Caution: The installation steps outlined below must be performed by a domain super administrator. Before Gopher Buddy can collect data, you must have either a trial or paid license for Gopher for Chrome Premium. Learn more
What you will learn in this article
In this article, you’ll learn how to:
- Authorize and install gopher buddy service
- Configure the Gopher Buddy service
- Force install the Gopher Buddy extension
- Record session data
- Update URL blocklists
Authorize and install Gopher Buddy service
The Gopher Buddy Service is a Google Workspace Marketplace App that uses the authority of a designated administrator to make calls to Google's APIs that perform the user and device lookups that are needed to give the Gopher Buddy extension its powers.
- Open a new Google Sheet.
- In the top menu, go to Extensions > Gopher for Chrome > Launch Sidebar.
- Once the sidebar loads, click (Utilities) to access the utilities section.
- Click Gopher Buddy Settings.
- After the web app launches, in the sidebar on the left side of the screen, click on Gopher Buddy Settings.
- Clicking on Install on this screen will take you to the Google Workspace Marketplace, where you will select Admin install for Gopher Buddy Service. For simplicity and to accommodate future additions to the tool's functionality, we strongly recommend installing the Marketplace App on the root organization.
- After installing the app, click back to the web app and check the box that you have installed the app and click Confirm.
Configure the Gopher Buddy service
Once the installation is confirmed, clicking Continue Setup will present a stepper to guide you through configuration.
- In the Assign Admin Account tab, designate the administrator under whose authority Gopher Buddy Service should run. Select Super administrator or Delegated admin.
- For Super admins, select their email from the available drop-down.
- Click Save Settings.
- Click the Configure Preferences tab. This is where you'll indicate preferences for the behavior of the Gopher Buddy Chrome extension. Preferences are described below.
Allow the Gopher Buddy Extension to remind users when Chrome OS updates are available.
Leaving this feature enabled will produce the unhappy icon and Fix It button behavior described in this article, which is useful for nudging users to perform Chrome OS updates if their device hasn't auto-updated for any number of reasons.Disabling this feature will cause Gopher Buddy to stop displaying the Fix It button, and the unhappy Gopher icon when Chrome devices have fallen behind the latest available Chrome OS version.
Display a Chrome notification when device is X or more major or minor versions behind.
This setting allows you to control the threshold at which users will receive a more urgent update message in the form of a Chrome notification, which pops up temporarily over the user's browser in the lower right corner of the screen.
Restrict updates to a major or minor Google Chrome version of at most YY.
This setting allows you to set reminders to manually match the limits enforced via the Chrome Device Settings admin panel. This will help ensure users are only notified of OS updates when their devices are behind the max defined version for the domain.
Because this max version setting must be adjusted manually (e.g. it doesn't change when your max version changes in Chrome Device Settings), we recommend also enabling monthly email reminders.
Allow users to access the device info panel from the Gopher Buddy extension.
If set to Yes, allow, this setting allows end-users in specific OUs to access either BASIC or FULL device information by clicking the Show Device Info button, as described in this article.
To achieve maximum benefit of this feature, and depending on your school context, we usually recommend BASIC for students, with the possible exception of younger students and FULL for staff.
Force install the Gopher Buddy extension
The Install Chrome Extension tab of the Setup Panel contains the installation steps.
Note: You will need to copy the extension ID from this tab into the Admin console, so keep it open.
We recommend installing the extension on either the root organization or an organization that encompasses all students.
To force-install the extension for users:
- In the Admin console, navigate to Apps & extensions.
- Click + (Add).
- Go to the Gopher Buddy Service - Setup Panel,Install Chrome Extension tab and copy the extension ID.
- Return to the Admin console, and paste the extension ID in the Add Chrome app or extension by ID pop up.
- Leave From the Chrome Web Store selected from the drop-down.
- Click Save.
- In the Allowed hosts field, add https://gopher-buddy-prod.appspot.com.
- Change Installation policy dropdown to Force install.
- Click Save.
The following Chrome scopes are required for Gopher Buddy V0.9.0:
- Enterprise device attributes
- Detect idle (NEW)
- Web requests (specifically to gopher-buddy-prod.appsot.com)
Under Permissions and URL access, if you are not sure of your default org permissions, you may choose either of the following:
- Allow all permissions. (more future-proof)
- Customize permissions for this app/extension -> Allow all scopes listed above.
When selecting this option, the Block Extensions by Permission pop up opens. AT the top of the popup, select the If the extension uses a permission that is not selected, block users from installing or using it. If this is not selected and left as the default the customized permissions are blocked instead of allowed.
Recording session data
Gopher Buddy does not use the Admin Console for its data but relies on having access to the base URL for the Gopher Buddy API, https://gopher-buddy-prod.appspot.com, to report user data and retrieve license information. If this website is blocked at the content filter or firewall, session data will not be recorded.
Note: This endpoint will not display anything if visited in a browser. It's only used by the extension.
Gopher Buddy also only records user activity when they are on a managed Chromebook. It will not report user sessions on unmanaged devices.
Updating URL blocklists
Many organizations utilize the URL Blocklist within the User Settings section of the Admin console to prevent users from changing settings and accessing other local pages on Chromebooks. Often this is done using the chrome://* entry in the URL Blocklist setting.
With a recent update to how the Settings page is presented in ChromeOS, Admins can no longer allow a portion of the Settings panel without opening full access to the settings frame. As a result, if you feel that opening the Settings page to your users is not an option, we would recommend not notifying users about updates, since Gopher Buddy recommends users navigate to the chrome://help and chrome://settings/help.