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  • Updated August 15, with new Option 5 below, using DNS to push proxy settings with a proxy.pac file called wpad.dat.

    For a number of reasons, HTTP Proxy is much better than the Transparent HTTP Proxy. Therefore, you will want all your browsers to point to the BorderManager HTTP Proxy IP address, port 8080, for HTTP, FTP and Security/SSL. The trick is getting all those browsers configured if you don't have time to run around manually setting them yourself. This tip lists several ways that you can push the settings out to the browsers without physically going to the PC.

    Option 1 - Make the Users Do It Themselves!

    No, this is not a joke. It is surprisingly effective, (especially if there is a teenager around, who will gladly run around doing it for everyone else).

    In this method, you cut off web browsing access by disabling Transparent HTTP Proxy and using default filters, then you provide good instructions on how to set the proxy settings. You will want to at least provide some documentation with screenshots of each menu option the users have to click on, and the proper proxy settings. When users are given the choice of no internet access, or following a simple set of screenshots, 99% of them will get themselves on the Internet within 48 hours. You will then have the time to set up the management PCs, and the Help Desk will have time to help Aunt Betty when she gets confused.

    Option 2 - Push the Browser Settings in the Login Script (for Internet Explorer)

    Internet Explorer stores proxy settings in the registry. This makes it particularly easy to update, using a variety of methods. Even if your users do not normally use Internet Explorer as their usual browser, you will want to configure the proxy settings because many other applications key off proxy settings in Internet Explorer.

    In this method, you determine the proper registry key for your version of IE, export the settings to a .REG file, and then use REGEDIT in the login script to push the settings to the PC. If you leave the setting in the login script for several days, most of the PC's should be updated by then, and you can remove or comment out the commands. Here is an example:

    In the container login script add the lines
    #Regedit /s z:\public\setpxy.reg
    This assumes that the Z drive is mapped to SYS: of their local servers. Once this is done copy SETPXY.REG.to the Public directory.

    To create the SETPXY.REG file, open notepad & type in as follows:
    REGEDIT4 (or whatever version of REGEDIT is on your PC, such as REGEDT32)
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
    "ProxyServer"="<your proxy IP address>:8080"
    Change <your proxy IP address> to the private IP address of your HTTP Proxy, and <local> to or any combination of URL's for which you want to bypass the proxy. (I advise you to experiment with this for a while to get the syntax done correctly).

    Option 3 - Push the Browser Settings with ZENWorks Application Launcher

    Using ZENWorks (NAL), you can create a forced-run, run-once application for any browser that sets the proxy settings on the browser. Internet Explorer is probably one of the easiest browser to set, since it has a predictable registry key for proxy settings.

    Netscape uses a text file called PREFS.JS which can be easily modified by a ZENWorks app, but the location of the file might be different on each PC, depending on how Netscape was set up. Search some of your PC's for that file, and if you are lucky, all PC's may have the file in a common location under a directory called Default.

    Option 4 - Use DHCP to Push WPAD Settings for Browsers

    Newer browsers can pick up certain settings from DHCP. Those settings can then be leveraged to have the browser pick up the proxy settings. See this Novell TID:

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