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Deploying Adobe Flash Player Silently for Limited Users

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By James Rudd

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Posted: 7 Jun 2007

Problem: Cannot deploy Adobe Flash Player using ZENworks as they require user to be an admin.

Solution: Use Orca to modify the MSI install and remove Admin User Launch Condition.

Adobe Flash Player MSIs

  1. First go to Adobe Player Licensing to request a license for the players.
  2. Apply for a license, and a download link will be emailed to you, that contain links to MSI install files. There will be two main versions, one for IE and one for plug-in browsers (e.g. Firefox).

The problem with these files is they will not deploy directly. Only admin users can run them. We need to edit them so that ZENworks can install the MSI for a limited user. To edit this file we can use a free Microsoft utility called Orca.


Orca is a database table editor for creating and editing Windows Installer packages and merge modules. Orca allows you to directly edit MSI files.

  • You can download Orca as part of the "Windows SDK Components for Windows Installer Developers" from the official site.
  • Or you can get just the Orca MSI from this unofficial site.

Once installed you can right-click on an MSI file and choose "Edit with Orca."

Once in Orca, choose Launch Conditions from left side. Then right-click on the AdminUser condition and choose Drop Row. Now Save the changes.

The MSI has now been modified to allow it to be run by ZENworks as an MSI application.

In Orca you may also wish to modify some settings in the Property sheet, however most of these can also be changed from the MSI property page with ConsoleOne.

Follow the standard guide to adding an MSI application in ConsoleOne and deployment should now work OK. You can easily have the application set to a silent or progress install with no user input.

When a new version of Flash Player is released just download the new MSI, make this change, then replace the existing MSI referenced by the ZENworks app object with this new one. Increment the application version number in application properties, and the new one will be deployed. (This is also why Property items should be stored with the ZENworks app object, rather than directly editing them with Orca.)

Distribution Idea

We have created three ZENworks MSI installs for Flash IE, Flash Plugin and Shockwave installers. A single application is used to tie them altogether using application dependencies. This allows the end user to have a single icon to update or reinstall the plugins. It can also be set as a force run that will automatically update the others as required. If any MSI has been updated, and the version number incremented as mentioned above, when the combined application runs it will update any new versions and leave the others unchanged.

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