Why does the ZeroTier One UI need Microsoft Edge to be installed?

I recently installed ZeroTier One 1.8.4 on a fresh, clean Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 (i.e. Build 1809) system while not connected to the internet.

The installer flashed an error about not being able to connect to some Microsoft link, but the tray icon for ZT One appeared and the installation appeared to be successful.

However, none of the UI windows will open (“Open Control Panel” or “About”).

It’s hard to find information about this issue, but from some other posts here, I’ve discovered that Microsoft Edge must be installed for these UI elements to display.

  1. Is this correct? Edge is a mandatory component of the ZT One UI now?

  2. If yes, why on Earth is that the case? It immediately ruins ZT One for me. Edge will never be installed on any Windows system that I ever use, and I don’t see how it’s a remotely reasonable expectation.

While Chromium Edge is a requirement for the UI, the UI is not required to use ZeroTier. You can open an administrator command prompt (PowerShell or CMD) and use zerotier-cli to join and leave networks.

That is an absolutely terrible design choice and I hope someone recognizes that fact sooner rather than later.

The dead silent .MSI installer, which provides exactly zero feedback about what has happened during the installation, is also a terrible choice.

I’m sorry to be so negative, but this is yet another case of a perfectly usable piece of software being ruined for no good reason (hello, Mozilla).

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