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Portable Gramps – Genealogy in your Pocket

(Eine deutsche Version dieses Eintrags gibt es hier) I’ve created a portable version of Gramps, the free open-source genealogy software. This will allow you to use it on any pc without any requirements (beside an USB port). This one is based on the current Windows version of Gramps 3.1.1.


Usually it does require an installed Python and GTK environment, but this portable version brings it own environment.

So what can portable Gramps do? All the things your regular installed version can do plus:

  • works everywhere without requirements
  • leaves no traces on the host pc
  • all data and settings contained on USB device
  • automatic language detection (english and german supported currently)
  • USB drive letter is adjusted on startup in settings


So install your PortableApps.com (if it’s not already installed) and download the Portable Gramps installer. It should pick up the correct installation path to your plugged-in USB device.

You can use portable Gramps parallel to an ‘normal’ installed Gramps, they shouldn’t infere with each other. Caution: I’ve test it a lot, but please do not use your actual data without backup! Due to the fact that Gramps is built by many small files it will start a little slow (hint: an USB hard disk works great), but once started everything will be smooth. Gramps Portable will use about 100-200 MB of disk space depending on your device because it brings it’s own Python and GTK environment. Another hint: Do not set a base path for relative media paths because they can not be adjusted to the current drive letter, but it will work if you leave the base path empty!

If you encounter any problems, just drop me a message (via comment or mail) and I’ll have a look at it.

  • Hello,
    I downloaded and tried to install portable Gramps but the installer gives a message that it is corrupted or incomplete. It is GrampsPortable_3.1.1.paf.exe from your website. I even upgraded my Portable Apps to the latest version to make sure it wasn’t my USB drive.
    Bob Dawes

  • Hi Bob,

    Can you try to re-download the GrampsPortable_3.1.1.paf.exe? I’ve just tried it, the installer is working, maybe your first download got corrupted somehow?

  • I installed on a USB fob as a test. It did work correctly but it was VERY slow, probably due to it being on a USB. I am curious as to how you did your packaging. It would useful for the normal GRAMPS on Windows distribution if the dependencies could always be included in an install.

  • I downloaded the file again and it installed properly. I have imported my Gedcom from FTM and it works. It is a little slow but the portability makes it worth it.

  • Glad it worked out, Bob!

    I agree it’s a little slow running from an USB flash drive, USB hard disks work much faster! Plus another developer in the Gramps community is working on compiling it all into one file. That would mean a nice speed increase für flash drives…

  • I just installed it, and it works OK here, but I found a few German texts in it, which may be a little confusing for some.

    I’m also curious whether it is still possible to download language files in this particular version.

    Anyway, I like it enough to recommend it on a Dutch genealogy forum.

  • Hi Enno,

    You are right, the gramplets keep their german titles. My fault, will be fixed with the next version.

    Actually all language files are included, I just don’t switch to anything but english or german. Dutch is a 100% complete translation, I’ll add all 100% languages in the next release (see http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=GRAMPS_translations).

    Glad you like and recommend it!

  • I tried this version on a 512 MB USB drive, which was nearly full after I imported my data, which is only 20 MB in PAF, so I’m afraid it may not work if you include all language files. Maybe you can add those as an option.

    Good news is that the program even works on an old Toshiba laptop that I have, with Windows 2000 professional, and only 64 MB RAM. It takes a while to load, of course, but it does work.

  • You are right Enno, should have mentioned the disk space requirements (I did in my german blog entry). 512 MB is an absolute minimum, but luckily large sticks are pretty cheap nowadays.

    The languages are already included in the current download, they are just not used yet ;-)

  • It installed very well on my USB stick, but how do do I start it to get it in Swedish? All the languages files are installed.

  • Hi Peter,

    Glad everything is working. Sadly you can’t start it in Swedish yet (you translated it, right?), because the launcher only switches between English and German in this first version. The next version will support all complete translations, including Swedish!

  • Hi Ormus,
    Yes, I translated Gramps into Swedish. Good to know it will be available later. When will next version come?

  • Hi Peter,

    the next version depends on my spare time, I’m hoping to have it done in April…

  • Hello,

    How can I switch german to english?

  • @zuza

    It should detect the language of the PortableApps Software and use this one. English will be used for all unsupported PortableApps languages.

  • Any chance of an update to Gramps 3.1.2.

  • Hi John,

    yes, I will update this for 3.1.2 including:

    1. more languages
    2. 3.1.2 release
    3. use gramps4win for faster loading

    This will take a few more days though…

  • I am also interested in gramps update please.

  • Sorry for the delay, rather busy days. It’s still on my short list though!

  • Thanks for your portable version of GRAMPS! I’d like to ask that how I can use other language for the program? In the \App\gramps\lang folder there is the language I’d like to use, but I don’t know how to configure this. The official manual did tell how to use other languages under Windows, but not for this portable version. Thanks for any help!

  • Hi xell,

    Sorry, but you can’t configure the additional languages, I need to adjust the launcher to support more languages. Stay tuned, it’s planned…

  • Hey Ormus

    Just checking you are still developing this as haven’t heard anything over at PortableApps.com about it for a while. The 3.1.2 release includes a lot of fixes so would be great to be able to use. Oh and i noticed your portable version is now on the official Gramps website. Congratulations :-)

  • Please add french language.

    Thanks for your great work !

  • Hi Ormus,

    any news about the update to Gramps 3.1.2

  • There seems to be a bug in the language detection:
    Tried it on Vista (32bit, german) and the program started in english unless I set env. variable “PortableApps.comLocaleCode2=de”

  • Hi there!
    Any hope for a 3.2.4 version ?
    Anyway, I am waiting for it.

  • Hi Ormus,

    Updated version (Gramps 3.2.5) available from http://portableapps.com/node/25668


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