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Chrome Browser quick start (Linux)

2. Set policies

The Chrome browser for the enterprise bundle includes a sample configuration file that you can customize to define policy settings for Linux devices.

Before you begin

There are two sets of policies used to get a managed instance of Google Chrome up and running on Linux:

  • A set in the managed folder that is required and is mandated by an admin. Make sure that these files are not writable and, therefore, cannot be overridden by non-admin users.
  • A set in the recommended folder that is recommended for users, but not required. The settings that those policies apply to can be changed by the users.

Be careful not to set the same policy in more than one file. If you do, it’s unclear which of the values you specify will be applied.

Managed and recommended policies must have their respective folders in the file system. Create the following directories if they do not already exist:

  • >mkdir /etc/opt/chrome/policies 
  • >mkdir /etc/opt/chrome/policies/managed
  • >mkdir /etc/opt/chrome/policies/recommended

Note: Some policies are recommended only. This means they will not work if they are placed in the /etc/opt/chrome/policies/managed folder.
If they are placed in this folder, you will see the error message: Policy level is not supported.

For example:

"RegisteredProtocolHandlers": {

    "error": "Policy level is not supported.",

    "level": "mandatory",

    "scope": "machine",

    "source": "platform",

    "value": [ {

        "default": true,

        "protocol": "mailto",

        "url": "https://mail.google.com/mail/?extsrc=mailto&url=%s"

     } ]

}

Create policy configuration files

  1. Download the Chrome enterprise bundle zip file (64 or 32 bit).
  2. Open the bundle and go to the Configuration folder.
  3. Create a copy of the initial_preferences.json file and name it accordingly, for example managed_policies.json.

    Note: For Chrome browser 91 or later, the file named initial_preferences replaces the master_preferences file. To minimize any disruption, Chrome continues to support both filenames, and more notice will be given in the Chrome Enterprise release notes before we remove support for the former filename. 

  4. In your preferred JSON file editor, open the managed_policies.json file and set values for all policies that you want to enforce on your users' devices. 
  5. Save them in the /etc/opt/chrome/policies/managed folder.
  6. Create a second copy of the initial_preferences.json file and name it accordingly, for example recommended_policies.json.
  7. In your preferred JSON file editor, open the recommended_policies.json file and set values for all policies that you recommend for your users. 
  8. Save them under /etc/opt/chrome/policies/recommended.
    These are the policies that your users can change if they want.
  9. Save your configuration files.

Note: You can create a separate JSON file for each policy that you want to set. You then push all the files to policy folders on your users' devices. Chrome browser amalgamates all of the individual files in the policies folders and applies all the settings. 

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