how to install v28.9 without admin rights

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ari5_96
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how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by ari5_96 » 2020-03-26, 00:13

How do I install Pale Moon (64-bit) as a non-admin user on Windows 7 and 10 (64-bit)?
In earlier versions, e.g. 28.7.2, if I clicked No at the UAC prompt I could then install it, typically under %LOCALAPPDATA%, but with v28.9.0.2 it fails (if I run the installer from the cmd prompt it says "Access is denied".)
The 28.8.0 release notes say "If your operating system account does not have the necessary privileges, you need to manually select an accessible folder to install into" but how exactly do I do that?

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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by Moonchild » 2020-03-26, 10:08

From the command-line start the installer with "/INI={config file}" as an argument. {config file} is a text file where you specify installer options.
In the ini file, enter the option "InstallDirectoryPath={path}" where {path} can be any path you want to install to that you have access rights to.
See also https://wiki.mozilla.org/Installer:Comm ... _Arguments
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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2020-03-26, 10:59

Or just extract the 7z archive somewhere and just run. The installer isn't actually necessary. Though, if you don't have administrator rights you likely shouldn't be using the application or at the very least should be using the portable version.

I really hope you aren't trying to use unauthorized software on a corporate network.. could get your ass fired.
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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by ari5_96 » 2020-03-26, 13:00

Moonchild wrote:
2020-03-26, 10:08
From the command-line start the installer with "/INI={config file}" as an argument. {config file} is a text file where you specify installer options.
In the ini file, enter the option "InstallDirectoryPath={path}" where {path} can be any path you want to install to that you have access rights to.
See also https://wiki.mozilla.org/Installer:Comm ... _Arguments
I tried that, but I still get Access is denied. On Windows 10 I copied the entire ini file from https://wiki.mozilla.org/Installer:Comm ... _Arguments and uncommented "InstallDirectoryPath=c:\firefox\".
To verify that I've got the syntax correct - if I run exactly the same command (as a non-admin user) "palemoon-28.9.0.2.win64.installer.exe /INI=c:\temp\install.ini"
- click No at the UAC prompt, I get "Access is denied" at the cmd console.
- click Yes at the UAC prompt, enter admin password, it installs silently into c:\firefox

To check that my non-admin account can create entries in the root directory, I did "md \firefox2" and it worked OK.

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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2020-03-26, 13:07

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2020-03-26, 10:59
Or just extract the 7z archive somewhere and just run. The installer isn't actually necessary. Though, if you don't have administrator rights you likely shouldn't be using the application or at the very least should be using the portable version.

I really hope you aren't trying to use unauthorized software on a corporate network.. could get your ass fired.
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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by ari5_96 » 2020-03-26, 13:08

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2020-03-26, 10:59
... Though, if you don't have administrator rights you likely shouldn't be using the application or at the very least should be using the portable version.
A standard Windows 10 setup allows non-admin users to install software (for that specific user only), typically into %LOCALAPPDATA%, so I would rather hope that Pale Moon would support such installation, preferably without making it too difficult for the user.

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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2020-03-26, 13:40

We specifically removed that because it is a security issue if the software is not installed to a protected location that is not writable by standard users or administrators with their standard user security token.

The whole point of UAC (13 year old technology) is to make it so administrators by default don't execute everything with an administrator security token. IF you don't have the ability to elevate then perhaps you shouldn't be installing that software on that machine. If you own the machine you should be an administrator. There is no use case that is valid for a standard user to install system software. HOWEVER, you don't need to install UXP Applications to run them and even do shell integration for that user but this is the exception not the rule for Windows Systems.

I already told you what you could do which is effectively identical to what the installer used to do except you will be asked to make the browser default and gain file and protocol associations on first run of the application instead of the installer doing it.

I don't see your problem except you WANT to be difficult. Also, this has jack point shit to do with Windows 10 unless you are including Windows Store garbage, of which we are not.
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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by Moonchild » 2020-03-26, 16:13

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2020-03-26, 13:40
We specifically removed that because it is a security issue if the software is not installed to a protected location that is not writable by standard users or administrators with their standard user security token.
More specifically, writeable by standard users and every program they execute.
Having essential system programs installed in a fully-accessible and unprotected folder in a known location is basically putting a big-ass neon sign on it saying "HACK ME!".
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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by Goodydino » 2020-03-26, 20:57

Browsing from a non-admin account is safer. I do all my browsing from a standard account with MacOS. The browsers (except for Safari) are also installed in the standard account.

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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by Moonchild » 2020-03-26, 22:10

Goodydino wrote:
2020-03-26, 20:57
Browsing from a non-admin account is safer. I do all my browsing from a standard account with MacOS. The browsers (except for Safari) are also installed in the standard account.
Then you are less safe.

The safe and sane way of browsing is to protect your browser software by installing it in a protected location as administrator, and using it with your standard account.
That way your use of it is subject to standard account restrictions protecting your system, and whatever you do also can't compromise the browser itself.

There is a very good reason that this is the standard way installations of software have been done for the past decade or 2.
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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by ari5_96 » 2020-03-26, 23:20

If the installer requires admin privileges to work at all, please consider updating the release notes to say so explicitly. Currently the release note says:
Removed the silent fallback to insecure install locations on Windows.
Pale Moon will no longer by default install into unprotected program locations ... If your operating system account does not have the necessary privileges, you need to manually select an accessible folder to install into.
This is not particularly clear. "Silent fallback" and "by default" imply that the installer will ask me where I want to install it - not just fail to install. Remember that most users will download the installer (from the big links on the download page), previous versions could be installed without admin rights, and the release notes don't appear to mention that is no longer the case.
(I'm not disagreeing with the decision to change the functionality, merely noting that the release notes are not clear.)
Perhaps it should be more explicit:
The installer requires Admin privileges. If your operating system account does not have the necessary privileges, use the "7-Zip packed version" instead, and extract to an accessible folder.

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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by ari5_96 » 2020-03-26, 23:31

From a security standpoint, what's the difference between a non-admin user:
  • running the installer (per earlier versions of Pale Moon) and installing and running from a directory under the user-writable %LOCALAPPDATA%, and
  • extracting the files from the 7-zip packed version into an arbitrary user-writeable directory and running from there
In both cases the user (and any software that the user is running) can write (malware) to the directory.

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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by Moonchild » 2020-03-27, 00:10

ari5_96 wrote:
2020-03-26, 23:31
From a security standpoint, what's the difference between a non-admin user:
The difference is that in the installer case, the user-writeable directory is not arbitrary, but well-known.
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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by Goodydino » 2020-03-27, 21:15

In the case of MacOS, the system applications directory is even more well-known. It is always in the same location. Something stored in an arbitrary location by the user is less well-known.

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Re: how to install v28.9 without admin rights

Post by Moonchild » 2020-03-27, 21:28

Goodydino wrote:
2020-03-27, 21:15
In the case of MacOS, the system applications directory is even more well-known. It is always in the same location. Something stored in an arbitrary location by the user is less well-known.
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make or what you're not getting.

Well-known system applications directory (protected) is safer than arbitrary directory (unprotected), which in turn is safer than a well-known directory which is unprotected.
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