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Rolling out Mozilla to 500 users

I am looking for resources for rolling out Mozilla as a standard server for approximately 500 company users in Norway, Sweden and China. In Scandinavia, they're on Windows; in China, on Linux. In Scandinavia, I plan to replace Internet Explorer. In China, we are changing from Windows to Linux, to avoid high license costs. My reason for changing: More and more work is browser-based, and it is therefore important to have a well-functioning and safe browser. Mozilla satisfies these criteria; it is also multi-platform. Can you point me toward some resources? Do you have any advice about ways to speed or prevent mistakes in the rollout?

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I'm a bit confused by the term 'server' because Mozilla is a client technology that connects to servers, like e-mail and Web servers. If you mean to do a desktop rollout, then there are a few tricks you can use. The main one involves a file called prefs.js (Windows) or preferences.js (Linux). This file holds a lot of configuration information captured by the install. It's like a Windows .INI file. If you supply a copy of that to all your users, you can apply a standard setup to everyone. Make sure you have a very recent version of Mozilla or Firefox if you do this.

Unfortunately, automating the rollout in more detail requires detailed knowledge of self-extraction tools. Mozilla doesn't yet have a customization tool that you can lean on. If you do spend time understanding the self-extractors that Mozilla uses, then you can make a custom distribution for your users. That's a non-trivial task, though.


This was first published in September 2004

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