Skip to main content

How to force deployment of Chrome Apps and Extensions to Windows PCs by Group Policy

In a Google Apps domain you can easily deploy apps and extensions to users via the management console. These apps deploy when a user signs into a Chromebook or actively signs into Chrome on a PC. If you want to make the Apps appear automatically on a PC you can either employ a single sign-in solution or push the apps out via Group Policy to the end users.

To push them out via Group Policy you will need the following:

  • PCs in a domain environment - so connected to a domain controller.
  • The Chrome ADM added to group policy on your domain controller. See my blog post on this. 
  • The ID of the app  

ID of the App

Install the extension you want in Chrome and then go to 'Tools' 'Extensions' in Chrome:

You need to enable 'Developer mode' for this to work. The ID you need is the long string of characters.

Enable the Policy

Navigate to your Chrome Policy in Group Policy Management:

Open up this policy:

As shown above - enable the policy. Click 'Show' and add each app on a new line. Each entry starts with the ID or the app, then a semi-colon, then the update url - normally

Test on a user with the policy applied

After opening up Chrome, you should see the apps and extensions appear as below:

Popular posts from this blog

Delete a specific email using GAM

If a user send an inappropriate email to a loads of people or get stung by some sort of email exploit you can quickly delete the email from all of the recipients using a GAM command.
Step 1 - get the email header Go into Google Vault and search for the offending user or someone known to have got the message.
Click show details and grab the email ID. This will be a long string of characters followed by
Step 2 - find out who has the email Go into Google Vault and find the original message sent by the offending user. Look at the details to see who got it. Copy the list and dump it into a spreadsheet. Clean up to just a list of emails with a column header 'mail'. Save as a csv file.
Step 3 - delete messages with GAM Put your CSV file in your GAM folder - this e.g. assumes its called mail.csv
gam csv mail.csv gam user ~mail delete messages query rfc822msgid:MESSAGEIDHERE doit

The alternative nuke option is:
gam all users delete messages query rfc822msgid:MESSAGEI…

ClearOS 7.1 as a Windows Domain Controller

I've been a long time user of ClearOS for gateway, DNS,DHCP, backup and a variety of other services. It is a Linux distro that is backed up with a marketplace of great apps that can be easily managed via a web config (although you can drop into cli whenever you want more control). The new samba directory app allows ClearOS to behave as a full on Windows Domain controller and file server without the cost of Windows Server.

So this is a demo from installation to a working DC and files server. Its about 40 mins for the full job - so skip though bits - gives you an example of what you can do. Please note the the Samba Directory App is currently in beta - but I've not spotted any bugs in a my test setup yet.

How to push bookmarks to users in Chrome via the management console

With the release of Chrome and ChomeOS 37 an update to the management console has arrived that allows you to push bookmarks to users.

Under Device Management > Chrome > User Settings > User Experience you will now find the option to add managed bookmarks.

In the example above, the bookmarks are applied to the sub-OU of 'students' - so all our students will get these bookmarks. Simply add your url and the bookmark name, click the + and save. These will appear in a folder called 'yourdomain bookmarks' - see below:

Be aware that to get these bookmarks applied on a Windows/OS-X device the user must be signed into Chrome. Update: if you install the latest group policy template you can push the bookmarks via policy on PCs - details are given here.
Video Guide: