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I work on Debian and before Debian I was on Ubuntu. In my previous job, we simply ignored IE6, but at my present job a page must work flawlessly for IE6 onwards. The one wayout for me is to set up a Windows VM but that doesn't help every time. Consider this, if I was a freelance consultant and didn't want to or have enough money to buy licenses for every possible Windows version how could I deliver a web page that worked for IE6/IE7?

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Why must it work in IE6? I mean, MS, google, facebook, everyone doesn't support IE6... –  Trezoid May 18 '11 at 7:33
    
according to theie6countdown.com/default.aspx 11%users are still hooked to IE6, not sure about IE7 but I think the number is higher than 11%, so at least 22% of users are using IE6/7, my organisation does not want to miss this share and hence things must work in IE6/7 –  Kumar May 18 '11 at 8:02
    
70% of that is in Korea, China and India. Regardless of what your company is making, it's not really a market that will bite, even if it does work in IE6...(note that I'm talking specifically about 6 here) –  Trezoid May 18 '11 at 8:05
    
ah well, only if I could ignore them, am being paid to get PITA for IE6/7 bugs :P –  Kumar May 18 '11 at 8:10
    
Ok, a second question: Why do you keep mentioning 7? it's a very much improved version of IE that everyone still supports(bit out of date now, but not as broken as 6) –  Trezoid May 18 '11 at 8:53
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4 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Your best bet would be to setup a windows VM, (Or several) or find an older computer which already has windows on it.

Not sure what else you can do.

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Well, it turns out that most of the suggestions are pointing to VM. –  Kumar May 18 '11 at 8:04
    
I'm developing under Linux. Solution is yet the same... Probably the best one too, since you get all the tools you like for developing and only do the testing in environment you don't really want to be in. –  JackLeo May 18 '11 at 11:06
    
vmware player works really nicely under e.g. Ubuntu. –  user1249 May 19 '11 at 8:15
    
I guess this is the best solution, I also found this internet-explorer-collection.en.softonic.com, I can get a copy of WinXP and install this to have all the possible IEs I need :-) Thanks guys. –  Kumar May 19 '11 at 9:09
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I develop a web site on my Mac. When testing IE, I use a virtual machine running Parallels. The only variations I currently test are: IE6, IE7 and IE8 all running under XP. Based upon this, I have not had any real problems slip past. That being said, I use ExtJs which handles most of the browser specific stuff.

I have XP installed on one VM which I then cloned forwards. The XP is legit, but I doubt the clones are. My work has just got a MDSN subscription, so I'm covered now.

If you absolutely must test under multiple O/S versions then I'd suggest a MSDN subscription - they are not that expensive anymore. This includes all O/S installs. If your employer or client (as a freelancer) is demanding this level of testing, then I'd pass the cost on to them.

BTW: Half of our client base still run IE6. I wish we could ignore it, but that's just not feasible.

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Set up a separate machine (not a vm) with Windows - if you use a suitable version you can remote desktop to it. On said machine, install one or more of the images found on http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=21eabb90-958f-4b64-b5f1-73d0a413c8ef - there is an XP with IE6.

This will hopefully allow you to test all you need with a minimal investment.

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+1: Windows PC with IE is cheap. Don't mess with anything too complex. Buy a used machine on eBay. –  S.Lott May 18 '11 at 10:10
    
@S.Lott: Can you get a new PC with XP on it any more? You may have to hit eBay or Craigslist to get one. –  David Thornley May 18 '11 at 15:13
    
This is the most reliable way, VM's will not always behave exactly the same. And @DavidThornley, yes you can get new machines with XP, that's all my company gets. :( –  Eric Wilson May 18 '11 at 16:09
    
Also the VPC's are a really nice way to get it all running on a single box. You cannot do that if you are already inside a virtual machine. –  user1249 May 18 '11 at 17:06
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IEs 4 Linux (don't mind the name, works on OSX and BSD too).

It's basically collection of various versions of IE pre-packaged to use WINE. Good enough for quick checks. If you want to do in depth check, like for example how will that behave on IE7 on WinXP, then you do need to set up VM.

BTW. Microsoft has officially killed IE6 and promotes migration to IE8.

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you will be surprised to note that IE6 is an "A grade browser" according to Yahoo!, I used IEs 4 Linux, it wasn't stable :( –  Kumar May 18 '11 at 8:21
    
@Kumar: for IE6 worked fine for me. –  vartec May 18 '11 at 10:21
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