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Which layer to install Microsoft Edge (Chromium) to?


Tim Veers

Question

Hi,

we want to use Microsofts Edge chromium-based browser in our Virtual Desktop images.

I am unsure where to install this software when using App Layering 2003.

Do I create an App Layer and follow the Google Chrome recipe, using the enterprise offline MSI-installer and GPOs? Or do I need to install it into the OS Layer since it possibly is connected to some operating system funcionality?

 

How did you tackle the question?

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We had Edge Chromium in the OS Layer and Chrome in the Platform (We had issues getting it to allow default assignment if it wasn't in the platform)

 

However, we had a couple of auto-updates slip into the UPL and this caused side-by-side issues for Edge/Chrome because to the system there were 2 different versions installed (1 in UPL, 1 in OS/Platform). Since these didn't have their own App Layer there was no way to purge the UPL data regarding these applications. We ended up separating out Edge/Chrome into their own App Layers in order for the ELM to actually generate a repair script in case this happened again.

 

I definitely suggest separating them out at this point or else you could risk an auto-update happening, which will break Chromium based browsers.

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It should be worth noting that current and future builds of Windows 10 include Edge (20H2) so may be simpler to retain in the OS Layer, the downside is that it does not update via windows update. It uses the same update mechanism as Chrome (launch Edge and check version via about)

 

I currently have it as an App Layer (Elastic) along with seperate App Layers for Chrome and Firefox. Problems can arise with User Layers if the users are able to update and then a subsequent layer update is made, the msedge exe references the wrong version folder. User Layer repair does not resolve the issue when this occurs.

 

Would strongly recommend if using User Layers that Edge updates are disabled and only pushed via App Layer updates.

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As Joshua mentioned, we've begun to run into side by side errors.  Would like to separate mine out at this point.
 

We've had Edge Chromium in the OS layer for while now and it appears as if that's actually a pretty messy play. 

 

Example of what happens:

  1. Install Edge Chromium v83 in OS layer version 1.
  2. Add Adobe Reader version  with OS layer version 1.
  3. Add Notepad++ with OS Layer version 1. 
  4. Next month rolls around and you patch OS Layer version 1 to latest updates with OS Layer version 2.  As part of this, Edge Chromium v85 is pushed into the OS layer v2
  5. Publish an image to PVS and now you've got Edge versions 83 and 85 in there. 
  6. Let this cycle for a few months and eventually you end up with lots of app layers with different versions of edge in there and Side by Side issues start to crop up.
    1. In one disk I published, I had 5 versions (83,x85,87,88, and 89) of Edge in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\.

 

At this point, the only recourse I can come up with is to remove it from the OS layer, and all subsequent layers that were created with the problematic OS Layer as a base. I'll leave the Chrome layer untouched and let it be used as my AL for Chrome and Edge.

 

Out of additional curiosity, is there any way to tell app layering to NOT capture a certain folder when finalizing it?

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On 3/12/2021 at 12:24 PM, Bryant Irwin said:

As Joshua mentioned, we've begun to run into side by side errors.  Would like to separate mine out at this point.
 

We've had Edge Chromium in the OS layer for while now and it appears as if that's actually a pretty messy play. 

 

Example of what happens:

  1. Install Edge Chromium v83 in OS layer version 1.
  2. Add Adobe Reader version  with OS layer version 1.
  3. Add Notepad++ with OS Layer version 1. 
  4. Next month rolls around and you patch OS Layer version 1 to latest updates with OS Layer version 2.  As part of this, Edge Chromium v85 is pushed into the OS layer v2
  5. Publish an image to PVS and now you've got Edge versions 83 and 85 in there. 
  6. Let this cycle for a few months and eventually you end up with lots of app layers with different versions of edge in there and Side by Side issues start to crop up.
    1. In one disk I published, I had 5 versions (83,x85,87,88, and 89) of Edge in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\.

 

At this point, the only recourse I can come up with is to remove it from the OS layer, and all subsequent layers that were created with the problematic OS Layer as a base. I'll leave the Chrome layer untouched and let it be used as my AL for Chrome and Edge.

 

Out of additional curiosity, is there any way to tell app layering to NOT capture a certain folder when finalizing it?

 

We ran into the exact same issues as well, which is why it prompted us to separate it out as I described earlier. I then ran the repair json on all users after the Edge layer was created. This fixed all of our side-by-side issues. However, I now do a quarterly update and my only frustration is that the first time someone opens Edge after the update, it is in a broken state until the user closes Edge and re-opens it. I've also tried running the repair json and its the same behavior. The broken state also doesn't come back after a reboot, its only when I do the next update.

 

I'm almost thinking that removing Edge/Chrome entirely from an App Layer and just installing it in the UPL is the best route to go. Has anyone else tried this?

 

UPDATE 3.18.21

 

I had a ticket in with Citrix and if you use User Layers, you cannot App Layer browsers whatsoever. I told them that their CTX article didn't make mention to that but they said the internal team confirmed that browsers cannot go in App Layers if you're planning to use User Layers. I've started migrating my users and so far no issues with the browsers being installed in the User Layer with updates enabled.

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We use Microsoft Configuration Manager and via Software Center Self-Service users install it themselves if they require it. You could also remotely install it but make sure however you're pushing the installation that it can detect a user session or else it wont install in their User Layer.

 

Microsoft decided to complicate things this month with the April patching and actually forced you to install Edge Chromium in the OS Layer. I ended up renaming both folders (Edge/EdgeUpdate) in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft to Edge.OS_Layer and EdgeUpdate.OS_Layer as well as disabling all Edge Update services/removing the Task Schedule auto-update tasks in the OS Layer. This has worked well and users are still able to install Edge Chromium into their User Layers and update it without issue. 

 

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This is actually getting pretty ugly now, with the latest Windows 10 updates now add Edge into the OS Layer and uninstall is not supported (only presented option is repair presumably as legacy edge is also removed) this means everytime it gets reinstalled you need to rip it out via command line.

 

Was able to remove it in 2004 H2 with "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\##version##\Installer\setup.exe --uninstall --system-level  --force-uninstall"

 

Seems like an ideal feature request for Citrix Optimiser....

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Hi,

As per my experience, never install an application that update itself (auto update) in OS layer or you will waste a lot of time repairing other application layers. Tipicaly, those applications are antivirus software, Edge chromium, Chrome, every software you cannot block from self updating.

For Edge and Chrome, you might know how to block automatic updates, I prefer put those in application layers because updating OS layer just for an Edge security update it's a bit too much.

You have to pay attention to windows updates and uninstall Edge because sometimes it gets installed. (as Michael Shirtcliff described)

Thank you

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Hello!

The october Windows cumulative update for W10 build 22H2 installs once again Edge Chromium and it is no more possible to remove it with the --uninstall options.

Now I'm stuck with Edge Chromium working partially, even if I disable Edge App Layer I used to work with (example : Outlook links won't open anymore, it tries to open with an old Edge browser, before Chromium).

I'm completely lost and I have to put Edge Chromium in the template...

I'll try disabling services, tasks and renaming folders to see if it's a path to follow.

Any other "clean" ideas?

Thank you.

Ray

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