Install extension using Registry

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Bozhidar

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Oct 25, 2012, 8:11:36 PM10/25/12
to chromi...@chromium.org
Hello, I am trying to develop a program that installs my Chrome extensions silently. So I thought that this would be the easiest way to do it:
http://developer.chrome.com/extensions/external_extensions.html#registry
And I started working out. After writing to the registry, the extension wont show up in
chrome://chrome/extensions/
I will show you a several screen shots now.
1. This is how the extension looks when installed with DRAG AND DROP (Not with Registry)
http://i.imgur.com/6IKqM.png
2. I clean my Chrome and it doesn't have any extensions now.
3. I add keys to the registry:
http://i.imgur.com/8aaMP.png
4. Proof of the file in my C:\ drive:
http://i.imgur.com/zj6hz.png

What may be this issued caused by? Can anyone help me?

Wish you good day,
Bozhidar.

Matt Perry

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Oct 25, 2012, 8:14:38 PM10/25/12
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The registry keys might be case sensitive. Try using all lowercase "path" and "version".



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Bozhidar

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Oct 25, 2012, 8:16:24 PM10/25/12
to chromi...@chromium.org, ppdlet...@gmail.com
I've tried that too, but I saw that avastRep extension got V and P uppercase, so I thought to change it. It was still the same..

Matt Perry

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Oct 25, 2012, 8:17:55 PM10/25/12
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You restarted Chrome, right? Chrome only checks the registry on startup.

Bozhidar

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Oct 25, 2012, 8:29:53 PM10/25/12
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Yes, I've restarted Chrome. Tried to Add Registry while Chrome was started and when it wasn't. Still didn't had any luck.

Peter Kasting

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Oct 25, 2012, 9:55:40 PM10/25/12
to ppdlet...@gmail.com, Chromium-dev
On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM, Bozhidar <ppdlet...@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello, I am trying to develop a program that installs my Chrome extensions silently. So I thought that this would be the easiest way to do it:
http://developer.chrome.com/extensions/external_extensions.html#registry

Incidentally, I thought plans were afoot to remove or at least significantly restrict the ability of external programs to auto-install extensions into Chrome.  I don't know if relying on this functionality is necessarily a good long-term plan.

PK 

Bozhidar

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Oct 25, 2012, 10:04:12 PM10/25/12
to chromi...@chromium.org
Does that mean it's not working anymore? Or you were thinking it's restricted :3?
I am still looking for help,
Thanks.

Peter Kasting

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Oct 25, 2012, 10:16:38 PM10/25/12
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On Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 7:04 PM, Bozhidar <ppdlet...@gmail.com> wrote:
Does that mean it's not working anymore?

I have absolutely no idea.  I'm just giving you a heads up.

Installing Chrome extensions from an external source is often a shady or user-hostile way of doing things anyway, so I don't know that we have a ton of motivation to keep it working well.  But I'm not on the extensions team so my opinion is not terribly relevant.

PK 

Finnur Thorarinsson

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Oct 26, 2012, 8:14:18 AM10/26/12
to Peter Kasting, ppdlet...@gmail.com, Chromium-dev
But I'm not on the extensions team so my opinion is not terribly relevant.

I am and I can verify that this pathway is still working, but what Peter is pointing out is that Chrome will no longer be silent when you install an extension this way. The user needs to be in control, so in the future the user will get a dialog asking if they meant to allow the new extension (that they didn't directly install).

The registry keys are not case-sensitive and it looks like you've covered the basics that are given in the troubleshooting section of the link you referred to.

The most common errors are:
Not specifying the ID that the extension gets when installed as a .crx (it's not the same as when you load an extension unpacked).
Not providing a matching version/location on disk for the .crx.
Not realizing that uninstalling a registry installed extension from the chrome://settings page (as opposed to removing the registry key) will blacklist the extension.
Not having proper access to the .crx.

At a glance, it looks like you've covered the first two (if I'm reading the images you sent correctly).

My remaining troubleshooting steps would be to:
1) Make sure chrome.exe can read the registry keys and the .crx file (you can verify this with Process Monitor from Microsoft).
2) Drag and drop the .crx onto Chrome once more and then uninstall it from chrome://settings. That will remove the blacklist flag so you can install using the registry. Or try an empty profile.

Apart from that, I think you might get some more hints if you use a debug build of Chrome and look at the traces that it outputs at startup. I forget if we do this also in a release build, but you might get lucky if you enable logging for Chrome (then you don't have to get a debug build). See http://www.chromium.org/for-testers/enable-logging

Best regards,
Finnur


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LoveExtensions

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Nov 16, 2012, 4:37:29 PM11/16/12
to chromi...@chromium.org, Peter Kasting, ppdlet...@gmail.com
Hi Finnur,

Can there by any other reasons that this type of install would work on some machines and not others?

For example, is it possible that the entries need to go to sometimes go to HKCU instead of HKLM?

I'm having reports from a minority of users in the wild who are having to resort to drag & drop to get it to work.

Thanks

Joao da Silva

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Nov 19, 2012, 3:56:40 AM11/19/12
to theme...@gmail.com, chromi...@chromium.org, Peter Kasting, ppdlet...@gmail.com
A suggestion: configuring the extensions to install via policy may do what you want. Have a look at http://www.chromium.org/administrators/policy-list-3#ExtensionInstallForcelist for details.

Finnur Thorarinsson

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Nov 19, 2012, 4:46:48 AM11/19/12
to Joao da Silva, theme...@gmail.com, Chromium-dev, Peter Kasting, ppdlet...@gmail.com
> Can there by any other reasons that this type of install would work on some machines and not others?

Hard to say. Your best bet is probably to get to a machine in this state and troubleshoot it using the tools I mentioned.

> For example, is it possible that the entries need to go to sometimes go to HKCU instead of HKLM?

Well, permission issues might prevent you from writing to HKLM, which would explain this. Those should not exist for HKCU unless the machine is in a weird state with permissions on Registry keys (it does happen, I used to come across this on a number of occasions in a previous life).

> I'm having reports from a minority of users in the wild who are having to resort to drag & drop to get it to work.

If they have at any point uninstalled your extension through the Extension Settings page then no amount of registry fiddling will get your extension re-installed. It simply won't work until they drag and drop your extension into Chrome. At that point the extension is taken off the blacklist.
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