Microsoft provides virtual machine disk images to facilitate website testing in multiple versions of IE, regardless of the host operating system. Unfortunately, setting these virtual machines up without Microsoft's VirtualPC can be extremely difficult. The kvm-ievms scripts aim to facilitate that process using KVM on Linux. With a single command, you can have IE6, IE7, IE8 and IE9 running in separate virtual machines.
- KVM/qemu-img (Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install kvm)
- virt-install/virsh (Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install libvirt-bin)
- virt-win-reg (Debian: http://people.debian.org/~bengen/libguestfs/ ; Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install libguestfs-tools)
- Debian users also require kernel >= 2.6.34, available from the backports
- bridge-utils (Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install bridge-utils)
- aria2 (Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install aria2)
- unrar (nonfree) (Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install unrar)
- sudo (along with superuser permissions, this is needed for libvirt operations)
br0network bridge interface. (http://wiki.debian.org/BridgeNetworkConnections)
Download and unpack ievms:
Install IE versions 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Install specific IE versions (IE7 and IE9 only for example):
sudo IEVMS_VERSIONS="7 9" ./ievms.sh
Connect to your virtual machines via vnc.
The VHD archives are massive and can take hours or tens of minutes to download, depending on the speed of your internet connection. You might want to start the install and then go catch a movie, or maybe dinner, or both.
Once available and started in KVM, the password for ALL VMs is "Password1".
Recovering from a failed installation
Each version is installed into a subdirectory of
~/.ievms/vhd/. If the installation fails
for any reason (corrupted download, for instance), delete the version-specific subdirectory
and rerun the install.
If nothing else, you can delete
~/.ievms and rerun the install.
Specifying the install path
To specify where the VMs are installed, use the INSTALL_PATH variable:
sudo INSTALL_PATH="/Path/to/.ievms" ./ievms.sh
Passing additional options to aria
aria2 command is passed any options present in the
environment variable. For example, you can set a download speed limit:
sudo ARIA_OPTS="--max-download-limit=50K" ./ievms.sh
A snapshot is automatically taken upon install, allowing rollback to the pristine virtual environment configuration. Anything can go wrong in Windows and rather than having to worry about maintaining a stable VM, you can simply revert to the first snapshot to reset your VM to the initial state.
The VMs provided by Microsoft will not pass the Windows Genuine Advantage and cannot be activated. Unfortunately for us, that means our VMs will lock us out after 30 days of unactivated use. By reverting to the clean snapshot the countdown to the activation apocalypse is reset, effectively allowing your VM to work indefinitely.
If one of the comically large files fails to download, the
command used will automatically attempt to resume where it left off.
Copyright (c) 2012 Drew Peterson
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