Run Internet Explorer 5, 5.5, 6 and 7 natively on Mac OS X Leopard or Tiger

12 December 2007

As a web developer, you probably know all about browsers. They suck. Well, some more than others. But, if you develop apps for Windows users, you’ll have to test your app with Internet Explorer.

ies4osxNow, as a good Rails developer, I’m using a Mac. I can test apps with FireFox, Safari and Opera without problems. But Internet Explorer is always a problem. I used Parallels for a while to run an instance of Windows XP to test with IE. But this in itself presented me with a problem: you can’t, without nasty hacks and a lot of trouble, run IE6 en IE7 side-by-side.

My only option seemed to run two Parallels sessions, one with IE6, the other with IE7. Since every images takes about 5 Gb of disk space, I just wasted 10 Gb of disk space to test web apps with Internet Explorer. This is kind of ridiculous.

But, now there is a very, very nice solution to this problem that every Mac-oriented web developer should know about: ies4osx This solution uses darwine (±70Mb), a wine version for OS X, using X11 and allows you to install IE 5, 5.5, 6 and even IE7. All at once, right in Mac OS X. You can run any of these browsers, from the same system, all at once in parallel!

Although this allows me to use Internet Explorer the way I want it to, I’m still not a fan…