIMP. There are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Stay Safe - When using portable apps, it's always a good idea to practice Safe Portable App-ing.
  • Removing Your Drive - When you're done, exit GIMP and then wait for the activity light on your removable drive to stop flashing. Then select the 'Safely remove [device]' option from the icon in the system tray. If you remove the drive while it is writing, you may lose data.

Upgrading GIMP Portable

To upgrade to a newer version of GIMP Portable, just install a new copy right over your existing copy. Your settings will be saved.

Copying Your Local GIMP Settings to GIMP Portable

If you're using a local copy of GIMP, you may wish to just copy your local settings right into GIMP Portable. Your local GIMPsettings are usually installed in C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\.gimp-2.2\ Just copy that contents of that directory to the GIMPPortable/settings directory. It's usually a good idea to disable your tile cache after doing so if you are using a flash drive.

Changing GIMP Portable to Another Language

By default, GIMP Portable will automatically use the language that the local operating system uses, or the language specified by the local PC's LANG environment variable. In most cases, this should be enough, as you'll generally only use a PC that is set to your prefered language. If you wish to specify the language the GIMP Portable utilizes, regardless of operating system, it only requires one change. After running GIMP Portable at least once to generate a default set of settings, you'll find a file called GIMPPortableSettings.ini within your GIMPPortable\Data\settings directory. Edit that file and set the LANG= parameter to your language of choice. If you look within GIMP's locale files (in GIMPPortable\App\gimp\share\locale), you'll see a list of possible codes. For German, you would enter de. For US English, it would be en_US. Save your changes and restart GIMP Portable and it will appear in your language of choice. It should be noted that you need to use the Multilingual package of GIMP Portable

Running From a CD (GIMP Portable Live) - Not Currently Functional

GIMP Portable supports running from a CD right out of the box, and it's a snap. Start off by downloading and installing GIMP Portable to your hard drive... it doesn't matter where. Run it at least once to generate the default settings. Then, customize it as needed, being sure not to move GIMPPortable.exe or any of the other critical files. Then, burn the whole GIMPPortable directory to a CD and you're ready to go.

Known Issues

The GIMP Portable 2.4.4 Revision 2 installer will delete any user-added brushes. This will be fixed in the next release.


I made some modifications to the default version of GIMP to make it more USB key friendly (decreasing total install size, etc). These changes are listed here so you'll know what they are, and so you can recreate the process, if so desired.

  • Friendly Launcher - GIMP Portable Launcher is included by default.
  • EXEs and DLLs Compressed - All EXEs and DLLs were recompressed using UPX. This gets our installed size down to one that is a bit more manageable. Additionally, it will speed up use when you're running over USB 1.1. The options used were: --best --compress-icons=0 --nrv2d --crp-ms=999999 -k

Version History

  • 2.2.15 - June 19, 2007
    • Updated to GIMP 2.2.15
    • Installer
    • Single package for English and multilingual installs
  • 2.2.13 - February 26, 2007
    • Updated to GIMP 2.2.13
    • launcher now Vista compatible
    • greatly improved startup time (the launcher adjusts your plugin paths)
    • correct cleanup of gtk-bookmarks, thumbnails, etc
    • now packaged in Format for easy integration with the Suite
  • 2.2.12 - August 28, 2006
    • Updated to GIMP 2.2.12
    • Added CD / Live support
    • Fixed compatibility with Gnumeric local install
    • Fixed issues with GTK local conflicts
    • Improved unicode command line support
    • Added detection and fix for local DLLs that conflict with GTK+
  • 2.2.11 Beta - April 19, 2006
    • Updated to GIMP 2.2.11
    • Fixed launcher issues with directories and INI files
  • 2.2.10 Beta 1 - April 6, 2006
    • Initial public release based on GIMP 2.2.10 and GTK 2.6.10-20050823