MSI package for Mozilla Firefox

Package Overview

Every time a new version of Firefox has to be installed you must search or test if the settings from the config file have changed, to check if they are still valid or not.

Instead of hunting down, sometimes blind, the new settings from the config file or older ones that got new parameters, wouldn't it be great to just configure the Firefox installation from the UI and have all those settings captured automatically and included into your final package (MSI in this case)? This can easily be done by creating a custom Firefox MSI package.

Using a repackager to capture the installation in a VM (hosting an OS similar with the one on which you plan to deploy Firefox) means you don't have to know anything about the files Firefox installs or where it keeps its settings.

In what follows we'll show how to repackage Firefox and generate an MSI installer for it. The new package will be pre-configured to:

  • not show the import wizard for the bookmarks when you first launch Firefox
  • disable the automatic updates check
  • not install the silent updates maintenance service
  • disable the check for the default browser
  • how to set a default homepage
  • configure shortcuts locations

Firefox MSI Repackaging Process

The process is similar to the one presented in our tutorials. For this demo, we'll use a VMware virtual machine, but Hyper-V is supported too.

Short list of important steps done during packaging:

  • select the VM profile used by the repackager
  • specify the correct product (Mozilla Firefox) and company name (Mozilla), during the wizard. This is very important as these parameters influence directly the install paths detection heuristics.
  • configure Firefox as desired in the VM, after the repackager installed it
  • edit the generated project in Advanced Installer, to customize/clean it before you build the final MSI
  • build the MSI and test it in the same VM (same snapshot)

Video Tutorial

Deployment Stage

Once you have the MSI built and tested you can go on to the next stage, deploying it to your users. You can deploy an MSI easily using Active Directory/GPO or through SCCM.

Advanced Installer has a wizard that helps you to publish the MSI to your SCCM server directly from your packaging/development machine.