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My students write code in Lazarus IDE on PC running Windows 7, using Pascal programming language, and get a .exe file as their final product.

Is there a way to open these files within Google Chrome running on macOS? I read a bit about NPAPI (now discontinued) and Simple-Get, but I'm not sure either does the trick.

On a Windows PC, it's simple. I download the .exe from the dropbox where the students have submitted it to me, then open the download, and everything is right there ready for my keyboard input.

On my school-issued Mac, I'm disabled from downloading software for local installation. Thus, I'm looking for a way to make this all happen within Google Chrome as an extension or add-on.

Ultimately, I need to download the file (.exe) then open that downloaded file in Google Chrome (in a somewhat efficient way that allows me to look at probably 50 or so programs in 30 minutes).

Layman's terms certainly appreciated where possible, I have a definite language gap!

  • Welcome to Ask Different :) Are you okay with running the executable on a computer running Windows natively? You will need access to a Internet connected and powered on PC running Windows. You can install Chrome Remote Desktop app for Google Chrome and remotely access your Windows PC from within Google Chrome. You can download and run any executables to your heart's content if this approach works for you. – Nimesh Neema Feb 19 at 2:28
  • "My school-issued Mac". Do they expect you to do this work with this machine? If yes, you should ask the technical staff how they want you to do it. It may be as simple as them saying "Oh, you need Windows for that. Let's fix that." and then get an officially supported installation (virtualbox/boot camp whatever). – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 19 at 8:31
  • As windows 7 support ended in January 2015 I suspect that you have greater problems. – Mark Feb 19 at 13:54
  • mainstream support ended then. [security/Bug] Patching will continue for almost another year, until Jan 2020, making Win7 still supported – Steve Chambers Feb 19 at 14:11
  • Thanks very much everyone. If you'd read anything about U.S. public school teachers in the news lately, you'll see a common theme of a "lack of respect". This is a perfect example. We are not trusted to even use our computers to do the job that we need to do. I am consistently denied technical support for a variety of reasons, the most common of which involves an overworked IT department that can't support any kind of software just for one employee. I try to make lemonade out of these lemons, which is why I'm here looking for your creative answers. I will look into Chrome Remote. TY!! – Zach Kindt Feb 19 at 17:37
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No, you can't run exe's via Google Chrome. You may be able to use some sort of remote desktop solution such as Chrome Remote Desktop, whereby you install the exe on a Windows computer which you can see and control from your Mac—but that's not quite the same thing.

There are a number of solutions for running Windows executables on a Mac, each with their own set of compromises:

  1. Wineskin / Wine. Works perfectly with a minority of Windows programs, but doesn't work at all with others. When it does work, this is the best solution by far.

  2. Bootcamp Assistant, which is preinstalled on every Intel Mac in the ApplicationsUtilities folder, will guide you through the process of installing Windows on a separate partition. Once done, you will be able to reboot your computer into Windows—effectively turning it into a PC, temporarily—and reboot again to return to macOS. Note that this will require a purchased copy of Windows. While rebooting is a pain, this is the most "no compromise" solution, in that every Windows app will work and you won't loose any performance.

  3. Virtualization software such as Virtualbox (free) or Parallels (paid, and expensive). Like Bootcamp, but you'll be able to switch to Windows without rebooting your computer. The catch is that you lose performance—applications will run considerably more slowly than normal. Note that the performance loss is much worse in Virtualbox than in Parallels—you get what you pay for, in this respect.

The problem is that all of these solutions requires either additional third party software (1, 3) or administrator privileges (2). I don't know your situation, but it seems to me that you need to have a discussion with a supervisor or similar about obtaining the resources and privileges necessary to do your job.

  • After three years of being denied all three of the exact solutions (WineBottler, Bootcamp, and Parallels) you just proposed, I ended up here looking for alternatives. My only option left is to look for end-arounds to solve my problems. It's a frustrating situation but one that I feel I need to power through to bring the best education to my students that I possibly can. Thank you most sincerely for your help! – Zach Kindt Feb 19 at 17:41

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