Markdown Monster Portable Version

Markdown Monster ships both as a full installer, and a portable install that is delivered as a Zip archive.

  • Full Installer
    The full installation requires elevated rights in order to write to the Program Files location and registers several system components.

  • Portable Installation
    The Portable Zip file contains all the files to run Markdown Monster, and you can simply copy those files into any folder on your local machine - there is no installation required and you don't need Administrator rights to get started.

    The portable version can run out of any folder, but it's recommended you choose a writable location like My Documents or Local App Data in order to store settings so they can move with your installation.

You can get the portable version from here:

The portable zip file is the easiest way to get a portable install but you can also copy any installed version of Markdown Monster from the %localappdata%\Markdown Monster folder and simply put it on a USB drive or other portable device that you want to run Markdown Monster from.

Enabling and disabling Portable Mode

The first time Markdown Monster starts it looks for configuration data and if it doesn't find it, it creates it. By default, in non-portable mode the configuration location is the %appdata%\Markdown Monster folder, but when portable mode is enabled a local .\PortableSettings folder in the install directory is used instead.

Portable mode is determined by a special file in the Markdown Monster installation folder:

_IsPortable

The portable zip install includes this file so when you start the application it'll automatically pick up this file and run in portable mode.

You can also manually add this file to an existing installation of Markdown Monster and force it to switch to portable mode or use the -setportable command line switch.

Settings Storage

The key difference between portable and installed modes at runtime is where configuration data is stored:

Portable Mode
<installFolder>\PortableSettings

Normal Mode
%appdata%\MarkdownMonster

Command Line Switches to Turn Portable Mode on and Off

You can also toggle Portable mode on and off using command line switches:

Turn on portable mode:

.\MarkdownMonster -setportable

Turn off portable mode:

.\MarkdownMonster -unsetportable

Configuration Folder

These folders hold the main Markdown Monster MarkdownMonster.json configuration file, as well as any downloadable addins that you might install. In addition, third party addins also tend to use this folder to store their configuration information.

Portable Folder Permissions

In order to run a local portable install, make sure that you run a portable install out of folder that has read/write access for the .\PortableSettings folder. By default MM runs out of %applocaldata% which has read/write access but if you choose a portable folder make sure write permissions are available or settings cannot be saved in the .\PortabeSettings folder and will revert to save into %appdata%\Markdown Monster.

Running with Missing Permissions

If you don't use a folder with the appropriate permissions Markdown Monster still works, but several things can happen:

  • Configuration settings will be written to a machine specific location in %appdata%\MarkdownMonster which is not portable.
  • Addins may fail to load if Execute or AV permissions don't allow for executable code.

If you installed into a restricted folder and don't want to move the installation, you can also add the required permissions. You can give Read/Write/Execute permissions to the .\PortableSettings folder to your user account or the Interactive account to allow the local folder to be used.

Persisted Configuration Settings

Markdown Monster requires a few user settings in the registry in order to work correctly. When installing the portable install these settings are written the first time MM starts up.

Specifically it adds:

  • Markdown file association for MM
  • Internet Explorer compatibility mode for MM
  • MM adds itself to the User's path environment var
  • An instance key for the application

These settings are checked on startup of the application and created if not already present.

Since there's no uninstaller when you use the portable version, you can manually remove these registry settings by running the following from the command line:

markdownmonster -uninstall

Make sure you run this command after Markdown Monster has shut down, otherwise some of these values may get re-written when MM exits (or restarts).

Chocolatey's Portable Install - Non Admin but not Portable

Markdown Monster includes a portable install from Chocolatey that you can install with:

choco install MarkdownMonster.Portable

Although this install says it's portable due to Chocolatey Naming conventions, it actually does not install in a truly portable way. It allows for non-Administrator installation but it uses the machine specific %appdata%\Markdown Monster location for storing settings by default.

The portable installation is created in:

c:\ProgramFiles\Chocolatey\lib\Markdown Monster\Tools

which does not allow for write access for an unelevated account which accounts for the %appdata% usage.

Use the Chocolatey Portable package for the non-admin install feature, but use the standalone portable installer if you want a truly self-contained, portable installation.


© West Wind Technologies, 2019 • Updated: 03/06/19
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