Adobe Flash 10.3 deployment via GPO

This article has been superseded by a new article that includes Adobe Flash 11 (including 32Bit and 64Bit deployments)
http://ivan.dretvich.com/2011/10/adobe-flash-11-deployment-via-gpo/

So we need to update Adobe Flash for our users…again. With all the security vulnerabilities this one I like to keep on top of as much as I can even though it slips from time to time. Below is a quick summary of how I deploy Adobe Flash using Group Policy.

In brief i will document:

  • Where to download the distribution version
  • How to deploy it via GPO
  • How to prevent the automatic updating

Downloading Adobe Flash

Download the .MSI from Adobe. Note you need to register to redistribute the software (quick form to fill out).It may take up to 24 hours to get the link sent to you via email.

http://www.adobe.com/products/players/fpsh_distribution1.html

There are also places that have advertised the direct link to download the software if you ‘misplaced’ your email with the link. Check the Useful Links section at the bottom for more info.

The files that I downloaded were:

  • install_flash_player_10_active_x.msi – Internet Explorer version – Ver 10.3.181.23
  • install_flash_player_10_plugin.msi – plugin based version – Ver 10.3.181.22

Deploying Adobe Flash via Group Policy

Although you may think you can modify the MSI prior to deployment I have to disappointingly say you cant. It breaks the package and wont install. The reason this happens is because of the mechanism that Adobe use to package the install.

To deploy the package via GPO please follow my article below:

How to disable Adobe Flash AutoUpdate

Although you cant change the MSI package to prevent Automatic Updates you can use another method that Adobe have provided. What you need to do is place a configuration file that tells Adobe Flash to disable automatic updates. The details are below:

Filename:

mms.cfg

Contents:

AutoUpdateDisable=1

File Location on 32-Bit machine:

%systemroot%\System32\Macromed\Flash
so the default location is:
c:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash

File Location on 32-Bit install of Flash on 64-Bit machine:

%systemroot%\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash
 so the default location is:
 c:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash

As you can see its a simple 1 liner cfg file that needs to be created\copied in the corresponding folder. What I do is actually copy a file (that I have copied over to the GPO location eg. \\Domain.local\DFS\Install\AdobeFlash\mms.cfg) to the correct folder.

To do this copy process I use Group Policy Preferences. Here are the specific details:

32-Bit flash deployed to 32-Bit OS:

  1. Open you Adobe Flash Group Policy object. Expand Computer Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> Files
  2. Right click -> New -> File
  3. On the General tab set:
    1. Action = Create
    2. Source file(s) = \\Domain.local\DFS\Install\AdobeFlash\mms.cfg (example)
    3. Destination = %WindowsDir%\System32\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg
    4. Attributes = Archive
  4. On the Common tab set:
    1. Apply once and do not reapply = Ticked
    2. Item-level targeting = ticked
    3. Item-Level targeting conditions:
      Environment variable %PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE% = x86
    4. Description = “mms.cfg deployment to 32-Bit architecture only”

32-Bit flash deployed to 64-Bit OS:

  1. Open you Adobe Flash Group Policy object. Expand Computer Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> Files
  2. Right click -> New -> File
  3. On the General tab set:
    1. Action = Create
    2. Source file(s) = \\Domain.local\DFS\Install\AdobeFlash\mms.cfg (example)
    3. Destination = %WindowsDir%\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg
      Note the difference for 64Bit OS version.
    4. Attributes = Archive
  4. On the Common tab set:
    1. Apply once and do not reapply = Ticked
    2. Item-level targeting = ticked
    3. Item-Level targeting conditions:
      Environment variable %PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE% = AMD64
      Note the difference for 64Bit OS version.
    4. Description = “mms.cfg deployment to 64-Bit architecture only”

The final view should look somehting like this:

Important Links

About Flash Player:
http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/
This link tells you the exact version you are currently running, along with the most recent version available for download.

Flash Uninstall Utility info:
http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html

Flash Uninstall Utility download:
http://download.macromedia.com/pub/flashplayer/current/uninstall_flash_player.exe

AppDeploy Package Deployment info
http://www.appdeploy.com/packages/detail.asp?id=1382

Adobe Flash Player Administration Guide for Flash Player 10
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/flash_player_admin_guide.html

Adobe Flash player distribution license
http://www.adobe.com/products/players/fpsh_distribution1.html

Adobe link for Enterprise deployment
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/enterprise_deployment.html

%WindowsDir%

  1. Your time in uploading this information is greatly appreciated. Many thanks

  2. Leigh Bennett

    Keep up the good work! This has really helped my deployment specialy stopping Adobe Flash nagging for an update!.

  3. worked perfectly here as well: thanks for the clear explanations 🙂

  4. Mansoor Ali Shaikh

    Thank you very much this is very good way to solve any issue

  5. Wow, that’s perfect. Finally the solution to the annoying problem of flash updte for low-privileged users!
    One question – how do you update to flash 11? Remove the gpo used to install 10.3 and create a new one?
    Or replace the package?

    • Hi Enrico,
      Thanks for the kind comment. Very much appreciated.

      As for Flash 11 I will be deploying it next week so will keep you posted. Either way you would keep it all in the one GPO but i need to see how they have packaged it to be certain. I suspect the main question is whether you need the 32 or both 32 and 64 bit installs on 64 bit machines.
      Check back next week!

    • As noted on the top of the page: new article has been created.

      Adobe Flash 11 Deployment via GPO
      http://ivan.dretvich.com/?p=350

  6. Deploy Gpo – Adobe Flash « SaveTheSysAdmins - pingback on 3 January, 2012 at 19:18

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