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Run Thunderbird e-mail through SSL VPN

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Last seen: 16 years 8 months ago
Joined: 2007-11-13 10:38
Run Thunderbird e-mail through SSL VPN

We are trying to launch PortableApps suit (specifically Mozila Thunderbird e-mail version from USB thumb drive over Juniper's SSL VPN. We connect through SSL VPN utilizing Juniper's Secure Virtual Workspace (SVW) mode (SVW creates a protected workspace on the user's desktop, encrypts information that applications write to disk and then destroys all information pertaining to itself).
When I click on Thunderbird Portable Edition, nothing happen - application is not running, no errors, no messages, none. The same application is running fine from a real desktop. Question: when Thunderbird Portable Edition running from USB thumb drive does it utilize C-drive in order to launch? Does it require to use some Temp folder on C-drive? Is there any type of access to regestry needs to lauch this e-mail client? The Secure Virtual Workspace imposes certain restrictions on its use, and establishes defaults, which might apply to our case:
- The Juniper's SSL VPN does not allow software applications that update the HKLM registry entries on installation to operate within the SVW.
- The Secure Virtual Workspace does not support 16-bit applications.

To make this PortableApps work through SVW would be a great benefits to us and to your development as well.
Please e-mail me if you have any ideas about it.

Thank you


Last seen: 3 weeks 11 hours ago
Joined: 2007-08-27 13:35
You can look at the source

You can look at the source code to the "launcher" yourself, it is included with the portable edition.

I'm not an expert, but it does appear to check user permissions, and skip registry changes if running as "guest" or an unprivileged user. But that's also just the Launcher; the Launcher tries to set things up before the program runs so it can undo registry and file changes when the program finishes. It doesn't try to change the native behavior of Thunderbird.

On the other hand, I'd expect either the launcher or Thunderbird to do more than fail silently. Maybe if you read through the Launcher code you can find a debug mode that will give you information about what is going on.

Here is a section of the launcher code that appears to do something with HKLM:

		StrCmp $ALLOWMULTIPLEINSTANCES "true" StartProgramNow
		StrCmp $SECONDARYLAUNCH "true" StartProgramAndExit
		;=== Check for registry permissions
		Pop $0
		StrCpy $USERTYPE $0
		StrCmp $USERTYPE "Guest" StartProgramNow
		${registry::KeyExists} "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail" $R0
		StrCmp $R0 "-1" +2 ;=== If it doesn't exist, skip the next line
		${registry::CopyKey} "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail" "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\UnreadMail-BackupByThunderbirdPortable" $R0
		StrCmp $USERTYPE "User" StartProgramNow
		${registry::KeyExists} "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla Thunderbird" $R0
		StrCmp $R0 "-1" +3 ;=== If it doesn't exist, skip the next 2 lines
		${registry::MoveKey} "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla Thunderbird" "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla Thunderbird-BackupByThunderbirdPortable" $R0
		Sleep 100
		${registry::Write} "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla Thunderbird\Desktop" "showMapiDialog" "0" "REG_SZ" $R0
		Sleep 100


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