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I want to prepare a custom installer of Thunderbird and Firefox, which will come preconfigured with the address book, proxy settings etc.

I found some forum topics on the issue: here and here, there someone recommends using mozptch but it currently is discontinued and recommends using

I also found out the WPKG package installer, from this question and this one.

They all assume the configuration is done later by MDC.

But I do not prefer doing a massive install of package managers and then install and configure programs with them. (Because my Active Directory knowledge is very limited). I highly prefer creating a customized installer, which can be run on both office computers and home computers by the users.

What method can you recommend for creating a customized and preconfigured installer for Thunderbird and Firefox ?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Taking into account that:

  • Firefox and Thunderbird doesn't install anything to system folders other than Program files *.
  • All of the configuration is stored in the profile folder (they don't use the Windows Registry for user settings).
  • You can copy a profile from one computer to another, even with different versions of Windows, and it works fine (we just did that a couple of days ago when a coworker changed from XP to Windows 7).

You could try this:

  1. Make a fresh install of Firefox and Thunderbird and configure then as you need.
  2. Using NSIS (or any other free installer) create an installer with all the contents of the Firefox/Thunderbird Program Files folder and the corresponding profile folders inside Application Data (AppData in Vista/7).


  1. Use the official installer for installing the application
  2. Create an installer for the profiles and install it just after installing the application.

The core of the NSIS script for Firefox for the first option would be something like this:

!define LOCAL_INSTALLATION "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox"  ; change this to point to the folder in which you installed Firefox
!define LOCAL_APP_DATA "C:\Documents and Settings\YourUser\Application Data\Mozilla"  ; change this to your app data folder
Name "Mozilla custom install"
OutFile "MozillaCustom_Setup.exe"
InstallDir "$PROGRAMFILES\Mozilla Firefox"

Section "Mozilla Firefox" main

  SetOutPath "$INSTDIR"  ; Set output path to the installation directory.
  File /r "${LOCAL_INSTALLATION}\*.*"  ; getting all files from you local installation

  RMDir /r "$APPDATA\Mozilla"  ; deleting any existing profiles (you need to clean all the profiles or the "migration" won't work
  SetOutPath "$APPDATA\Mozilla"  ; Set output path to the data folder.
  File /r "${LOCAL_APP_DATA}\*.*"  ; getting all files from your profile

  CreateDirectory "$SMPROGRAMS\Firefox"
  CreateShortCut "$SMPROGRAMS\Firefox\Firefox.lnk" "$INSTDIR\Firefox.exe"

  ; Write the uninstall keys for Windows
  WriteUninstaller "${UNINSTALLER}"
  WriteRegStr HKLM "${UNINSTALL_KEY}" "DisplayName" "Firefox"
  WriteRegStr HKLM "${UNINSTALL_KEY}" "UninstallString" "$INSTDIR\Uninstall.exe"

(*) The exception is the MAPI handler DLL for Thunderbird, but this is done when you set it as the default mail application, not an install time

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Firefox Deployment is explained in Detail in the Mozilla Wiki

You might also want to check out BYOB

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