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Howto: Run Internet Explorer 7 within Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

As a webdeveloper, I am obviously required to test the websites I create in the most common A-grade browsers to ensure that they are usable and functional for the majority of the visitors. After switching from Windows to Ubuntu, I soon recognized the need for an Internet Explorer clone to test website for malfunctions. Having a dualboot (Windows and Ubuntu installed on one system) did work for some time, but last week I started looking for a better and faster solution. First I ran into a IEs4Linux, a software package enabling the use of Internet Explorer 5, 5.5 and 6 on Linux (with partial support for Internet Explorer 7 in a two year old beta). While this package might be handy for webdevelopers still supporting antique browsers, I searched further and ran into a Spanish tutorial that enabled me to install Internet Explorer 7 within Ubuntu. Unable to find a good English tutorial, I decided to write my own tutorial using the knowledge from the Spanish version and my installation experiences. By following the steps below, you should be able to run Internet Explorer 7 within Ubuntu without much trouble.

1. Open the Ubuntu Software Center by going to Applications » Ubuntu Software Center. In the new screen, search for ‘PlayOnLinux’ using the searchbox in the upper right corner.
Install PlayOnLinux

3. Install’PlayOnLinux by clicking on ‘Install’ in the list. Depending on your security settings, your root password might be requested in order to continue. After the PlayOnLinux installation has been completed, you can exit the Ubuntu Software Center (File » Close).
Install PlayOnLinux

4. Open PlayOnLinux through the menu by going to Applications » Games » PlayOnLinux. In the new screen you should pick the option ‘Install’ to start adding new programs to PlayOnLinux.
Install Internet Explorer

5. Select ‘Internet Explorer 7′ in the category ‘Internet’. Note that you can also install ‘Internet Explorer 6′ if you prefer to do so. Click ‘Apply’ to continue the installation.
Install Internet Explorer

6. A new screen will pop up which will show some general information about the software you are about to install. Click ‘Forward’ to continue.
Install Internet Explorer

7. In the next screen, you will get a notice that the software will prepare the required packages. Click ‘Forward’ to continue and wait for the screen from step 8 to appear.
Install Internet Explorer

8. Once preparations have been made, the program informs you that it will download Internet Explorer 7 for you. Again click ‘Forward’.
Install Internet Explorer

9. In the new screen you can select the language you want to use within Internet Explorer 7. Select the language you want to use (e.g. English) and click ‘Forward’ to start the download and installation.
Install Internet Explorer

10. The program will now download Internet Explorer 7 and start the installation. This new installation wizard will guide you through the setup of Internet Explorer 7. Follow the wizard until the installation is complete; then continue with step 11.
Install Internet Explorer

11. When completed, the installation wizard will ask you to reboot your system. You must select ‘Restart now (Recommended)’ here in order to continue, but your system will not reboot (the reboot is only required in Windows).
Install Internet Explorer

12. The wizard will be replaced with a new screen in which you can choose the location of Internet Explorer. For this tutorial, I have selected a desktop icon which allows me to open Internet Explorer 7 from an icon on the desktop.
Install Internet Explorer

13. Depending on your choice, a menu item or desktop item will be created and you can click ‘Forward’ to complete the installation.
Install Internet Explorer

14. Internet Explorer 7 is now installed and you can close the main window of PlayOnLinux (File > Exit).
Install Internet Explorer

Installation completed

You can now open Internet Explorer 7 using the new menu item or desktop item and start browsing. Note that the menu item has been created in the submenu Applications > Other. You can of course always change this using the ‘Main Menu Manager’ (System > Preferences > Main Menu).
Internet Explorer within Ubuntu

Update 23/08/2011:
As the PlayOnLinux package seems to be broken every now and then, I had to search for a more reliable method to test my creations in Internet Explorer. Having found one, I just wrote a new blog that explains how you can run Internet Explorer 8 under Ubuntu 11.04 (more stable and reliable than the above method). You can find it here.


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