What is Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions?
Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions is a convergence of open source Web browser technology and application virtualization. It is the first virtual Web browser to be pre-installed on computers from a major hardware vendor. With Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions, changes made to a computer while surfing the Web are contained in a “virtual layer” and do not permanently alter the computer. The goal is to ensure that employees can utilize the World Wide Web productively, while keeping business computers stable and easier to support. Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions was developed for HP by Symantec, in coordination with Mozilla, and uses Symantec’s industry-leading SVS application virtualization technology.
Components and additional documentation
The components of Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions are:
- Mozilla Firefox 184.108.40.206: When the development for Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions began, Firefox 3.0 was not yet in final release. Firefox 3 has several new security features that make it highly desirable for business use. Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions users will be prompted whether they wish to upgrade to Firefox 3. HP recommends upgrading to ensure that PCs are running the latest features and fixes from Mozilla. Additional information on Mozilla Firefox, including support resources, may be found here.
- Symantec SVS 2.1.2096 Runtime: Software Virtualization Solution (SVS) is a revolutionary approach to software management. By placing applications and data into managed units called Virtual Software Packages (VSPs), SVS lets you instantly activate, deactivate, or reset applications, thus avoiding conflicts between applications without altering the base Windows installation.
- Adobe Flash Player 220.127.116.11: The Flash Player plug-in for Firefox is pre-installed. Additional information on Flash Player, including support resources, may be found here: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/
Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions is localized to twenty-four languages. Where Firefox Language Packs and Firefox Dictionaries are available for the supported languages, they have been included. Firefox should automatically use the correct Language Pack and Dictionary based on the Windows OS UI language setting. For additional Firefox Language Packs, go to http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/ and look for the /win32/xpi directory under the appropriate browser version. Install language packs—and any other Firefox add-ons—from within Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions to ensure that they get installed properly into the virtual layer.
Known issues and things to know
- Product Name: Shortcuts and other text strings in the product refer to “Firefox—HP Virtual Browser Edition”. The product name was officially changed to “Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions” after development was completed.
- Start Menu Shortcuts: Windows may add a standard “Mozilla Firefox” icon to the Start Menu when Firefox is set to be the default Web browser. This is functionally the same as the “Firefox – HP Virtual Browser Edition” shortcut and either may be used.
- Trend Micro OfficeScan on Vista: If you are using Trend Micro OfficeScan on Vista, there is currently an interoperability issue with SVS that can result in high CPU utilization. See article 40084.
- “Altiris Software Virtualization Agent” in Add or Remove Programs—This is a necessary component for Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions. If you uninstall Altiris Software Virtualization Agent, the virtual Firefox browser will no longer function. If you wish to remove Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions, an uninstall utility that completely removes all components is located here:
C:\SWSetup\Virtual_Browser\Uninstall Firefox HP Virtual Browser Edition.exe
- Removing Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions: To remove Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions, run the uninstall utility located here:
C:\SWSetup\Virtual_Browser\Uninstall Firefox HP Virtual Browser Edition.exe.
Note that when uninstalling on Vista, Start menu shortcuts may not be removed until the computer is rebooted.
- Re-installing Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions: To re-install Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions after it has been removed, run the install package located here: C:\SWSetup\Virtual_Browser\svsinstall.exe.
A Softpaq for Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions will also be made available on www.hp.com for qualified models of HP business desktops.
- Upgrading to regular (licensed) SVS Agent: To upgrade a computer to the full, licensed SVS product, run the SVS Agent MSI with the following command line:
msiexec.exe /qb /i Software_Virtualization_Agent.msi REINSTALL=ALL REINSTALLMODE=vomus PRODUCT_KEY=<Your product key obtained from Symantec>
On Vista, this may need to be run from a command prompt with admin privileges if UAC is enabled.
- Duplicate Copies of Firefox in Inventory Scan: Some software inventory products may report two copies of Firefox after Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions has been activated. This is because the actual program files exist in a hidden location under C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\Firefox - HP Virtual Browser Edition. However, Firefox is accessed by the user and Windows at its virtual location under C:\Program Files\Virtual Firefox. For more information, please read this.
- Excluding additional locations or file types: As discussed on the Welcome Page (http://www.symantec.com/virtualfirefox/), Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions does not virtualize the following: Firefox profiles, the Windows Desktop and My Documents. That is, data written to these locations from within Firefox is written normally to the base file system and remains persistent on the computer after resetting or removing Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions. To add additional locations or file types to the exclude list, consult the Product Guide section on Global Exclude Entries. Since SVS Admin is not included with SVS Runtime, you will need to follow the instructions for manually adding additional excludes to the registry.