Testing your website in IE on a Mac

April 5, 2012

If you need to test your website/webapp in Microsoft Internet Explorer and are not developing on a Windows machine this is a solution that worked well for me:

  1. Install VirtualBox
  2. Download official Microsoft images of Windows with IE.
  3. Extract the .exe file(s) using the unix unrar tool.
  4. Follow these steps by Phil Brown for setting up Windows in VirtualBox.
  5. Boot in Windows Safe mode, set the clock to something in 2010 and disable internet time sync.
  6. Disable VirtualBox clock sync by running:
    vboxmanage setextradata <vmname> "VBoxInternal/Devices/VMMDev/0/Config/GetHostTimeDisabled" "1"
  7. I switched the VirtualBox network adapter to "Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop" and used the PRO2KXP.exe driver (download link)
You should use the VirtualBox snapshot feature after you are done, so you don't get into trouble with the 3 day activation limit.

UPDATE: @ayrtonbe pointed out that all of the above has already been automated in the awesome ievms.sh script.

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