[kwlug-disc] OT? Deploying Firefox on Windows

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Tue Feb 23 10:08:57 EST 2010


Here is anecdotal data, from various comments by sys admins over
the last few years.

One frequently lamented fact is that Mozilla's FireFox does not lend itself
to being a deployable product in a corporate environment, and that has
hampered its adoption in that segment. There has been repeated requests
to Mozilla to remedy this and do exactly what you are asking for, but so
far,
it is not happening. Not sure why.

On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 12:17 AM, Paul Nijjar <paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca> wrote:

> So at "the other user group" tonight I wondered out loud how to deploy
> Firefox on Windows networks. I know none of you have to deal with
> Windows networks, but maybe you have friends who do, and those friends
> suffer enough without having to live with the default Windows web
> browser. Since this group supposedly accepts FLOSS discussion, I
> thought it might be relevant here.
>
> The usual way to centrally control software in the Windows world
> uses MSI installers, either with Active Directory or a management
> tool. Unfortunately, Mozilla releases .exe installers, not MSI ones.
> Firefox updates so frequently that trying to deploy the software via
> images goes out of date quickly.
>
> There is a company called FrontMotion which repackages Firefox as
> .msi installers. They also release Group Policy templates (think
> /etc, but more limited) for Firefox. You can get these for no money,
> but the company makes its money by selling a service that builds
> customized msi files for you that contain the extensions you want. See
> http://www.frontmotion.com/FMFirefoxCE/ for more info.
>
> If you want to be an open source purist, you might consider the WPKG
> project, which documents silent, centralized installations for all
> kinds of Windows software. See http://wpkg.org/Firefox for more
> information about this. The disadvantage to this is that using WPKG as
> intended requires a client on each machine, and the client software is
> managed via a different interface than other updates.
>
> You can also deploy Firefox extensions, but this is also somewhat
> messy in Windows. Basically you have to unpack XPI files in particular
> system directories. See
> http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1724155 for more
> information.
>
> This information is not terribly hard to find via SkyNet search, but
> it took me a while to wade through the many solutions that became
> obsolete in 2006.
>
> - Paul
>
> --
> http://pnijjar.freeshell.org
>
>
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-- 
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
http://2bits.com
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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