Virtualizing Internet Explorer 10 with ThinApp 5.0

With ThinApp 5.0 support for virtualizing Internet Explorer 10 was introduced.

Virtualizing Internet Explorer 10 is pretty easy.

  1. Fire up your Windows 7 capture’n’build machine
  2. Start ThinApp Setup Capture
  3. Do a prescan
  4. Install Internet Explorer 10 using the standalone installer
  5. Do a post scan
  6. Build your project
  7. Finish

Unfortunately in some cases the virtualized instance of IE10 crashes on launch displaying an error message like “initialze_plugins failed” or “Missing import” or some other strange message.

IE10ErrorThinApp
IE10ErrorThinApp2

To solve this issue just add the following line to the [BuildOptions] section of your Package.ini file:

ExternalDLLs=kernelbase.dll;kernel32.dll

This issue mainly occures when Internet Explorer 10 is installed using Windows update. This is the reason I recommend installing Internet Explorer 10, and by the way any other version Internet Explorer you want to virtualize, by using the standalone installer.

Disable copy and paste or printing within your virtual application

Let me first say ThinApp is by absolutely no means a security product, it is an application virtualization product. But ThinApp, as an application virtualization product, certainly can help to make your environment more secure. For example when using ThinApp for your applications you can deploy critical patches much faster as it would be possible with traditional software deployment tool like SCCM or LanDesk.

That said customers still ask how they can disable certain functions within ThinApp to make their applications more secure. These functions are copy and past as well as cut and paste and of course printing. Obviously ThinApp can handle these requirements as one of the most versatile application virtualization solution on the market.

Disable copy and paste / cut and paste

To disable copy and paste within your virtual application you have to modify the package.ini in the [BuildOptions] section. To disable this functionality just add the following line:

DisableCutPaste=1

PackageIniCutPaste

If the user then tries to copy or cut and paste something he gets the following message by default.

PackageIniCutPasteResult

You can change this message by adding just another line and modify the message as wanted.

DisableCutPasteMsg=Administrator has disabled Cut and Paste for application %1s

The variable %1s will be replaced by the name of the process of which you want to copy or cut content from. In this example it is firefox.exe

Disable printing

To disable printing from a ThinApp package you also have to add just another line to your package.ini build options.

DisablePrinting=1

PackageIniDisablePrinting

When a user tries to print from the virtual application while this option is set he gets the following result.

PackageIniDisablePrintingResult

If this tip may come in handy you should pay Christoph Harding’s (@cdommermuth) blog called That’s my view (http://www.thatsmyview.net) a visit. He brought this customer requirement to my attention.