Although this is technically a blog, it's primary content is a series of articles on how to get Firefox working in a corporate Windows environment. Later ones build on earlier ones, so you might want to use the Table of Contents on the right to read through it chronologically instead of reading straight down from here.

Tweaking the Firefox MSI

(The screen shots in this post say Firefox 9.0.1 but these instructions still apply with Firefox 14-16)

So you downloaded the Firefox MSI but you don't like how it installs.  Maybe you don't want Firefox to become the default browser because you have IE-dependent software and it should only be an option.  Well we can fix that.
The first thing you need is Orca, a tool from Microsoft to create MSI transforms.  It's not the most user friendly thing but I'll walk you through it.  Yeah, that link is to someone's blog post, but as it says to get it direct from Microsoft you're going to have to download it as part of a big SDK.

Got it?  Good.  Fire it up and open your Firefox MSI.  We don't want to edit it directly so immediately after opening it go to Transform > New Transform.  Your changes will now be highlighted in green and put in a transform file instead.

Choosing Which Features to Install

First we have to go to the Feature section.  FrontMotion stopped including Flash in the MSI so we don't have to worry about that anymore.  Instead we can just see that the Level property is 3 to just install Firefox and 4 to also make it the default browser.

If we go to the Property section we can see INSTALLLEVEL defaults to 3.  If you don't want Firefox to be the default browser you can leave it alone, or if you do you can double click it and change it to 4.


If you want to you can customize the shortcuts as well.  FrontMotion now makes the desktop icon a regular shortcut instead of a special one governed by the registry, so we only need to deal with the Shortcuts section.  If you don't want the desktop icon to be created, just right click on DesktopFolder and select Drop Row.

If you want the Start menu icon to appear directly in Program Files instead of having the unnecessary Firefox subfolder, change the Directory property from _PROGRAMMENUFOLDER_MOZILLA_FIREFOX to ProgramMenuFolder.

Finishing Up

Now that we have the tweaks we want, go to Transform > Generate Transform.  This will create a MST file you can use with your MSI.

To apply it in Active Directory, make sure you choose Advanced when creating a new package.

Then add the MST on the Modifications tab.  You won't be able to do this after the package is created.

That's it.  You now have a customized Firefox install via Active Directory.

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