Need multiple IE clients for Mac / Linux? Run Virtual Box. While looking around for how to run multiple IE browsers, I found a new solution and wanted to share it. Now, running a virtual machine of windows is nothing new really. But I discovered something that made it a little less of a hurdle, and Microsoft is responsible and it’s pretty cool. They have released, and I guess have for some time, small WinXP disc images with different versions of Internet Explorer that do not require license keys. How is this useful? Well, by using Virtual Box (Sun’s x86 virtualization software, similar to Fusion from VMware, except it’s free) we can use these disc images to run several different virtual computers each with a different version of IE. Usually you would need a license key for each instance of the OS, but for testing purposes, you can use these images without the keys. Now the process is not all smiles and rainbows, but if you can follow directions and jump some hurdles, you can get this working.

For this to work, just follow the directions from the zytzagoo blog. The directions are for Ubuntu, but it’s really a small jump to apply this for OSX. Here are the links you will need:

  1. Install Virtual Box, then reboot.
  2. Get the images you need form Microsoft via the Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image page. 
  3. For Mac, you might need the unrar app, and you can follow the directions from mactricksandtips to get it installed.
  4. UUID FIX – You will need this if you are going to run more than one disc image.
So what about installing multiple IE browsers on one OS (or my virtual OS)?
I’ve just never been happy with that approach since IE developer tools don’t always work, and I want debugging css for IE to be as painless as possible.