Secure Browsers

Supported Operating Systems

For the 2015–2016 testing administration, a secure browser must be installed on each computer or tablet that will be used for student testing. This section provides an overview of which operating systems are supported and which secure browser to download.

Warning: Users are strongly advised against upgrading to newly released versions of operating systems that have not been formally approved for California online testing. Upgrading to an unsupported version of an operating system will prevent users of the devices from accessing the student testing site. Please refer to this site for a comprehensive list of all supported devices and operating system versions.

Operating System Supported Devices Secure Browser Related Requirements 
Desktop
Windows
XP (Service Pack 3)*, Vista, 7, 8.0, 8.1, 10
Server 2003, 2008, 2012
Desktops/Laptops Windows Secure Browser Disable fast user switching.
Server 2008, and 2012  are supported when using a thin client.
Mac OS X
10.6–10.11
Desktops/Laptops Mac Secure Browser Depending on your version of OS X, disable the following features:

  • Exposé or Spaces
  • Application Launches from Function Keys
  • Updates to Third-Party Apps
  • Updates to iTunes
  • Look-Up Gesture
Linux
Fedora 20-22
openSUSE 13.1
Red Hat Enterprise 6.5
Ubuntu (LTS) 12.04, 14.04
Desktops/Laptops Linux Secure Browser Depending on your distribution, install the following:

  • Festival and SoX
  • Verdana True Type font
  • Flash
Mobile
iOS
7.0, 7.1
8.0–8.2
9.2, 9.3
iPad 2
iPad 3 4th Generation (Retina Display)
iPad Air
iPad Air 2
AIRSecureTest Mobile Secure Browser 3.2 Use Guided Access, Autonomous Single App Mode, or Automatic Assessment Configuration.
Android
4.3, .4, 5.0, 5.1
Google Nexus 10
Motorola Xoom
Samsung Galaxy Note (2014 edition)
Samsung Galaxy Tab (3 and 4)
LearnPad Quarto
AIRSecureTest Mobile Secure Browser 2.0 The secure browser keyboard must be enabled.
Chrome OS
41–49
Chromebooks AIRSecureTest kiosk application Chromebooks must be in kiosk mode.
Windows
8.0, 8.1, 10
AIR supports any tablet running Windows 8.0, 8.1 Pro, and 10, but has done extensive testing only on Surface Pro, Surface Pro 3, Asus Transformer, and Dell Venue. Windows Secure Browser Disable fast user switching.

 *Windows XP will no longer be supported after the 2015-2016 school year.

For information about related requirements, refer to the Technical Specifications Manual for Online Testing and the Secure Browser Installation Manual.

Download Secure Browsers

Select the corresponding tab to download the secure browser for the required operating system.

Technical Resources

  • For information about technical specifications, including supported operating systems, network and Internet requirements and recommendations, general hardware and software requirements, and text-to-speech, refer to the Technical Specifications Manual for Online Testing.
  • For information about secure browser installation, including supported individual and network installation options, refer to the Secure Browser Installation Manual.
  • For information about Braille requirements and testing, refer to the Braille Requirements and Testing Manual (coming soon).

About Supported Operating Systems

  • Only supported operating system versions are listed in the table above.
  • These operating systems are supported when software is directly installed on machines and devices. Some types of network installation are also supported.
  • For information about network installation and related requirements, refer to the Technical Specifications Manual for Online Testing.

Warning: Support for New Desktop Operating Systems

Desktop operating systems, in particular new versions of operating systems, not listed in the above table not supported. Do not upgrade to new operating systems on computers that will be used to administer online assessments.

Warning: Support for Updated Mobile Operating Systems

Turn off or delay automatic updates of the iOS, Android, and Chrome operating systems. Doing so will allow changes to these systems to be reviewed and any that pose a potential risk to student testing to be addressed. Announcements will be posted to the CAASPP Portal when a new mobile operating system can be used for testing.

Installing Secure Browser for Windows

The following procedure works for all supported versions of Windows. For Windows 8.x, the following procedure works only on local installations, not on remote installations (such as installing over a network onto a remote machine).

  1. If you installed a previous version of the secure browser in a location other than C:\Program Files (x86)\, manually uninstall the secure browser. (If you installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\, the installation package automatically removes it.)
  2. Click the Download Browser link above. A dialog window opens.
  3. Do one of the following (this step may vary depending on the browser you are using):
    • If presented with a choice to Run or Save the file, click Run. This opens the Secure Browser Setup wizard.
    • If presented only with the option to Save, save the file to a convenient location. After saving the file, double-click the installation file CASecureBrowser-Win.msi to open the setup wizard.
  4. Follow the instructions in the setup wizard. When prompted for setup type, click Install.
  5. Click Finish to exit the setup wizard. The following items are installed:
    • The secure browser to the default location C:\Program Files (x86)\CASecureBrowser.
    • A shortcut CASecureBrowser to the desktop.
  6. If you are running Windows 8.0 or later do the following (otherwise skip to step 7):
    1. The Test Policy for AIR setup wizard starts. Click Continue.
    2. Follow the setup wizard, and click Finish to exit.

    This wizard installs and starts a service Test Policy Standalone Service for Student.

  7. Ensure all background jobs, such as virus scans or software updates, are scheduled outside of test windows. For example, if your testing takes place between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., schedule background jobs outside of these hours.
  8. Optional: Apply proxy settings by doing the following:
    1. Right-click the shortcut CASecureBrowser on the desktop, and select Properties.
    2. Under the Shortcut tab, in the Target field, modify the command to specify the proxy.
    3. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.

    For more information about proxy settings, see the Secure Browser Installation Manual.

  9. Run the browser by double-clicking the CASecureBrowser shortcut on the desktop. The secure browser opens displaying the student login screen. The browser fills the entire screen and hides the task bar.
  10. To exit the browser, click in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Download the Mac OS X (10.6-10.11) Secure Browser:

Installing Secure Browser for Mac OS X 10.6–10.11

This procedure applies to installing Secure Browser on desktop computers running Mac OS X 10.7–10.12. The steps in this procedure may vary depending on your version of Mac OS X and your web browser.

  1. Remove any previous versions of the secure browser by dragging its folder to the Trash.
  2. Click the Download Browser link above. A dialog window opens. If prompted for a download location, select the desktop.
  3. Open Downloads from the Dock, and click CASecureBrowser-OSX.dmg to display its contents.
  4. Drag the CASecureBrowser icon to the desktop.
  5. Disable the OS X features listed under Related Requirements in the above table.
  6. Ensure all background jobs, such as virus scans or software updates, are scheduled outside of test windows. For example, if your testing takes place between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., schedule background jobs outside of these hours.
  7. Double-click the CASecureBrowser icon on the desktop to launch the secure browser. (You must launch the secure browser to complete the installation.) The secure browser opens displaying the student login screen. The browser fills the entire screen and hides the dock.
  8. To exit the browser, click Close in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Installing Secure Browser  8.0 on OS X 10.11
Support Note

Applicability
This notification applies to installing a new copy of the Secure Browser version 8.0 on OS X 10.11 (El Capitan). This notification does not apply to upgrading to Secure Browser 8.0 on OS X 10.11.

Symptom
When installing a new copy of Secure Browser 8.0 on OS X 10.11, Gatekeeper indicates the program is from an unidentified source.

Cause
Gatekeeper does not recognize the secure browser’s application signature.

Resolution
To proceed with the installation, you need to temporarily allow installation from any source.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Choose Security and Privacy.
  3. Under General, click the lock and type your password to enable changes.
  4. Under Allow apps downloaded from, choose Anywhere, and choose Allow From Anywhere in the conformation message.
  5. Install the secure browser. Detailed installation instructions are available in the Secure Browser Installation Manual.
  6. After installing the secure browser, restore your security settings.

Installing Secure Browser for Linux

This procedure installs Secure Browser on desktop computers running one of the Linux distributions listed in the above table. These instructions may vary for your individual Linux distribution.

Installing Secure Browser for Linux

This procedure installs Secure Browser on desktop computers running one of the Linux distributions listed in the above table. These instructions may vary for your individual Linux distribution.

  1. Uninstall any previous versions of the secure browser by deleting the directory containing it.
  2. Obtain the root or super-user password for the computer on which you are installing the secure browser.
  3. Click the Download Browser link above. A dialog window opens. If prompted for a download location, select the desktop.
  4. Right-click the downloaded file CASecureBrowserX.X-YYYY-MM-DD-i686.tar.bz2 (32-bit) or CASecureBrowserX.X-YYYY-MM-DD-x86_64.tar.bz2 (64-bit), and select Extract Here to expand the file. This creates the CASecureBrowser folder on the desktop.
  5. In a file manager, open the CASecureBrowser.
  6. For Ubuntu, disable automatic running of scripts by doing the following (otherwise skip to step 7).
    1. From the menu bar, select Edit > Preferences. On the Behavior tab, mark the Ask each time radio button.
    2. Click Close.
  7. Change the installation script to executable by doing the following:
    1. Right-click the file install-icon.sh, and select Properties.
    2. On the Permissions tab, mark the Allow executing file as a program checkbox.
    3. Click Close.
  8. Double-click the file install-icon.sh. In the next dialog box, click Run in Terminal. The installation script prompts you for the root or super-user password you obtained in step 2.
  9. Enter the password. The script installs all dependent libraries and supported voice packs, and creates a CASecureBrowser icon on the desktop.
  10. Ensure all backgrounds jobs, such as virus scans or software updates, are scheduled outside of test windows. For example, if your testing takes place between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., schedule background jobs outside of these hours.
  11. Optional: Disable auto-update by following the procedure found in the Disable Auto-Update section of the Secure Browser Installation Manual for Technology Coordinators, 2016-2017.
  12. If text-to-speech testing is performed on this computer, reboot it.
  13. From the desktop, double-click the CASecureBrowser icon to launch the browser. The student login screen appears. The browser fills the entire screen and hides any panels or launchers.
  14. To exit the browser, click CLOSE SECURE BROWSER in the upper-right corner of the screen.


Uninstalling the Linux Secure Browser

There may be a secure browser folder on the desktop. Drag the folder and related files to the Trash. If the browser was installed to a different location, remove it accordingly.

Download the iOS Secure Browser:

Installing the AIRSecureTest App for iOS

The AIRSecureTest mobile secure browser for iPads can be downloaded from the App store. The process for installing the secure browser is the same as for any other application.

  1. On your iPad, tap or select the Download button above. The AIRSecureTest application download page will open.
  2. Tap or select the Free button. The button will change to Install App.
  3. Tap or select Install App.
  4. Enter your Apple ID password.
  5. The AIRSecureTest mobile secure browser app will download and install onto your iPad. Look for the AIRSecureTest icon.

Related Requirements: Enabling Guided Access and Autonomous Single App Mode

To ensure a secure test environment, Guided Access (for iOS tablets running versions earlier than 7.1) or Autonomous Single App Mode (for iOS tablets running version 7.1 or later) must be enabled and activated before students can log in to a test session.

For more information about Guided Access and Autonomous Single App Mode, refer to the Technical Specifications Manual for Online Testing.

Download the Android Secure Browser:

Installing the AIRSecureTest App for Android

The AIRSecureTest mobile secure browser for supported Android tablets can be downloaded from the Google Play store. The process for installing the secure browser is the same as for any other application.

  1. On your Android, tap or select the Download Browser link above. You will be taken to the AIRSecureTest application download page.
  2. Tap or select the Install button.
  3. The AIRSecureTest mobile secure browser will download and install onto your Android tablet. Look for the AIRSecureTest icon.

Related Requirements: Changing the Default Android Keyboard

The mobile secure browser for Android tablets requires the Secure Browser Keyboard to be selected before students can open the app and access the test. The reason for this is that the default Android keyboard allows predictive text, which would unduly aid students when entering written responses to test items. The Secure Browser Keyboard is a basic keyboard, with no row for predictive text functionality.

For more information about the Secure Browser Keyboard, refer to the Technical Specifications Manual for Online Testing.

Download the Chrome OS Secure Browser:

About Chromebooks and the AIRSecureTest Kiosk App

The American Institutes for Research has worked with Google to develop a secure browser kiosk application that can be downloaded onto Chromebooks from the Chrome Web Store. Using the AIRSecureTest kiosk application requires Chromebooks to run in kiosk mode.

Note: The AIRSecureTest browser is not a hosted app. In order to support all test features, AIR developed a packaged kiosk application. As a result, this app must be deployed onto managed Chromebooks via the Chrome Management Console as a kiosk application rather than via a public session. (You may still use public sessions for other applications.)

This section outlines the basic steps for adding the AIRSecureTest app to managed Chromebooks and ensuring that the app runs in kiosk mode. Google has provided documentation for the sole purpose of running kiosk apps on Chromebooks. Links to this information are at the end of this section.


These instructions are for installing the secure browser on standalone Chromebook devices.

  1. From your network administrator, obtain the following:
    • The wireless network to which the Chromebook connects. This typically includes the network’s SSID, password, and other access credentials.
    • An email and password for logging in to Gmail.
  2. Power off, then power on your Chromebook.
  3. If the OS verification is Off message appears, do the following (otherwise skip to step 4):
    1. Press the spacebar. In the confirmation screen, press Enter. The Chromebook reboots.
    2. In the Welcome screen, select your language and keyboard. Enter the network named and password you obtained in step 1. Tap Connect, then tap Continue.
    3. In the Google Chrome OS Terms screen, tap Accept and continue.
  4. When the Sign In screen appears, wipe the Chromebook by doing the following:
    1. Press Esc + Refresh + Power. The screen displays a yellow exclamation point (!).
    2. Press Ctrl + D to begin developer mode, then press Enter. The screen displays a red exclamation point.
    3. Press Ctrl + D, then press Enter. The Chromebook indicates it is transitioning to developer mode. The transition takes approximately 10 minutes, after which the Chromebook reboots.
    4. After the Chromebook reboots, the OS verification is Off message appears. Press the spacebar, then press Enter. The Chromebook reboots, and the Welcome screen appears.
  5. In the Welcome screen, select your language and keyboard. Enter the network named and password you obtained in step 1. Tap Connect, then tap Continue.
  6. In the Google Chrome OS Terms screen, tap Accept and continue. The Sign in screen appears.
  7. In the Sign In screen, press Ctrl + Alt + K. The Automatic Kiosk Mode screen appears with a yellow exclamation mark.
  8. Tap Enable, then tap OK. The Sign in screen appears.
  9. In the Sign in screen, enter your email and password, then tap Sign in.
  10. Set your Chromebook preferences as desired.
  11. When you get to the desktop, tap the Chrome icon to open Chrome.
  12. In the URL bar, enter chrome://extensions. The Extensions screen appears.
  13. Mark the checkbox for Developer Mode.
  14. Tap Manage kiosk applications located at the top of the screen. The Manage Kiosk Applications screen appears.
  15. Do the following in the Manage Kiosk Applications screen:
    1. Enter the following into the Add kiosk application field: hblfbmjdaalalhifaajnnodlkiloengc.
    2. Tap Add. The AIRSecureTest application appears in the Manage Kiosk Applications list.
    3. If you want to run the secure browser as a dedicated kiosk application, do the following:
      1. Point the mouse over AirSecureTest, and click Set to auto-launch.
      2. Mark the Permanently keep this device in kiosk mode checkbox.
      3. Tap Yes to confirm.
    4. Tap Done. You return to the Extensions screen.
  16. Tap your icon in the lower-right corner and select Sign Out.
  17. Back at the desktop, tap Apps at the bottom of the screen, then tap AIRSecureTest. The secure browser launches.

Google Documentation

  • Important Information
  • Windows
    XP (Service Pack 3), Vista, 7, 8.0, 8., 10; Server 2003, 2008, 2012
  • Mac OS X
    10.6–10.11
  • Linux
    Fedora 20-22
    openSUSE 13.1
    Red Hat Enterprise 6.5
    Ubuntu (LTS) 12.04, 14.04
  • iOS
    7,0, 7.1, 8.0-8.2, 9.2, 9.3
  • Android
    4.3, 4.4, 5.0, 5.1
  • Chrome OS
    41–49