Roaming Edge Chromium
With the GA release of Microsoft’s latest browser offering on Wednesday 15th Jan 2020 the wait is over to see what the new Edge browser is like.
This blog looks at how the browser settings and preferences can be roamed using tools such as the recently re-branded VMware Dynamic Environment Manager (DEM), Ivanti (AppSense) Environment Manager (EM) and Citrix Profile Management (UPM).
With the MicrosoftEdgeEnterpriseX64.msi for the Stable 79.0.309.65 build downloaded and installed from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/edge/business/download, a quick look at the %LocalAppData% folder shows that the folder structure closely mirrors that of the Google Chrome browser.
Instead of storing the data we require in the %LocalAppData%\Google\Chrome folder the Edge Chromium browser stores the data in %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Edge. The Canary, Dev and Beta channels store data in the \Edge SXS, \Edge Beta and \Edge Dev folders but we will focus on the \Edge folder here.
The browser does not appear to store data in other locations in the profile so this makes for a simple configuration for roaming once we understand which bits of data we need. Having previously configured VMware DEM, Ivanti EM and Citrix UPM to roam Google Chrome gives a great starting point.
After some analysis of the browsers behaviour the following is the best recommendation we have currently:
For VMWare DEM, use a Windows Setting, and create an Edge Chromium Config File as follows:
This zip contains a configuration .ini file and the .ico file for Edge Chromium for importing into the DEM console.
For Ivanti’s Environment Manager Personalization, the same settings can be in a Windows Personalization Group with a custom Windows Setting as follows:
This zip contains an XML file which can be imported into EM Personalization to create the relevant Windows Personalization configuration.
For UPM the “Exclusion list – directories” policy can be updated to include the following exclusions:
A few things that need a note here:
The Edge Chromium update process is not catered for in the configurations above. This will need to be considered – this post will be updated accordingly once the implications of the updating mechanism is understood properly.
In the configurations here extensions are roamed which, depending on the stance of an organization around the use of extensions may be redundant or cause logon/logoff delays. The %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Edge\User Data\Default\Extensions folder can be removed from the VMware DEM and Ivanti EM configurations if required and an additional exclusion added for UPM.
Internet Explorer Mode/EMIE
The above has been compiled without enabling Enterprise mode or the new Internet Explorer mode – again, this post will be updated accordingly once the mechanism is understood properly (most likely this will warrant its own blog post).
Overall, the Edge Chromium browser appears fairly simple to roam settings for. Roaming the entire %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Edge\User Data folder is an option but folders like the ..\User Data\Default\cache and ..\User Data\Default\Code Cache\js will cause bloat issues and slow down the logon, logoff and launch of the browser.
Hope the above helps someone somewhere!
Peter Jones, CTO
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