Scripting Question

Updating Chrome (or anything) via MI, but need to check version first

10/18/2014 4800 views
Hi all -

I'm trying to update Chrome to the newest version and I want to use a Managed Install. (Background: we are a school district with 3000 machines, Win 7, mixed 32 and 64 bit, K1 v6)

Ideally, I would like to target my MI to a building label... Labels already exist, I can get real time progress info (x of y machines updated), and it's easy. The problem will come the next time the software is updated by the user (purposefully or accidentally, as Chrome usually keeps itself up to date). When it updates, they won't have the same version in my MI, so my MI will run, and install an older version on top of the user's newer version. Unless I'm not thinking about something (?), that makes this option a no-go.

So then I thought I would create a smart label that finds any version of Chrome lower than the current version (which at the time of this writing is: 38.0.2125.104 (as reported in the help menu of Chrome). Then, I would target my MI to that smart label, and as machines are updated, they would fall out of the smart label. I won't get progress updates in the MI (x of y machines updated), but I could run a report to find machines that aren't updated, so it's not a huge deal. My problem here is that when I create a smart label to look at:

Software Title = Google Chrome AND
Software Version = 66.19.16488 (of note, the enterprise installer shows up as this, not 38.x for some reason, but that is not the scope of the question of this thread)

it WILL pull up my test machine only, which is good.  But when I change it to:

Software Title = Google Chrome AND
Software Version < 66.19.16488

It still pulls back my test machine...  Which, if it was doing what it said (pulling Chrome with software version LESS THAN 66.x) it should NOT include that machine. It doesn't seem to matter what I put in the Software Version field...  Anything using the LESS THAN or GREATER THAN symbols do not work. Here's a screen shot.

So...  Any thoughts or ideas on 1) Why the LESS THAN symbol doesn't work? or 2) Maybe an entirely different way to achieve what I'm looking for?

Thanks for any ideas.
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Community Chosen Answer

...an alternative would be to disable auto updates in Chrome so you could manage the updates via Kace. There are GPO templates that make it easy to disable:


You could also deploy a script to change the necessary registry keys...

Answered 10/19/2014 by: jegolf
Red Belt

  • OR create your smart labels so that machines with Chrome already installed are filtered out. That way once your MI pushes out Chrome it will filter out of the targeted label...
    • The issue here is Chrome is on our base images. I just want to check for version differences, and then it only updates machines with older versions. This way if we reimage a machine, it's version of Chrome will be updated if it's an older version, but NOT if it's a newer version. on the image. I don't know if that makes sense or not... :)
  • Thanks for the ideas. I thought about this one when I was looking for solutions out there, and did come across the GPO templates. In our environment, we like the user being able to update, so I don't really want to "break" that ability... I just want to also be able to update those machines whose auto updater is broken, OR where chrome doesn't get used. I realize this sounds like I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth... But it works well for us to have users be "in control" of their machines.

    But regardless, your idea is a good one and should be considered.

All Answers


We are using the following Smart label with the Google "Enterprise" version with great success:

Software Titles: Begins with Google Chrome AND

Software Version:  =! 66.19.16488


Smart Label Name: is Google Chrome Update.  Add Google Chrome Update label to MI.

All the devices running Google Chrome versions that are not equal to (=!) 66.19.16488 will get the label and as they get upgraded they will "fall" out of the label.




Answered 10/20/2014 by: RaquelS
Orange Belt

  • RaquelS: A question on this... I agree, this looks like it works. However, my concern is what happens when the software is updated by the user, or autoupdated by Chrome itself? So, in other words, because the version is no longer exactly 66.19.16488 - it would be higher - it would end up back in the smart label, and the older version would overwrite the newer version. Do you see this issue in your environment, and if so, how do you handle it?

    • We control what our users are able to install via GP see the link from ITNinja user jegolf: https://support.google.com/installer/answer/146164?hl=en#Obtaining_the_Administrative_Tem

      We also have strict operational policies on what users can and can not download or install which helps IT control when software gets updated instead of the user.

      Occasionally a fellow IT staff gets ahead of the "standard" and we have to Disable the KBOX MI, download the latest .msi, quickly test it edit our Smart Label, upload new .msi and re-enable new KBOX MI.
      - See more at: http://www.itninja.com/question/updating-chrome-or-anything-via-mi-but-need-to-check-version-first?utm_source=itn_email&utm_medium=comment_alert_answer&utm_campaign=notifications&utm_content=question_permalink#sthash.UhhIfTLs.dpuf
      • Thanks. I think the big difference is that in our environment, we tell all teachers be local administrators on their machines... We don't have policies that prevent users from installing software (students of course cannot install software, only teachers). I'm sure we could go on a whole tangent about why this is good or bad... But the fact is that's what we do and it seems to work well for us. So, the solution that works for you doesn't look like it would work for me, sadly. Which.... In essence brings me back to the original issue, and if I could simply use the LESS THAN symbol for my smart label, my method would work. Does anyone know if this is a documented bug that the GREATER THAN and LESS THAN symbols don't seem to work within smart labels? Thanks-
updating Chrome can also be done through the Security module via Patching. 

One issue is that things like '38.100.1002.44' are not numbers; they are strings that use numerals, but you can't do math with them. 
Answered 10/21/2014 by: MacDude
Fifth Degree Brown Belt

  • I didn't even think of either of those things, MacDude. I'm sure that's why the greater/less symbols don't work. Good point. I wonder... Is there any way to check greater/less than version information with an MI? I feel like there should be a way to check the version first to make sure new versions installed by the user are not overwritten. Hopefully I'm just missing that somewhere?
    • Wellll. It can be done with REGEX (Regular Expressions), but they can be tricky.
I know this is old, but it came up when I was searching Google for something unrelated, but I figured I'd post how I handle this with our periodic major version updates of Flash for anyone else that might come across it. I've got a smart label that excludes all future versions well past when we would be doing the next major version push. That way if a machines gets a newer version, it's excluded from the label.

                AND SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_NAME RLIKE 'Adobe Flash Player .* NPAPI'
                AND SOFTWARE.DISPLAY_VERSION NOT RLIKE '(^28.|^29.|^30.|^31.|^32.|^33.|^34.|^35.)')
Answered 01/02/2018 by: jones948
Orange Senior Belt

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