Install and Setup Gopher Buddy

Caution: A domain super admin must perform the installation steps outlined below. 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:

Admin Console Settings for Gopher Buddy

You need to add Gopher Buddy and Gopher for Chrome to the trusted apps using the Manage Third-Party App Access setting. This setting is in the Admin console App access control under Security > API controls.  

Session Data

Gopher for Chrome utilizes the Admin console's data to report Chromebook metadata to the Administrator in a readable format. The Most Recent User metadata field updates in the Admin console on the Logout event for the Chromebook.

The Logout event and the device setting tie together to erase local user data. As a result, with the setting configured to erase user data, the Most Recent user data is empty. The setting location is Devices > Chrome > Settings > Device Settings > Sign-in settings. We recommend setting the User Data setting to Do not erase all local user data if administrators want a list of recently logged-in users.


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 needed to give the Gopher Buddy extension its powers.

  1. Open a new Google Sheet.
  2. In the top menu, go to Extensions > Gopher for Chrome > Launch Sidebar.
  3. Once the sidebar loads, click UtilitiesSidebarUtilitiesIcon.png(Utilities) to access the utilities section.
  4. Click Gopher Buddy Settings.
  5. After the web app launches, click on Gopher Buddy Settings, located in the sidebar on the left side of the screen.
  6. Clicking on Install on this screen takes you to the Google Workspace Marketplace, where you will select the Admin install for Gopher Buddy Service. We strongly recommend you install the Marketplace App on the root organization for simplicity and to accommodate future additions to the tool's functionality. Screen_Shot_2022-03-08_at_11.05.48_AM.png
  7. After installing the app, click back to the web app and check the box that you have installed the app.
  8. Click Confirm.

Configure the Gopher Buddy Service

Once the installation is confirmed, clicking Continue Setup presents a stepper to guide you through configuration.

  1. In the Assign Admin Account tab, locate the Select the admin user under whose authority you want the Gopher Buddy service to run option. Select  Super admin or Delegated admin.
  2. For Super admins, select their email from the available drop-down.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click the Configure Preferences tab. Here, you indicate preferences for the behavior of the Gopher Buddy Chrome extension. See Preferences descriptions below.



    Do you want to allow the Gopher Buddy Extension to notify 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 fall 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. Reminders 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 manually adjusted (e.g., it doesn't change when your max version changes in Chrome Device Settings), we recommend enabling monthly email reminders.

    Do you want to allow users to access the device info panel from the Gopher Buddy extension?

    If set to Yes, allow, this setting lets end-users in specific OUs access either BASIC or FULL device information by clicking the Show Device Info button, as described in this article.

    1. When selecting orgs to allow basic and full access, click Add OU at the left of the BASIC or FULL.
    2. Click on the Select org unit field. The list of organizations will populate. 
    3. Click on an organization unit to add.
    4. If necessary, click the Include sub-organizations checkbox.
    5. Click Add.
    6. Repeat for each organization unit to add.
    7. Click the Save Settings button after making any changes.

    To achieve the 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 must 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 encompassing all students.

To force-install the extension for users:

  1. In the Admin console, navigate to Apps & extensions.
  2. Click + (Add).
  3. Go to the Gopher Buddy Service - Setup Panel, Install Chrome Extension tab and copy the extension ID (cgbbbjmgdpnifijconhamggjehlamcif).
  4. Return to the Admin console, and paste the extension ID in the Add Chrome app or extension by ID pop-up.
  5. Leave From the Chrome Web Store selected from the drop-down.
  6. Click Save.
  7. In the Allowed hosts field, add
  8. Change the Installation policy dropdown to Force install.
  9. Click Save.


The Gopher Buddy requires the following Chrome scopes:

  • Alarms
  • Enterprise device attributes
  • Detect idle (NEW)
  • Identity
  • Notifications
  • Storage
  • Web requests (specifically to

Under Permissions and URL access, if you are not sure of your default org permissions, you may choose either of the following:

  1. Allow all permissions. (more future-proof)
  2. 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 pop-up, select If the extension uses a permission that is not selected, block users from installing or using it. When 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,, to report user data and retrieve license information. Session data does not record if the content filter or firewall blocks this website. 

Note: This endpoint does not display anything if visited in a browser. It is 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. Using the chrome://* entry in the URL Blocklist setting is common.

With a recent update to how ChromeOS displays the Settings page, Admins can no longer allow a portion of the Settings panel without opening full access to the settings frame. As a result, if opening the Settings page to your users is not an option, we recommend not notifying users about updates since Gopher Buddy recommends users navigate to chrome://help and chrome://settings/help


Document Version Date Description of Change
1.0 1/12/24 edited for clarity, verified article.


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