IT Admin: Deploying Flash Player via Background Updater

When it came to updating Flash Player, IT administrators used to face a common problem: The users on the systems are usually regular users, but they were prompted to update Flash Player. Since they don’t have administrator rights, an update would always fail. This circle repeated itself once every 7 days, on average, until the IT administrator pushed an update to Flash Player to all affected systems.

A workaround was to set AutoUpdateDisable=1 in a mms.cfg file and to push this file to all systems. The user wouldn’t be prompted to update anymore, but it didn’t make it easier to update Flash Player.

Today, I’d like to introduce a new way to update Flash Player in a corporate environment: With the introduction of Adobe’s Flash Player Background Updater, we made it easier for IT administrators to push updates to Flash Player. A detailed description is available in the Flash Player Administrator Guide. In general though, the way to do this is pretty simple. This is what you need:

  1. A server with the following configuration:
    1. Open port 80 for HTTP requests.
    2. Open port 443 for HTTPS requests.
  2. A valid SSL certificate for HTTPS access on port 443.
  3. The ability to store files on the server in an Adobe-specified folder structure.
  4. The ability to deploy mms.cfg configuration files to clients on the network.

Once these prerequisites are fulfilled, you can start mirroring the official builds from Adobe. For the latest and most up-to-date instructions on how to do this, please refer to the Flash Player Administrator Guide (p17-19).

I’d like to highlight a particularly informative blog post by Tyrone Wyatt. In his post, Tyrone explains how he managed to automate the mirroring of Flash Player builds onto his internal server. I did not get a chance to test this out for myself yet, but it seems like all the right ingredients are present to make this work on virtually any network. If you need some inspiration on how to automate your mirroring of Flash Player installers, I recommend you read Tyrone’s blog post.

The fact that we added this functionality for IT administrators was due to feedback that we received on this blog. Thanks to all of you who requested this feature!

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