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Security configuration for Internet Explorer
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Windows Images

This repository contains build instructions and Dockerfile to build Docker images with Windows-only browsers: Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.

System Requirements

  1. Bare metal machine or on VM with nested virtualization enabled and Linux installed. This example was tested on Ubuntu 18.04.
$ uname -a
Linux desktop 4.15.0-46-generic #49-Ubuntu SMP Wed Feb 6 09:33:07 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

To check that virtualization is supported - verify that /dev/kvm file is present:

$ ls -l /dev/kvm
crw-rw---- 1 root kvm 10, 232 мар  8 19:38 /dev/kvm
  1. Qemu machine emulator installed. It is important to use the same qemu version on host machine where images are built and inside Docker image. To check qemu version type:
$ qemu-system-x86_64 -version
QEMU emulator version 2.11.1(Debian 1:2.11+dfsg-1ubuntu7.10)
Copyright (c) 2003-2017 Fabrice Bellard and the QEMU Project developers
  1. Windows license key

Build Procedure

1. Preparative Steps

1.1) Clone this repository and change dir to it:

$ git clone
$ cd windows-images

1.2) Download Windows 10 installation image from Microsoft Software Download website. 1.3) Download virtio drivers virtio-win-0.1.141.iso. In the next steps we assume that you now have two files in current directory:

$ ls
virtio-win-0.1.141.iso  Win10_1809Oct_English_x32.iso

2. Windows Installation

2.1) Create hard disk image where Windows will be installed:

$ qemu-img create -f qcow2 hdd.img 40G

2.2) Run virtual machine and begin installation:

$ sudo qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm \
        -machine q35 -smp sockets=1,cores=1,threads=2 -m 2048 \
        -usb -device usb-kbd -device usb-tablet -rtc base=localtime \
        -net nic,model=virtio -net user,hostfwd=tcp::4444-:4444 \
        -drive file=hdd.img,media=disk,if=virtio \
        -drive file=Win10_1809Oct_English_x32.iso,media=cdrom \
        -drive file=virtio-win-0.1.141.iso,media=cdrom 

2.3) Windows will boot from installation image. Install Windows.

2.3.1) Proceed to the next step: Step 01

2.3.2) Click Install now: Step 02

2.3.3) Enter license key: Step 03

2.3.4) Choose Windows edition: Step 04

2.3.5) Read and accept license agreement: Step 05

2.3.6) Choose custom installation type: Step 06

2.3.7) Now you have to install virtio storage driver. Click Load driver: Step 07

2.3.8) Point to E:\viostor\w10\x86 directory: Step 08

2.3.9) Click next to install driver: Step 09

2.3.10) Choose installation partition and click next: Step 10

2.3.11) Wait while installation finishes: Step 11

2.3.12) Setup user and password: Step 12

2.3.13) Do other post-install configuration steps until you get Windows installed: Step 13

2.3.14) Install Ethernet virtio driver. Open device manager and click Update driver: Step 14 Choose virtio cdrom and click OK: Step 15 Install driver: Step 16 Connect to network: Step 17

2.3.15) Disable Windows Firewall or add firewall rule to allow access to port 4444. This is needed to access webdriver binary port with Selenium test. Firewall

2.3.16) Configure Windows as you wish: install updates, change screen resolution, apply registry modifications and so on.

3. Adding WebDriver Binaries

These binaries will handle Selenium test requests and launch respective browser.

  • For Internet Explorer - download an archive with driver binary from Selenium official website, unpack it and put the binary to C:\Windows\System32 directory.

  • For Microsoft Edge web driver binary can be installed with the following command:

> DISM.exe /Online /Add-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.WebDriver~~~~


4. Creating Quick Boot Memory Snapshot

This snapshot contains memory state and is needed to quickly restore virtual machine instead of doing full boot which is slow. To create it:

4.1) Shutdown virtual machine.

4.2) Create overlay image that will contain VM state:

$ qemu-img create -b hdd.img -f qcow2 snapshot.img

4.3) Run VM using snapshot.img as filesystem:

$ sudo qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm \
        -machine q35 -smp sockets=1,cores=1,threads=2 -m 2048 \
        -usb -device usb-kbd -device usb-tablet -rtc base=localtime \
        -net nic,model=virtio -net user,hostfwd=tcp::4444-:4444 \
        -drive file=snapshot.img,media=disk,if=virtio \
        -monitor stdio

Please note that qemu runs with monitor connected to stdio.

4.4) Browser configuration (required only for Internet Explorer).

Open Internet Explorer. The first time this browser is launched, it asks for the security setup. The option "Don't use recommended settings" need to be selected as follows:


Then, the Internet Options have to be changed. These options can be opened using the configuration button located at the top of Internet Explorer. In the tab "Security", the protect mode for the zones "Internet" and "Restricted sites" have to be disabled, as shown in the following picture:


At this point, you have to close Internet Explorer. Select the option "Always close all tabs" when Internet Explorer is closing. Finally, you have to open again Internet Explorer and double check that the protected mode is turned off (it can be seen in a message box at the bottom of the browser).

4.5) Run web driver binary command.

  • For Microsoft Edge - open command prompt with administrator privileges and run:
> MicrosoftWebDriver.exe --host= --port=4444 --verbose


  • For Internet Explorer - open command prompt as unprivileged user and run:
> C:\Windows\System32\IEDriverServer.exe --host= --port=4444 --log-level=DEBUG


4.6) Minimize command line prompt window when driver is up and running.

4.7) Switch to terminal where qemu runs and type at qemu prompt:

(qemu) savevm windows

Then type quit to stop VM:

(qemu) quit

To start VM from snapshot manually use the following command:

$ sudo qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm \
        -machine q35 -smp sockets=1,cores=1,threads=2 -m 2048 \
        -usb -device usb-kbd -device usb-tablet -rtc base=localtime \
        -net nic,model=virtio -net user,hostfwd=tcp::4444-:4444 \
        -drive file=snapshot.img,media=disk,if=virtio \
        -loadvm windows

The command above is used in Dockerfile entry point script.


5. Build Docker Image

5.1) Move filesystem and state files to image directory in this repository:

$ mv hdd.img snapshot.img image
$ cd image

5.2) Build Docker image using provided Dockerfile:

$ docker build -t windows/edge:18 . # For Microsoft Edge

For Internet Explorer use:

$ docker build -t windows/ie:11 . # For Internet Explorer

5.3) Run a container from image:

$ docker run -it --rm --privileged -p 4444:4444 -p 5900:5900 windows/edge:18 # For Microsoft Edge
$ docker run -it --rm --privileged -p 4444:4444 -p 5900:5900 windows/ie:11 # For Internet Explorer

5.4) To see Windows screen inside running container - connect to vnc://localhost:5900 using selenoid as password.

5.5) To run Selenium tests - use http://localhost:4444 as Selenium URL.

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