Install Google Chrome Web Browser on a Windows 2008 Terminal Server for All Users

IT

Install Google Chrome Web Browser on a Windows 2008 Terminal Server for All Users

Overview

In case you didn’t know, if you install Google Chrome by downloading and installing from http://www.google.com/chrome, Chrome will install itself to the AppData folder for ONLY the user that installed the folder. The install directory is located at:

  • For Windows Vista/Windows 7 – C:Users%username%AppDataLocalGoogleChrome
  • For Windows XP – C:Documents and Settings%username%Local SettingsApplication DataGoogleChrome

For Window’s Server 2003 if an individual user wants Google Chrome, they can simply go to http://www.google.com/chrome and install Chrome. However, that option no longer works for Window’s Server 2008 without prompting for an administrator password (at least that’s the case with the multiple terminal servers that I’ve tried).

So let’s say you want to install Google Chrome on a terminal server for every user so you no longer have to worry about prompting for an administrator password. How would you go about this? In older versions of Google Chrome and in Windows Server 2003, you could copy and app data folder from the user and dump it in the all users folder and create a shortcut to the executable file. However, this no longer works in Windows Server 2008 nor does it work with the newer versions of Google Chrome and Windows Server 2003.

Fortunately, there is a way to install Google Chrome on a server, both 2003 and 2008 for all users. In the past, Google used to allow you to use Google Pack from http://pack.google.com, however this Google Pack was discontinued in October 2011. Instead, Google created a ‘alternative’ installer located at http://www.google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?answer=126299 which will install for all users on the computer.

 

Step by Step Instructions for Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2012:

  1. Log on as an administrator
  2. Uninstall any previous versions of Google Chrome Web Browser for the administrator account you logged on to
  3. Go to http://www.google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?answer=126299 
  4. Select “Alternate Installer for All User Accounts >>” 
  5. Install the program by saving then running or simply running the .exe (Note: Although Chrome will work for all users by running the .exe, you should install programs via the “Install Application on Remote Desktop” in Control Panel on a 2008 machine)
  6. Done! The program should initiate on its own and be installed for every user.

 

Archived Instructions as of Oct. 2011:

Windows Server 2008

  1. Log on as an administrator
  2. Uninstall any previous versions of Google Chrome Web Browser 
  3. Go to http://pack.google.com 
  4. Select Google Chrome Web Browser 
  5. Install (folder will be placed in Program Files) and a shortcut should be placed on the desktop for every user. 

Windows Server 2003

As of July 2011, users could use the ‘Alternative Google Pack’ with the same instructions as the Windows Server 2008 to install Chrome for all users. 

Before Google Pack, a few known methods of bypassing the install existed which stopped working in April of 2011:

  1. Copy and pasting Administrator Local SettingsApplication DataGoogle folder to the same location for All Users profile or the any %username% account and opening up the Google.exe file from either location to the specific user. 
  2. Copying a shortcut from the Google.exe from a working account (Administrator or non-administrator) to the All UsersDesktop and/or %username%Desktop folder. 
  3. Copying and pasting a working copy of Program FileGoogle from Windows Server 2008 to Program FilesGoogle for Windows Server 2003 and creating a shortcut to Google.exe.

Source Used: http://www.buchatech.com/2010/02/install-google-chrome-in-program-files/ Accessed April 20, 2010

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Ideen Jahanshahi

Solutions Architect
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