Install gnupg on a network drive (win2K)

John Clizbe JPClizbe at
Thu Feb 12 06:03:16 CET 2004

Hash: SHA1

Jeroen Budts wrote:

> Hi,
> Sometimes I feel the need to be able to encrypt files when I'm at
> school. It is not necessary that it is a very strong encryption and
> symmetric encryption is good enough, it is only to prevent our noob
> admins to see the content (they even can't install a wi-fi card, on a
> winXP, without the help of students :-s).
> At school we use Windows 2000 Pro workstations and every student has a
> personal network drive.
> So does anyone know if it is possible to install GnuPG on a network
> drive (so that it works on every computer in the network without
> having to setup every time you're using a different computer?) Or does
> anybody has an alternative?
> Thx in advance,
> Kind regards,
> Jeroen

Hello Jeroen,

What you wish to do is fairly straightforward. Forgive the level of
detail, you can gloss over the obvious bits.

You are probably using roaming profiles on Win2000 so that every time you
login, all your files and settings follow you. What makes the most sense
in this case is to install GnuPG binaries and have your GnuPG HomeDir both
reside on the network share.

As an example, let's say your personal network drive is mounted as H:\ and
all the "normal" Windows 2000 profile directories (Application Data; My
Documents; Start Menu;...) live there. I would, in this case, put things
in %APPDATA%\GnuPG. You can find out the value of %APPDATA% by opening a
command prompt (Run -> cmd.exe) and entering the command 'echo %APPDATA%'.
In our hypothetical case we'll use H:\Application Data\GnuPG.

Get the Nullify installer:

I'd prefer Nullify in this case since the installer handles almost
correctly setting the PATH and registry entries which are a common
vexation to new windows installations.

The installer will give the 'standard' close all programs warnings. Click
Next. It with then display the selection dialog for the location of the
program files. The default will be C:\GnuPG. Click Browse and browse to
the location on your network share where things will be installed: example
H:\Application Data (The installer will keep appending \GnuPG as you
browse. When the path is correct click OK then Next. You'll now be
presented with the keyring location selection dialog. Navigate to the same
directory selected for the program files. Click OK and Next. Backup copies
- - your call yes or no. Click Next and the Start Installation screen
appears. Click next and the files will be installed.

The installer will have set the PATH in the system environment table.
Which works is you're always using the same machine, but not if you move
around. Access the environment variables from Control Panel -> System ->
Advanced -> Environment Variables.

Double click Path in the system table, scroll to the end of the value,
highlight the ;H:\APPLIC~1\GNUPG and control-C to copy. Click Cancel.
Double click Path in the User table, scroll to the end and control-V to
paste. If it looks sane (no double semicolons, etc), Click OK twice.

Logoff and login back in. Open a command window and enter 'gpg --version'.
The command should run and also indicate the correct location for the gpg

Import or generate keys. Create key revocation cert. Backup revocation
cert and keyrings to a floppy of other safe media. Edit gpg.conf as
needed, etc...

You're already signing with Enigmail & T'bird so I leave out that part.

Enjoy. Write back if you have any other questions
- --
John P. Clizbe                   Inet:   JPClizbe(a)comcast DOT nyet
Golden Bear Networks             PGP/GPG KeyID: 0x608D2A10
  "Hyperboloids of wondrous Light / Rolling for aye through Space and Time
Harbour those waves which somehow Might / Play out God's holy pantomime."
         - Alan Turing, shortly before his death in 1954
Version: GnuPG v1.3.4 (MingW32)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla -
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