Group Policy Extension for Firefox

I’ve been working with Cesar Oliveira from Seneca College to put together some initial attempts at group policy support. Here’s his comment from bug 267888:

Since there doesn’t seem to have been any communication from the assignee for
over a year, I am guessing that he is no longer working on it. With big help of
Michael Kaply (mkaply), we went into a different approach with this bug.

Instead of doing our own ADM template, we decided to do an implementation using
generic IE policies (gpedit.msc) that both browsers can share. For example,
setting the home page and enforcing full screen, and even disabling tabs! This
won’t be the best solution, because Firefox and IE are different in many ways.
But it gives us something to start with, as IE is already in the corporate
world, we might as well try imitating some of their success 😉

We haven’t implemented every policy (only slightly over a dozen). And it
definitely needs some polish to the functionality and the code. There are some
ways to get around certain policies (we don’t do any preference locking), but
it is certainly better than not moving forward.

The code was designed to go into the mozilla\extensions directory. It works
with the latest version of Firefox3 (Firefox3.0b5pre), but not Firefox 2
(started using fuel). You can check out the source code via svn:
svn://cdot.senecac.on.ca/ff-ad/trunk

I am also making available an extension you can use. I haven’t done much
testing with it, other than it installs and works with no tab browsing and
enforce full screen:
http://matrix.senecac.on.ca/~cdolivei/files/grouppolicy.xpi

I also made a list of policies that we implement. Please feel free to look and
give feedback.
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pqlMBxIY5x3i2yeezToYGfg

So now I am requesting community feedback. What is going to stop this from one
day getting into the tree (I assume everyone on the CC list wants something
like this in)? Other than using IE’s policies, of course 😉

I think I got everything. If something is not working, feel free to email me.

This is really a first step, but I hope people will try it out.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Group Policy Extension for Firefox

  1. This actually RE: Operator and microformats. So, I’m trying to figure out what the difference between Operator and FF3’s microformat implimentation. What’s the difference? what does the FF3 implementation do, and how is it different from microformat…

    btw..if i’m missing some helpful FAQ or document…i’m sorry and I’d appreciate a point the in right direction.

  2. That’s *fantastic* news…I look forward to hearing more on this, and will have to give it a try.

    I’d be particularly interested in something to disable form/password saving. With IE, I want to disable the phishing filter, as it sends information to MS, but Firefox’s default config. uses a local copy, so I’m not nearly as concerned. Other tweaks I handle with GP are largely centered around IE annoyances.

    Beyond that, my biggest wish is for a good way to update Firefox over the network, ideally with MSIs that can be upgraded. (The current model of user-triggered-updates is completely untenable when users don’t have admin. rights.)

  3. It would be good to pull in some users of group policy and see what they use currently, like, don’t like and desire.