Totally unrelated to FOG, want to install chrome extensions via batch file


  • Developer

    I am looking to gather some information on deploying a chrome extension file via batch script, or VBS.

    I know I can use an ADM/ADMx to push extensions, but unfortunately we don’t roll out Active Directory until this summer.

    My content provider has decided not to fix an extremely frustrating issue with Firefox where it does not load course material, so now I have to use Chrome, no complaints here, except it’s harder than hell to limit chrome instances and tabs.

    Currently, I limit FireFox to only opening one instance, and limit tabs to 3 open tabs at a time. I need to do this because my students have figured out that if they open Internet Explorer and log in to the content, then they can log into Firefox/Chrome and load the test and use the lesson material to answer the test questions… smart little buggers I’ll give em that. So I removed the internet explorer from the machine, installed a lock down browser in place of IE and chose to roll out Firefox. The only reason this works is because they can’t flip tabs when the test it open but they can alt tab to the other browser. Well They could :)

    Well now I need to fix an issue like last week, since gradpoint has no recommendation on fixing the issues with course content in Firefox.

    So… does any one have documentation or experience in deploying chrome extensions to an entire lab at once?

    I plan to spend my Friday night in the lab installing chrome and locking it to kiosk mode and a tab limiting extension, if I could use a batch script to install the extensions, half of my battle is already over.

    This only opens the chrome web store and waits for the user to click the install button and the prompts that follow
    [code]“C:\Users\UserNameGoesHere\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” “url to extension” [/code]

    I even tried installing by crx file :(

    I also tried copying my Preferences file, but then chrome complains that the preferences file has been changed and wants to “fix” the issue and in doing so resets all my settings, counter productive. -.-


  • Developer

    Next year, I will build this into my image as a fail safe. I learned my lesson this year. And next year I will be active directory, it will me much easier for me to deploy applications across the board, not to mention that Chrome has ADM modules.

    Thanks for the information though. I will read up on it and figure out a plan of action for next year.

    For now the Registry method will get me through. At least until next year when I have my Active Directory in place, I already have ADM for chrome set up for my students, but our active directory is not ready for deployment yet. :(

    [quote]User policies, on the other hand, will affect users in your domain whenever they sign in to a Chrome device, even if the device isn’t enrolled to your account. You can set user and device policies for each of your organizational units, and each unit can contain devices and users from different domains within your account.[/quote]

    This has my attention though :)

    It still leads me to believe the user has to log in in order to receive the benefits. I am installing chrome with the intent that my students won’t log in even though they have accounts. So I have to cover all bases. Still gives me something to think about.

    At least I got my gun all cleaned up for firing into barrels of fish tomorrow :D

    I know tab limiting isn’t that big of a deal, but I have to lock down the number of tabs or the students get off track. I think the staff need to do a better job of administering the students, IMHO, but I can’t fix that, I can however try to keep them on task.


  • Developer

    I know your looking for a batch but Google Apps for Education is free. Your users can sign into their browsers and then you [B]MAY [/B]be able to control their browser extensions better through the administration portal.

    [url]https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/3278023?hl=en[/url]

    This is the method we are currently moving to.


  • Developer

    Well it happened, I finally had my epiphany.

    in order to install an extension from the command line, the easiest method to use is the registry update method.

    This is the method I used to install the extension “Nuff Tabs”

    [code]Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\Extensions\kemeihccgedidlokcbfhdekcfojpjjmp]
    “update_url”=“https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx”[/code]

    Thanks for your help Tom, you nudged me in the right direction ;)

    I use a batch file to update the registry with these changes.


  • Developer

    I have also attempted to use a “portable” version of chrome, but this portable version wipes the settings after the users exits. So this in turn resets every extension and setting in the preferences when the users clicks X.


  • Developer

    If it exists in the first 10 pages of search criteria I probably tried it. I was hoping someone had a trick up their sleeve.

    I’ve spent the past week toying with this hoping an epiphany would happen, but nothing so far.

    And no that first link doesn’t work (the link works, the method described doesn’t), it only opens chrome it doesn’t install the extension or even bring up the installation prompt. --load-extension and --install-extension seem to have little purpose.

    I do not want to have to drag and drop, if I have to drag and drop I will just use the method I stated in the first post that actually brings up the web store to the link I just have to click Install. I would like to automate the process though. I appreciate your links and ideas.

    I have not tried re branding as automated installation doesn’t work and I don’t much care what icon or name is with the extension… yet :)

    I’ll give it another shot with unpacked extensions.


  • Senior Developer

    Also, maybe the following link for an automated approach?

    [url]http://doc.uipath.com/2013/06/04/BrowserExtensions.html[/url]


  • Senior Developer

    Does this help?
    [url]http://stackoverflow.com/questions/16800696/how-install-crx-chrome-extension-via-command-line[/url]

    Specifically:
    [code]“C:\Users\UserNameGoesHere\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” --load-extension=<path to extension directory>[/code]


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