vbox - kc web design kentWhen we build websites at kc web design Kent we always have to test in all browsers. The main progressive browsers are normally the easiest but testing in multiple versions of IE can be tricky. We’ve previously used all sorts of different methods from the paid browser testing online services to stand-alone IE instances and virtual machines. Virtual machines are always the better option as you can continually refresh the browser while you’re working on your web design but they can be very difficult to setup. kc web design Kent recently came across a great resource for installing VirtualBox VMs that makes the whole process very easy and will give you a different VM for IE 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Firstly, you’ll need a copy of VirtualBox if you don’t already use it. If you don’t then I’d recommend you do! It’s free and faster than Parallels and VMware Fusion and we’ve been using it here at kc web design kent for a long time now and can’t say a bad word about it. Once you have VirtualBox installed your ready to download and install the IE VM’s. Normally this would be a royal pain in the *** but the lovely  xdissent on Github has created a self installer that does it all for you. For full instructions check out the Github repo but as a brief overview the process is here…

  1. Install VirtualBox.
  2. Download ievms using terminal:
  3. Launch Virtual Box.
  4. Choose ievms image.
  5. Install VirtualBox Guest Additions.

Once launched the password for each VM is “Password1”.

The files it downloads are many and large. For some reason Microsoft makes it VM images huge even though they are just a bare OS with IE installed. It could take a while to download, especially if you want all versions of IE so be patient. Once you start using the VM’s you may notice that the OS is limited to 30 days because its not registered or authorised but don’t worry, VirtualBox will take a snapshot when you first use the VM so when the 30 day warning appears just revert back to the original snapshot and the 30 days will start again. You should be able to keep doing this for ever!