Running Internet Explorer 6 and 7 in Wine

Recently I ran into Brian Behlendorf (from Apache) at a conference on medical record systems.  Brian was there demoing a new open source protocol for medical record systems to securely send eachother patient records (NHIN Direct).  Combined, we were the only two who weren’t doctors, vendors, bureaucrats, or hotel staff at the conference.

I introduced myself, and Brian quickly recognized that I could probably help him with a Wine problem.  He needed to run Internet Explorer 6 for the most benevolent reason of all: to prove to a client it didn’t work and that they shouldn’t bother trying to support it.

Internet Explorer in Wine

The good news is these days it’s very simple on the terminal.  On Ubuntu:

  • Add the Wine Team PPA:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
  • Install the wine1.2 and winetricks packages:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install wine1.2 winetricks
  • Run winetricks:
    winetricks ie6 or winetricks ie7
  • Run IE:
    wine iexplore

Using the WINEPREFIX environment variable:

Note that, just like in Windows, you cannot have both ie6 and ie7 at the same time, at least not in the same virtual C: drive.  Fortunately, it is easy to set up multiple wine folders (“prefixes”) for your version of IE to run.  We do this with the WINEPREFIX environment variable.

WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-ie6 winetricks ie6 to install ie6 into its own virtual C: drive
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-ie7 winetricks ie7
to install ie7 into its own virtual C: drive
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-ie6 wine iexplore to run ie6
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-ie7 wine iexplore to run ie7

As an aside, Internet Explorer 8 doesn’t currently work in Wine, however once it does there will also be a winetricks ie8 for you to test with.


AntonioJuly 28th, 2010 at 4:02 am

I was unsure as to where to report this, as it concerns unofficial packages, but I thought I should bring to your attention that many Windows programs fail to run under Wine with the 2.6.35 (backported from Maverick?) kernels from the xorg-edgers PPA.


Anne Jan BrouwerJuly 28th, 2010 at 4:11 am

Cool stuff!
Think you missed a dash in: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa

Thx for the tip,
Anne Jan

YokoZarJuly 28th, 2010 at 4:24 am

Indeed I did, thanks Anne (fixed)

janiJuly 28th, 2010 at 4:25 am

besides the missing dash, also missed a sudo apt-get update in between (if the intent was providing commands for easy copy pasting)

YokoZarJuly 28th, 2010 at 4:28 am

Fair point jani, I couldn’t remember if add-apt-repository triggered an update or not. I guess it doesn’t.

Stuart LangridgeJuly 28th, 2010 at 5:20 am

On Ubuntu 10.04, IE7 installation fails if you leave “install updates and Microsoft update tool” (I forget the exact wording) ticked. Unticking it means that installation succeeds.

decentralistJuly 29th, 2010 at 9:54 am

Is your PPA for wine going to follow the 1.3 branch as a “wine1.4″ package? And will following your PPA auto-update from wine1.2 to the 1.3 branch, however you title it?

YokoZarJuly 29th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

decentralist, yes to the first question, and I haven’t decided on the second but I’m leaning towards no. The two packages can exist separately there.

Dan KegelJuly 31st, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Or even sooner. There’s now an ie8 verb in winetricks even though ie8 doesn’t quite work yet in wine… I figured people were asking for it, so why not. Maybe that will help spur people to get it working.

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