This document is intended to provide information about support for Google Chrome within Shavlik Protect.
Shavlik Protect supports patching with the system-level installation of Chrome (.MSI installer). This is also sometimes referred to as the enterprise version.
Shavlik Protect will detect per user (.exe) and system-level (.msi) installations of Chrome, however, but will only deploy the system-level (MSI) installer.
Per User vs System-Level:
Google Chrome can be installed in two ways. The first way to install Chrome (and probably the most popular) is to install it on a per-user basis. If Chrome is installed in this manner, the browser will be available only to the user that has installed it on the machine. Other users on the machine will not have Chrome installed. To patch Chrome, it will require the user that installed Chrome to update it. To do this, Google has written an auto-updater that will automatically patch Chrome for the user.
The second way to install Chrome is to install it on a system-level (aka per-machine in Windows terms) basis. This is also known as the enterprise version of Chrome. This means that Chrome will be installed for all users, and can be updated for all users at once. In these system-level installs, there is no auto-update mechanism.
.exe vs .msi:
Google Chrome has multiple installers that will install on a system-level basis. They have a .exe and a .msi. Installing from the .exe will install Chrome on a system-level basis (given the proper switches), unless there is a per-user install already on the machine. In this instance, the .exe will fail to install Chrome. Installing the .msi on a system will install Chrome on a system-level basis, even if a per-user install already exists. The problem with the .msi install, is that if you want to upgrade (patch) Chrome, you need to uninstall the previous version first. You cannot install a newer .msi install on top of an older .msi install.
If you have not yet installed Chrome in your environment, please consider the above information if you plan to patch using Shavlik Protect.
With Shavlik Protect, you can push out the latest Chrome .msi by using Software Distribution.
Other Considerations when switching to Chrome via MSI (system level install)
What happens to bookmarks and user data when we install the .msi on top of a per-user install? During our testing, all user data is retained, so that the system-level install will use all of the user data that existed in the per-user installation.
A possible problem is that the .msi installation requires that a previous .msi Chrome installation be uninstalled before installing the newer version. To compensate for this, before installation of Chrome, Protect will uninstall the previous version of Chrome, and then install the new version of Chrome on the machine. During our tests, all user-data is retained on the machine and is used by the new version of Chrome.
Additionally, it is important to note that there will be no auto-updating of Chrome once you switch to a system-level install. You will, however, have an honest assessment of the use of Chrome on your network, as well as an accurate assessment of the patch level of Chrome on your network.
If you would like to see changes to how Shavlik supports Chrome please feel free to submit a feature/change request.
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