Remote Software Deployment: Foxit, PDF Reader without the bloat.



***UPDATE: In order to deploy Foxit 5 or later you need to obtain the Foxit Enterprise Reader. Please see this article to deploy Foxit version 5 or later.***

Is bloat ever a good thing? I’m trying to find an example where the phrase “I feel bloated” can be stated where the implication wouldn’t be negative.

If you would like to deploy a PDF reader app to your users without all the bloat that Adobe Reader often brings you could certainly do worse than Foxit Reader. I won’t say that there are NO strings attached as the default installation of the free reader throws some unnecessary crap that I certainly don’t want. (An eBay icon on my desktop? Oh please may I have that on all my computers?!) A slight customization to the deployment will take care of these inconveniences, though.

You can download Foxit Reader here. To install to your network computers follow these steps: (In this example I am using PDQ Deploy 1.1 which is, at this time,
available as a free beta).

  • Open up PDQ Deploy and Create a new Installer. In this example I called the new installer Foxit Reader.
  • Add the appropriate arguments to your installation. To get a Usage window you can run the Foxit Reader (outside of PDQ Deploy) and pass it the /? argument. For this example I wanted to install Foxit WITHOUT placing the eBay icon on the target desktop and WITHOUT installing the Foxit Toolbar. My command line arguments ended up being “/disallow /foxitbar /ebay”.
  • Select your target computers.
  • Deploy it baby!

Always check the command line Usage


Command Line usage

PDQ Deploy Installer

You may notice that I listed the return code “1” as a successful return code. In my tests the Foxit installer returned code 1 for all of my successful deployments. Generally, exit code “1” is a bad thing.

Remote Software Deploy target computers

Remote Software Deployment results

If you do need to deploy Adobe Acrobat Reader, (you like that bloated feeling, eh?) refer to Shawn’s previous article.

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