Group Policy support comparison ^Before we get started, I’ll lay out a brief comparison chart of some of the more important settings so you can get an idea what each of these administrative templates offer in comparison to Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer - Firefox - Chrome - Group Policy comparison
Download the ADM files ^You can download the latest files, including detailed documentation, at the following URL’s:
Chrome administrative template ^Installing the Chrome administrative template is simpler and more straight-forward process out of the two, so I will cover that first. Open the zip file (chrome_policy_templates.zip) and navigate to \windows\adm\en-US\ or whatever language you’d like to use and extract the chrome.adm file to a folder that you’ll remember.
Extract chrome.admNote: I’m using the ADM file. If your environment can utilize ADMX files, there’s a folder for those also. Open Group Policy Management by going to Start>All Programs>Administrative Tools. Right click on the group you would like to add this GPO to and click Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here…
Group Policy ManagementEnter a descriptive name for the Policy and click OK. Right click on the newly created Policy and click Edit. This will open the Group Policy Management Editor. Expand User Configuration>Policies and right click on Administrative Templates. Select Add/Remove Templates…
Current Policy TemplatesOnce the administrative template has been imported, click the Close button. In the left panel tree view, navigate to User Configuration>Policies>Administrative Templates->Classic Administrative Templates. You will now see the new configuration settings for Google.
Group Policy settings Google ChromeA really cool feature of this admin template is the ability to still allow users to control some aspects of the program. Take a look around and configure the settings to the requirements of your company. Note: You’ll notice that the Google Chrome settings also show up under the Computer Configuration. Several admins, including myself, have had issues applying the configuration from there. It is best to use the User Configuration.
Firefox administrative template ^Because Firefox does not natively support GPOs, there are a few extra steps that need to be done for us to get it working correctly. Initially, you will follow the same instructions as with the Chrome admin template install. Extract all of the files, create a new Policy through Group Policy Management, right click the new Policy, and edit it.
New Firefox policyJust as you did above, expand User Configuration>Policies and right click on Administrative Templates. Select Add/Remove Templates…, click Add… on the dialogue box, and then browse to where you extracted the FirefoxADM files. This is where the differences start. You will notice that there is not just one ADM file, but two! The two files are firefoxdefaults.adm and firefoxlock.adm.
firefoxdefaults.adm and firefoxlock.admSelect both of them, click Open, and then Close after the files have been imported.
Group Policy settings FirefoxYou’ll notice that not only do you have the Firefox settings under User Configuration>Policies>Administrative Templates->Classic Administrative Templates, but also under Computer Configuration>Policies>Administrative Templates->Classic Administrative Templates and that they’re not the same. As their locations in the tree suggest, the computer configuration will configure all defaults for Firefox on and machine in the group. The user configuration is user specific. Now we’ll see how FirefoxADM overcomes the lack of native support. When you extracted the zip you should have noticed some extra VBS files; specifically firefox_login.vbs, firefox_logout.vbs, firefox_shutdown.vbs, and firefox_startup.vbs.
VBS filesTo make these configuration changes VB scripts are used to configure Firefox during login/logout/startup/shutdown. These scripts should be imported to their correct locations inside the Policy. In Group Policy Management Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration>Policies>Windows Settings and select Scripts (Startup/Shutdown).
Startups ScriptsDouble click Startup in the right pane. A new modal box (Startup Properties) will pop up. Click the Add… button on the right.
Add Firefox startup scriptA second dialogue box titled Add a Script will pop up. Click the Browse… button and locate the firefox_startup.vbs file you extracted earlier and double click it. Click OK to close the box.
Add a ScriptClick the OK button again to close the Startup Properties modal box. Repeat the steps above for the Shutdown script. Next, navigate to User Configuration>Policies>Windows Settings and select Scripts (Logon/Logoff). Then just simply repeat the same steps as above pairing the Logon with the firefox_login.vbs and Logoff with firefox_logout.vbs. That’s it! You’ve just configured GPO for Firefox. Now those scripts will run when the computer is started and shutdown and when a user logs on and logs off.