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The Simple method of Firefox Unattended deployment


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Hi all!

Well there are a couple of guides here already and whilst they are very good and alot of members have put time in to researching the requirements and producing the guides, personally I have found them to long-winded :whistle: . I wanted a very simple and straight forward way of producing

1. an unattended installation that included my selection of extensions and themes;

2. a method that was small and could be downloaded or emailed to someone else; and

3. a single file that could be used to deploy in a corporate environment.

The results of my research and testing has been (i am pleased to say) very fruitful. Below is my method for creating a single file that can be used as a stand alone custom installer for Firefox including extensions and themes, whilst at the same time can be used for a complete unattended installation.

Mozilla Firefox unattended/stand-alone deployment Guide 1.0

required tools:

- Mozilla Firefox

- Firefox extensions you wish to include

- Firefox themes you wish to include

- WinRAR

- Simple-FFDeploy.rar

Contains Bob Templeton's FFDeploy, Custom WinRAR SFX Module for Firefox and Extra scripts by `felix` (This one file contains everything you need)

1. Install a "clean" version of Firefox and configure to suit your requirements.

2. Install any/all your desired extensions and themes and configure.

3. Now we are going to make use of the great work Bob Templeton has done. Run FFDeploy (either the vbs or the exe) and build the deployment source [some images below to help].

FFDeploy.exe (Start screen)

ff_deploy_build1.gif

Select your Firefox installation source folder

ff_deploy_build2.gif Once the build process has finished you will be prompted with

ff_deploy_build3.gif Your choice here what you want to do.

Ok Now you will be asked if you want to build a self installer - click on NO.

ff_deploy_build4.gif

Now exit from FFDeploy.

4. Now we have all the source files required including extensions and themes you are going to install. Navigate to your desktop and the Firefox_Deployment folder.

5. Extract the contents of the Simple-FFDeploy.rar file to the Firefox_Deployment folder. Contained in this file is Comment.txt, exclude.lst, firefox.SFX and !makeSFX.cmd. Next edit the contents of the comment.txt file to suit requirements.

Note If you are only going to use the deployment file for unattended installations you can change Silent=0 to Silent=1

6. Now you are ready to create the final deployment file - simply run the !makeSFX.cmd file and this will create mozilla Firefox deployment.exe in the Firefox_Deployment folder for you. It may take a few minutes depending on the size of your source code.

Final product (when launched) will look something like this :)The text will vary based on the changes you make to the comment.txt file. Note if you change the "silent=0" to silent=1 - you will not see this screen when you launch mozilla Firefox deployment.exe.

ff_deploy_build5.gif

-------

Unattended AIO CD deployment methods

1. Add "mozilla Firefox deployment.exe" (or what ever you renamed it) to your RunOnceEx process.

Example: (notice the /s - this is to tell the installer to run quiet/silent mode. If you have set silent=1 in the comment.txt file - you do not need the /s)

REG ADD %KEY%\001 /VE /D "Mozilla Firefox 1.0 Custom" /f

REG ADD %KEY%\001 /V 1 /D ""%systemdrive%installmozilla Firefox deployment.exe /s" " /f

Ok this takes care of the system wide installation...

As you will be able to see in the comment.txt file - after extraction, CreateProfile.vbs is run to create a firefox profile for the current user (normally the administrator). For each user, this vbs file must be run to create the users firefox profile.

2. Now we need to add the CreateProfile.vbs to the Default Users NTUSER.DAT file so that any new user to the system will have their firefox profile setup when they logon the first time. To do this is simple and you can also include this in your RunOnceEx process.

RunOnceEx Method 1

REG LOAD "HKUCUSTOM" "C:Documents and SettingsDefault UserNTUSER.DAT"

REG ADD HKUCUSTOMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRunOnce /v Create_Firefox_User_Profile /t REG_SZ /d "cscript.exe "%programfiles%Mozilla FirefoxCreateProfile.vbs"" /f

REG UNLOAD "HKUCUSTOM"

You could also just create a reg file and use (RunOnceEx Method 2)

REG LOAD "HKUCUSTOM" "C:Documents and SettingsDefault UserNTUSER.DAT"

REGEDIT /S FirefoxCreateUserProfile.reg /f

REG UNLOAD "HKUCUSTOM"

FirefoxCreateUserProfile.reg

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



[HKEY_USERSCUSTOMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRunOnce]

"Create_Firefox_User_Profile"="cscript.exe "%programfiles%Mozilla FirefoxCreateProfile.vbs""

There you have it - thats it! So now you can easily create a custom unattended install of Firefox with themes and extensions and deploy it with all users having a unique firefox profile.

If you have any questions, comment, feedback or suggestions please let me know.

TODO List

- Automate the whole creation (single step) of the source and "mozilla Firefox deployment.exe"

- Produce PDF of this guide (when completed...)

- Work with Bob Templeton in regards to incorporating this all in FFDEPLOY... maybe/possible???

I hope you find this guide helpful.

Edited by `Felix`
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I simply do this:

A) Navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox

B) Copy the two files and folder, and place them elsewhere.

C) When you next re-install Firefox, simply copy the two files and the folder back into C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox. Voila, all your themes, extensions, and custom settings. Even your bookmark.

Typically I start out with a clean install of Firefox first, and make changes I need, then do the backup.

This method in itself won't install plugins, so you'd need to run those installations seperately. However, it's as easy as writing a batch script to automate the process of copying the files/folders over.

I understand the advantages of a simple install package doing it all for you, but I like my method :)

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Hello ffdeploy has been around for a long time.

What is the advantage of this method over that of simonsays'

and how would u constrantly upgrade the xpi and themese using this method.

I am very interested to learn something new.

Hi Astalavista,

Personally i think this method is easier, faster and simplier. This is not a replacement for simonsays' guide which is extremely good - but an alternative approach.

The upgrade of the themes is automatic if you set it up that way - firefox will tell the user if there is an update and the update can then be done. As for updating the source install - same system applies - then you would just repeat the process to create your custom installation. - this time it would include the updated extensions and plugins.

I am working on a fully scripted version of this - i will make it available when finished. The fully scripted version will be a single "double mouse click" to run and will then produce the final SFX file ready to include in your Unattended CD.

More information as i am able to put it together. - Thanks for your comments they are appreciated.

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Hey Felix, great idea and tutorial you have here. I can't wait to try it out but I am encountering a problem.

When i extract ffstuff to the deployment folder and run !makeSFX.cmd, I get an error in the cmd window:

Invalid parameter - rows=5

And this in the winrar window:

! Cannot create files\winrar\firefox.exe

The system cannot find the path specified.

So I fixed this problem with replacing the "program files" in your !makeSFX.cmd to "progra~1" and this fixed that error. But then, I get this error message in the winrar window:

! Cannot open "C:\progra~1\winrar\firefox.SFX"

The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.

The file firefox.SFX is the one I downloaded from your attachment and I placed it in my winrar folder.

Any suggestions?

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Hey Felix, great idea and tutorial you have here. I can't wait to try it out but I am encountering a problem.

Hi Shak,

Ok thanks for identifying the issues. I have fixed them and updated the ffstuff.exe file. You can just leave the firefox.sfx file in the same folder as your deployment files - if you want to have it in the winrar folder - just make a change to the !makeSFX.bat.

If you have any other issues or questions let me know :)

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I love FFDeploy.  As a matter of fact, I asked Mr. Bob Templeton for the code for his script.  :D  Even though I'm making msi's now for my customized installer, I still recommend FFDeploy for those who want the easiest way.  :)

hi totoymola,

Well i would be interested in collaberating with you - i haven't heard back from Bob yet - have you?

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