Installing IEs4Linux on Ubuntu

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Note: I'm retiring this tutorial, because IEs4Linux appears to be no longer maintained. The last reference to Ubuntu on the IEs4Linux website is updated instructions for Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn), which has been unsupported since October 2008. And, as of this writing, the community site entry on IEs4Linux hasn't been updated since October 2008.

I just tried to install IEs4Linux on Ubuntu 10.04, and I got this:

Why use Internet Explorer on Ubuntu?

Some people are baffled (even outraged sometimes) at hearing that someone might want to use Internet Explorer (IE) on a Linux distro. With Firefox, Epiphany, Opera, and Konqueror available, choosing Internet Explorer seems to these people ludicrous.

There are two main reasons people use IE on Ubuntu:

  1. For web design, you want to be able to preview how the majority of people will see your website
  2. You bank or do business with a site that works in only IE, and Firefox's User Agent Switcher extension just isn't cutting it (by the way, that extension handles a lot—I'd recommend trying it before installing IE)

Installing IEs4Linux on Ubuntu

Go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager.

You'll be prompted to enter your password. Enter it.

Once Synaptic is open, click on Search. In the new search box, type cabextract and then click Search.

The package cabextract should appear in the search results. Right-click on that package and select Mark for Installation.

Click Search again and this time search for wine and click Search.

Mark the package wine for installation by right-clicking it.

You'll be asked if you want to mark additional required changes. Click Mark to mark them as well.

Click Apply to finally install cabextract, wine, and the additional needed software packages. You'll be asked to confirm the application of changes. Click Apply to confirm.

Synaptic will then download the necessary software installation files.

Once the installation files have been downloaded, Synaptic will also install the downloaded software.

When the software has finished being installed, click Close and then exit Synaptic.

Launch Firefox and search for ies4linux

The IEs4Linux website should be among the first search results.

Once at the IEs4Linux website, scroll down to the download page. As of this writing, the link is called Follow me....

Scroll past the installation instructions. As of this writing the instructions for Ubuntu are outdated. Instead, download the script.

When you click on the download link, Firefox should ask if you want to open the .tar.gz (or compressed file) with the archive manager. You do. So click OK.

Once the archive manager opens up, click Extract to extract the files and folders from the compressed file.

You'll be prompted for where you want to save the extracted files to. It doesn't really matter where you save them, as long as you're able to find them later. In this case, I saved them to my home directory.

Now go to Places > Home (or to the other easy-to-find place you saved them) to get the extracted files.

Double-click on the IEs4Linux folder to enter it (in this case, the folder has the version number at the end of the name, so the exact folder name is IEs4Linux-2.99.0, but that may change, depending on what version is available at the time you install it).

Inside the IEs4Linux folder, double-click the IEs4Linux file, and you should be prompted about what to do with it. You want to Run in Terminal.

You should get a pop-up asking you what options you want (and there are advanced options if you know what you're doing). When in doubt, just go with the defaults and click OK.

The script should pretty much run by itself. I highlighted in these screenshots a couple of places where the script might take a long time and seem stalled, but just be patient—the script will proceed by itself.

When it finally finishes, click Close.

You should now have a launcher icon for Internet Explorer on your desktop. Double-click it, and you can now use Internet Explorer on Ubuntu!

Note: Apparently some Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) users have been experiencing problems installing IEs4Linux using the above method. For more details, see this Ubuntu Forums thread.

I have tested this tutorial in 8.04 (Hardy Heron) and 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), though, and it works just fine in those releases.

Disclaimer: If you're concerned about legal issues with installing Internet Explorer in Ubuntu, please read this

If you have suggestions or corrections for these tutorials, please post in this Ubuntu Forums thread or leave a comment on my blog.

I will not give help to people posting in the above places. If you require technical support, start a support thread on the Ubuntu Forums. That is the appropriate place to ask for help.