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Firefox Hacks by Nigel McFarlane

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Hack #28. Prepare Firefox for Wide Deployment

Choose from several strategies for rolling out Firefox across an enterprise.

This hack describes how to deploy Firefox when there's a large community of users to support. It covers changing Firefox from the standard install bundle provided by the Mozilla Foundation to a set of files laid out correctly for the user. These files can be deployed to a workstation, a server, or both.

If profile files are stored on a server, you can improve performance by moving the location of the Firefox disk cache back to the local disk [Hack #22] . It also makes sense to put the profile somewhere separate from any Windows user profile that's also on the server (i.e., any roaming profile), because you don't want Windows replicating the Firefox profile information down to the client when it logs on, as it does for everything else in the Windows user profile.

If the base install files (executables) are stored on a server, only the registry.dat file (Windows) needs to be on the local client, and even that can be faked by mapping %APPDATA% to a server location via Active Directory.

It is also possible to arrange installation so that Firefox can be centrally managed after it is installed [Hack #29] . It makes sense, however, to leave Firefox's automatic update system on [Hack #13] . It's too much work to hand-manage patches from http://update.mozilla.org. You might as well let Firefox do it as though it were a virus checker.

At the time of writing, the Mozilla ...

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