Installing VLC Media Player in a corporate environment

Privacy and Network PoliciesQueue the Madness song “Baggy Trousers” – “Oh what fun we had …”
(Not a lot of fun WAS had actually).

A lot of our customers use VLC Media Player.  I’d put it down to the fact that it plays DVD movies.  Windows Media Player doesn’t*  And our customers do like being able to watch “The Golden Child” on their computers.

The brief?  Deploy the latest version of VLC to 4000+ computers.

Silently.  With some program shortcuts moved & removed.

It was surprisingly hard.  Here’s why:

  • the standard VLC .exe only supports the “/S” silent switch.
    No other customisations are possible.
  • on the first launch of VLC Player, it has an annoying prompt for
    ”Allow fetching media information from Internet”
    ”Check for updates”
    No, I don’t want 4000+ corporate computers going to the internet for updates, so I needed to turn that off.
  • and VLC Cache Generating “DOS Box” appears on first launch.
    Even if you ask for a silent installation, this annoying window pops up:
    vlc-cache-gen
    I couldn’t fix this and that annoys me.  I mean, why have a silent install option if it’s not going to be silent???

So it looked like I had to create a custom installation package.  The choices where either a MSI based installer package, or customise the NSIS installer VLC uses.  Since I was running out of time, I took the quicker way out and modified the NSIS install script.  Those changes were:

vlc.win32.nsi
InstallDir "C:\WISEFAQ\VideoLAN\VLC"
CreateShortCut "$SMPROGRAMS\VideoLAN\\VLC media player.lnk" \
"$INSTDIR\vlc.exe" "--no-qt-privacy-ask --no-qt-updates-notif"

And it works.  Mostly.  Except for that darn VLC-CACHE-GEN box still appearing.

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