Joyous news, everyone — Mozilla is now in the manageable enterprise browser game and has new Firefox group policies! The recent release of Firefox 60 comes with a brand-new policy engine. Say goodbye to the days where managing end-user Firefox settings required changes to a bunch of JSON and config files. Now, using the magic of Group Policy, you’ll be able to specify your end-users’ homepages or take away settings that they shouldn’t be tweaking. You’ll find the ADMX templates on Mozilla’s GitHub page.
Throughout the various versions of Firefox 60, the templates have decently improved. Mozilla even notes that the policies are a work in progress, which has definitely been the case. In fact, over the past couple of months, they’ve added new settings and documentation about them. Here’s a tip, don’t just grab the policies once and assume that they’re going to remain the same. Follow up and check to see what’s changed as you investigate their potential. Since the templates were released, they’ve already added a handful of choices and marked several of the settings as “ESR Only.”
With any policy templates, you need to copy those ADMX and ADML files over to your domain controller so that they’re available for configuration. If that sounds like Greek to you, have a look at Microsoft’s handy guide. Here are our policies (voila…in Food Network fashion) ready to configure. Now you need to browse through and decide which ones you want to configure in your own environment. Some of the available options are:
Since the choices are pretty numerous, consider a few questions. Do you want to preconfigure bookmarks for your users? Or ensure that their homepage is always set to your intranet landing page? Do you want to configure the default search engine without performing a ritualistic sacrifice to edit the appropriate config file? Before Group Policy Editor, a very clever script was required to change Firefox’s default search engine for all your machines. That is unless you wanted to sneaker-net around to each of your machines and do it manually. But now, it’s as easy as configuring these settings in the Group Policy Management Editor. Mozilla has even given you the power to add multiple search engine choices.
If you’ve used or administered Firefox, you probably recognize how universally disliked this popup is:
You can avoid ever seeing the popup again by configuring the “Don’t Check Default Browser” policy.
You can do all these things, and so much more! We hope you find Firefox 60 more manageable and efficient. And we recommend that you follow up and check to see what’s changed as you investigate potential templates.