Customizing Firefox on Windows?

This is a request for help and a quick braindump more than anything else.

Mozilla Firefox Icon
Image via Wikipedia

The scenario is that we have Windows XP desktops. The machines are domain members, as are the users who log into those machines. We would like a way to manage some of the preferences that are set for those users, similar to the way that one would use the IEAK and group policy to manage IE8. We really like Firefox.

Here are some links to information about customizing Firefox and managing it within a work environment. Firefox has a reputation for being difficult to manage in a corporate environment. Rebels. 🙂 Here are the options I’ve located so far:

  1. LanDesk with batch install – this is especially interesting because it gives some insight into how LanDesk works: http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-4498
  2. A company makes an msi version of FF available: http://www.frontmotion.com/FMFirefoxCE/download_fmfirefoxce.htm . It includes both an MSI and an adm file for the AD customization stuff. Looks interesting.
  3. There’s a bunch of discussion on appdeploy.com about FF: http://www.appdeploy.com/packages/detail.asp?id=1286 . They have various tips.
  4. There’s the FF wiki page on deployment over here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Talk:Installer:Command_Line_Arguments

The basic theme seems to be that you can customize the installer very slightly (desktop shortcuts, etc.) and you can write out a customized default prefs.js file, which will then be used as the default for the user once they login to the workstation and start Firefox for the first time. What kinds of things are we interested in changing? Stuff like this:

user_pref("network.negotiate-auth.delegation-uris", "https://");
user_pref("network.negotiate-auth.trusted-uris", "https://");
user_pref("app.update.never.3.6", true);
user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "http://www.google.com/");

The first two lines have to do with Kerberos pass-through authentication on Firefox, which I’ll be writing about soon. The next line should prevent updates and the final line can be used to set the home page for the browser. How do you manage Firefox? Share your links, comments, and how-to’s in the comments. Thanks for the help!

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