Making a Portable Installation

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RawTherapee and the cache folder can be stored "self-contained" on a USB flash drive or any other mass-storage device.

For Windows

Get the latest build of RawTherapee. Since we want it portable, we don't want the installer, just the bare, zipped program. If the latest version on our website is in simple zipped form without an installer, you can skip this step. However, if it is an installer, you need to first extract the RawTherapee files.

  • If it is an Inno Setup installer (.exe extension, all recent Windows installers are Inno Setup ones at the time of writing, summer 2014), get innounp or innoextract to unpack it.
  • If it is an MSI installer (no recent Windows builds use this at the time of writing), fire up a command prompt and type:
    msiexec /a RawTherapee.msi TARGETDIR="C:\TargetDir" /qb
    Replace the name of the MSI installer and the target directory as appropriate. Spaces in the TargetDir path are allowed, as the path is enclosed in quotes.

Let's assume that you've unzipped your archive into E:\RawTherapee, where E:\ is the drive letter of your USB flash drive. Open the E:\RawTherapee\options file, and set the MultiUser option to false. Now when you run RawTherapee, it will store the cache and your settings in subfolders relative to the executable, named mycache and mysettings, respectively, so in E:\RawTherapee\mycache and E:\RawTherapee\mysettings.

See also the File paths page on how to set a different location for these two folders.

When updating RawTherapee, it is recommended to unzip the new version to a new folder and simply move mycache and mysettings into it.

For Linux

Getting RawTherapee to run off a portable medium such as a USB flash drive on various Linux systems is not straightforward due to the nature of Linux systems. While the Windows version of RawTherapee comes bundled with all required libraries to run on any Windows version, Linux distributions differ significantly from each other and as a result a version of RawTherapee built for one distribution is unlikely to run under a different distribution. One way around this is by using an AppImage.

A RawTherapee AppImage is a single file which contains a RawTherapee executable along with all the required files needed for it to run on any Linux distribution. Download it, make it executable, and run it. We are currently in the testing phase regarding AppImages. They are not yet available from our Downloads page, but you can find them on our "development builds" page in the forum.

Regardless whether you use the AppImage or a "proper" RawTherapee build from the distribution's package manager, you will want to be able to hang on to your RawTherapee configuration and processing profiles.

In order to backup your configuration you will want to copy RawTherapee's config folder onto your USB stick. Specifically, you want the "options" file, your custom "camconst.json" if you made one, and any custom PP3, ICC, DCP and LCP profiles. The File Paths article describes where to find these.