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OPEN CALL: Installing and Distributing Firefox and OpenOffice

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Updated: 2 Oct 2006

Bryan K. wrote: As those of us consider moving to Linux on the desktop, the first step is to start by deploying Firefox and OpenOffice. I'd like to know how others (or even Novell) manage their Firefox and OpenOffice installation/distribution (is there a preconfigured ZENworks App Object?...there should be) and managing settings and policies for these applications. Once our users are comfortable with this transition, the transition to Linux on the desktop will be less of a learning curve (as they'll already be familiar with the browser and office suite) and many of our documents will already have been converted to OpenOffice format.

OPEN CALL: If you have any experiences to share on this, please let us know.


Daniel Hedblom

If I understand your question correctly you want to begin your migration by introducing Firefox and OpenOffice to the Windows users first?

My suggestion would be to utilize your ZENworks installation for this.

Make MSI packages or have them made for you by someone else. Deploying them will then be very simple with ZENworks. I have tried this with Firefox and AdminStudio that accompanies ZENworks 7 with good results. There are plenty of other MSI packaging applications should your taste be different.

Deploying in this way lets you tailor things and in the same time makes distribution very simple. The hardest part is to make MSI packages but the work is worth it imho.

Mike Petersen

The easiest way that I have found to Deploy Free Software Applications is by using a simple "script" that copies all required files, shortcuts and registry settings onto workstations within your network - It is kind of a "brute force" style, but seems to work very well.

You can view/download the scripts that I use at:

Note that I use Kixtart, which is cost-free, but not Free Software.

As for "Policies", The Firefox developers are working on it (some Policies are available through GCONF for Linux stations and Windows will be soon to follow). However, you can easily adjust any default settings for the applications just by editing simple XML files.

Using this procedure, I can deploy/update nearly any Free Software app onto hundreds of computers within an hour (minutes with small networks).

Hope this helps,

Oskar Berg

I made an Snapshot of OpenOffice and then made my settings and language options before I saved it and then made an MSI file. Worked perfect for us.

I didnt find any preconfigured ZENworks App Object....

Jason Airlie

Firefox is easy using the installer's command line switches. You can do a silent install using the switch "-ms".

Unfortunately the visible but non interactive ("-ma") option doesn't work.

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