How to run an .exe from FireFox

Posted on 2012-04-11
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I am trying to launch a network share .exe in a local intranet. Using a href="file location" seems to work great in IE, however I cannot get the file to run in FireFox. I created a simple image that when clicked on is supposed to launch this .exe.

Anyone have any ideas?
Question by:philtukey
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Anuradha Goli
ID: 37834921
Try installing addon for Firefox and restart firefox to open download

Author Comment

ID: 37834927
Ok but this will be for 100 people and I do not want to deploy an addon on each persons computer.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 37834928
the ONE TRUE WAY to launch desktop applications (.exe files) from ALL browsers (including internet explorer) is to create a custom protocol handler.

ANY other way is going to cause you problems.

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Author Comment

ID: 37834936
Thanks Basicinstinct. However I am not a programmer so the link you send me to makes no sense.
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

basicinstinct earned 500 total points
ID: 37835181
don't be daunted, in its simplest form you can actually get it going with nothing more than one registry key.

at the worst you would need to write a simple batch file.

i have implemented highly complex protocol handler scenarios which required programming but your case sounds quite simple.

it may be as simple as this...

Save the code below as "gasp.reg"

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="URL:our launcher protocol"
"URL Protocol"=" "





Open in new window

Change C:\\temp\\test.bat to the actual path to your .exe (make sure to use double backslash instead of single)

> Now run the .reg file to create the registry entry.

Now create a link in your web page just like a mailto link, for example:

<a href="gasp:foobar">run our app</a>

click it.

Normally you would want to pass some args to your app but doesn't sound like you are doing that.

Obviously you can change the protocol to be something besides "gasp".

Author Comment

ID: 37916729
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

This is a firefox Issue which can only be fixed by Firefox
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 37916730

I'm disappointed you didn't get the protocol handler working.

Also your closing comment is wrong:

This is a firefox Issue which can only be fixed by Firefox

Well it's not going to be "fixed" by firefox because firefox isn't broken. A web browser is not MEANT to be able to break out of its sandbox and interact with the desktop. There is nothing to fix.

What's more there IS a way to do exactly what you want to do, it's called a custom protocol handler - it's what I told you about. It's not very hard - in it's simplest form it just requires a new registry key.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 37931282
Hmm, I chose option #5: philtukey, tell me where you got stuck with the custom protocol and i'll help you.

Failing that I'm happy to have this question deleted which is what philtukey wanted, I didn't object to that, what I did object to was the REASON given for the deletion which couldn't be more wrong.

The answers I have given here are not some random thing I googled and presented as my own ideas. Philtukey says he needs to get this going for 100 people, well I have got it working in an organisation with over 5000 people spread over every capital city in the nation, and not just launching one .exe but a whole suite of them.

Failing option #5 I suggest option #2, delete no refund.

Author Comment

ID: 37939313
Thank you Basicinstinct for your help, however I am not blindly posting that "This is a firefox Issue which can only be fixed by Firefox". This is based on days of research. I do not want to go messing around with registries....

"Now run the .reg file to create the registry entry.

Now create a link in your web page just like a mailto link, for example:

<a href="gasp:foobar">run our app</a>"

It should not take modifying any part of the registry to have a simple executable run in Firefox like it does in IE. I based my closing/deleting statement on quite a few articles, here are a couple of them
"Firefox doesn’t support opening Windows executable files (i.e. files with an .exe extension); you have to save it, then manually run it. I missed the ability to execute a program directly from a browser (as Internet Explorer allows)."

Thank you!

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