Aug 23 2014

Using virtualized Google Chrome with policy settings in an organization

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Firefox has as disadvantage that it is hard to maintain with GPO settings, especially when you have to use admx policy files instead of adm policy files. You cannot convert the Firefox policy adm files with ‘ADMX Migrator’.
Google Chrome is easy to administer with policies. In this article I will describe how to do this.

Download Google Chrome Stand Alone Enterprise Edition

Download the installer from the website van Google Chrome.

Download Chrome

Download Chrome

Click Accept and Install

Click Accept and Install

Installation Completed

Installation Completed

Download the policy files

There are 2 policy files that need to be downloaded from Policy Templates – The Chromium Projects:

  1. Zip file of ADM/ADMX templates and documentation
  2. ADM template for configuring Google Update (auto-updates)

Create the Google Update policy admx file

The group policy template for configuring Google Update (auto-updates) is only delivered as an adm file. If you prefer to use admx files then you will have to convert them with the ADMX Migrator.

Create an ADMX file from GoogleUpdate adm with the ADMX Migrator.

Create an ADMX file from GoogleUpdate adm with the ADMX Migrator.

Add the policy files

  1. Extract the zip file ‘Zip file of ADM/ADMX templates and documentation’
  2. Copy the content from the ‘windows/admx’ folder to the %windir%\PolicyDefinitions folder on a domain controller.
    Copy the admx files to the %Windir%\PolicyDefinitions folder on a domain controller.

    Copy the admx files to the %Windir%PolicyDefinitions folder on a domain controller.

Apply the group policy settings

The settings here are just to disable all updates and both the set the homepage and startup page. You can add or remove settings at your own discretion. As Google Chrome is delivered as a virtual package, updating is not an issue. So why offering users an update function?

  1. Start Group Policy Management Console:
    Start Group Policy Management Console

    Start Group Policy Management Console

  2. Create the GPO Google Chrome:
    Create a GPO 'Google Chrome'.

    Create a GPO ‘Google Chrome’.

  3. Disable all updates:
    Disable all update checks.

    Disable all update checks.

  4. Set the homepage:
    Set the homepage.

    Set the homepage.

  5. Set the startup page:
    Set the startup page (1 of 2).

    Set the startup page (1 of 2).

    Set the startup page (2 of 2).

    Set the startup page (2 of 2).

Sequence Google Chrome

Use the sequencer to create a virtual package from Google Chrome. After sequencing do not start the application. Also perform a clean up of unneeded registry settings and unneeded files.
If you need the productversion of the MSI, then use Orca to find it:

if needed find the ProductVersion with Orca

if needed find the ProductVersion with Orca

Add Google Chrome AppV 5.0 package on the Application Virtualization Console

  1. Google Chrome will be deployed to computers instead of users. Only if you deploy Google Chrome (and Firefox too) globally then you are able to set one of these browsers as the default browser.
  2. Create an AD group that will receive Google Chrome:
    Create an AD group that contains computernames that must receive the Google Chrome package.

    Create an AD group that contains computernames that must receive the Google Chrome package.

  3. And set the appropriate access permissions:
    Use this group in the AppV 5.0 Application Virtualization Console.

    Use this group in the AppV 5.0 Application Virtualization Console.

Test on the client

  1. Start Google Chrome from the start menu:
    Start Google Chrome.

    Start Google Chrome.

  2. After starting Google the correct startup page is shown:
    After starting Google Chrome.

    After starting Google Chrome.

  3. And you are able to set Google Chrome as the default browser:
    And you can set Google Chrome as the default browser.

    And you can set Google Chrome as the default browser.

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