Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Installing Chrome offline

After the recent unfortunate incident that happened in RSA, several extra security steps were taken. Among them, some of our machines were physically disconnected from the Internet.

But, we would still needed to use those machines for our day-to-day engineering tasks, which include using some Intranet applications (such as a CI software, Maven repositories, Sonar reports, etc.). Using IE is out of the question for me, and I want to have a choose between FF and Chrome.

Installing FF was easy - just to download and install the FF installer (here). Chrome was a bit more difficult, since the normal installation flow downloads a small (~500k) downloader, which downloads the rest of Chrome during installation - which is obviously impossible on my machine.

I found a standalone installer for Chrome (here), but running it caused the installer to stuck on "Initializing..." phase of the installer. Quick investigation using Wireshark discovered that the installer is trying to verify if a new version exists at tools.google.com. So, adding the following line:

127.0.0.1 tools.google.com

to the hosts file (located at c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts on Windows machine, /etc/hosts on Linux), which effectively blocks that site, solved the issue. Now I'm able to use both Chrome and FF on my computer again.

Please note that the hosts step shouldn't be done on an internet enabled machines, since it might cause several Google tools to stop function properly. On an internet disabled machines (such as mine), that site is blocked anyhow, so it won't affect any software more than the main blockage.

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