VirtualBox - hedging my bets

VirtualBox - hedging my bets

Summary: For my latest Joomla! site, I have set up a Windows XP Virtual Machine (VM), using the VirtualBox Open Source Edition.


For my latest Joomla! site, I have set up a Windows XP Virtual Machine (VM), using the VirtualBox Open Source Edition. Trouble is, once I'd installed Internet Explorer 7, I couldn't get a standalone copy of Internet Explorer 6 working.

So, I created a new WinXP VM and then cloned it using these instructions from the VirtualBox forums. Now, I have standalone IE5.5 (from the browser archive at and IE6 on one VM, IE7 on another and IE8 on a third.

And I can test away to my heart's content for those poor unfortunates locked into a 'World with Windows but no way out'™ ;)

Topic: Software Development

Jake Rayson

About Jake Rayson

A web designer since the 20th century, I am a pragmatic advocate of Free Software and I use proprietary software when appropriate. I made the full-time switch to Linux back in 2007, and my desktop tools of choice are Linux Mint, Inkscape, GIMP and Sublime Text.

As a Front End Developer, my core skills are HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery, and my working life reflects my commitment to open standards and accessible websites (ie accessible by everyone, regardless of browser, platform, ability or technology).

For web publishing platforms, I use WordPress for ease of use and Drupal for more complex solutions.

I am also learning about Ruby, Rails, Sinatra and CoffeeScript. I like the minimalist Ruby Way. To this end, my personal portfolio website is built with NestaCMS.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • VirtualBox - hedging my bets

    Great stuff there..I even think virtual machines are a much beter option than having seperate user accounts at least for domestic family type computing. Although In these days of security headaches it wouldn't do any harm to isolate the host and just use that as the ultimate and secure backup.

    Imagine the peace of mind, knowing that your core system is always secure, and all staff with a reckless nature can trash as many virtual machines as they like.
    roger andre
  • VirtualBox - hedging my bets

    > Imagine the peace of mind

    The dev manager at my penultimate job in London had set up exactly that -- we each had our own dev environment, and it was a relief knowing I couldn't trash anyone elses!
    Jake Rayson
  • VirtualBox - hedging my bets

    That's been my experience as well. Using VMs has definitely been worth the effort. Being able to start up with an OS environment that you know well without worrying has made software testing a lot easier. No more worries about what might have been left behind from the last test.

    Its the ultimate anti-virus application. Start off each web session with a known clean OS image.

    Maybe a stripped-down server install of Linux running a VM for Windows XP Pro might be the ultimate way to operate Internet Explorer! (or maybe the only safe way!)