Run IE7, IE8 and IE9 under Mac OS X using the free VirtualBox from Oracle

Most of the web developers that use Apple computers have to somehow test their projects under Microsoft IE7, IE8 and IE9 browsers. Achieving this is possible by using the virtualization software: Wine, Parallels, VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox, with the added cost of a Windows license (or by using the  Adobe BrowserLab, but that’s a different story).

Well, here is a way how to accomplish this totally for free, by using the Oracle’s free VirtualBox and the free Internet Explorer testing virtual machines from Microsoft. The latter need a bit of tinkering to make them work under the VirtualBox, and there is a script to that for you automatically.

1. Start by downloading the latest VirtualBox from the project website or by clicking on this direct download link.

2. Launch the Terminal, and depending on which versions of IE you want to install, enter one of these commands:

ALL versions of Internet Explorer: IE7, IE 8, and IE 9

curl -s | bash

Internet Explorer 7 Only

curl -s | IEVMS_VERSIONS="7" bash

Internet Explorer 8 Only

curl -s | IEVMS_VERSIONS="8" bash

Internet Explorer 9 Only

curl -s | IEVMS_VERSIONS="9" bash

This will take some time to download and will prompt you for your password when it reaches the actual install process. The VM images are downloaded from the Microsoft’s website, and are publicly available on this page.

3. You can now start the VirtualBox and launch the version of the IE you wish to test your stuff on. The password for all the virtual machines is “Password1” without the quotes.

4. There is an additional trick to override the Microsoft’s 30 day evaluation limit for the VMs, just select the IE VM, click on the “Snapshots” button and select the first, original snapshot. This reverts back to the original state of the things, giving you the cleanest IE environment you could ever imagine. This way you can use the VM for another 30 days, and repeat the process as many times as you need.

Thanks to xdissent for the original scripts.

2 thoughts on “Run IE7, IE8 and IE9 under Mac OS X using the free VirtualBox from Oracle

  1. This is awesome, thanks for the tutorial and scripts!

    One question, I tried googling for some more scripts or how to’s on installing other Win exe’s on Mac OS X through VM VirtualBox but haven’t found anything.

    Is there anything you know of that will allow me to install other software with Oracle’s VirtualBox?


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