To start off, you need to understand the pieces necessary to perform browser testing with VirtualBox and Internet Explorer. In this video, you’ll learn what VirtualBox is, what a virtual machine is, how they work together on your system to test websites in multiple versions of Internet Explorer on your operating system (Mac OS or Windows).
- [Voiceover] So what is this thing called VirtualBox that we're gonna use? VirtualBox is a software virtualization package that installs on your hard drive as an application. It basically means that you can install what's called a guest OS on your hard drive. That means if you have a Mac, you can run Windows, and on Windows, there happens to be a version of Internet Explorer in every version of Windows. So you can install multiple OSs, each being its own virtual environment that you can start up and shut down and do different things with, and we'll talk about that a little bit, but VirtualBox is software you install that you need to have in order to get the guest OSs installed.
A virtual machine is an emulation of a particular computer system. Basically a virtual machine is Microsoft Windows, for instance, encapsulated, and it's something you install and that VirtualBox uses to run Windows. And on Windows, there's Internet Explorer, so we've got what we need. So here's how it works, I'm gonna talk through this. You've got your laptop, your desktop, whatever it happens to be, and I'm showing a Mac here, but we could do this on Windows if we wanted.
We're gonna install VirtualBox, which is a free application or a free app that you can download and install on your machine, and once we install that you're gonna see, here it is right here. We're gonna open it up, you can see it here, and it's from Oracle, and this is where you can install what are called virtual machines. We're gonna download a virtual machine, and I'll show you where we can do that. There are some out there that are already packaged and ready to go, you just grab it, and it's a version of Windows with a version of Internet Explorer, then we essentially install that, and suddenly, we can open it up and we have ourselves Internet Explorer, whatever version we need, right there.
You can see that's pretty cool. It's running right on my Mac, and I can go in and test, we can actually test locally if we want to, or we can test a website that's out there on the internet up on a host already. So why would we use a virtual machine? Well, okay, that's kind of a silly question. Because if I have a Mac, do I want to go buy a Windows laptop? Probably not. Using a virtual machine, we can basically emulate the operating system with the Internet Explorer to be able to test. It's cheaper. The virtual machines we use are actually gonna have 90 day lifespans, so you can just roll it back, it's called, and I'll show you how to do that, or reinstall it.
You can run multiple operating systems simultaneously. Now these are pretty big, I'm not gonna lie to you. They're not four megabytes, they're in the gigabytes, so you gotta have some hard drive space and enough RAM to pull this off. It's easy for software installations. Honestly, we don't have to go through forever to install these things, it's, once you install, it's up, it's running, it's pretty quick, actually, pretty simple. We can go through and we can do testing. We can also recover if we need to pretty easily. There's a lot of ways to do that.
You can even save a particular state of a virtual machine and go back to it if you need to. So I'll show you that when you first install the virtual machines that we're gonna use, they suggest actually saving the state, the initial state, so that when your 90 days are up, you can just go right back to it. And if that doesn't work for some reason you can always just download it again and fire it back up. I wanted to throw a couple of terms out here that I'm gonna be using throughout this short course. Host OS and Guest OS.
For some reason I have to stop and think about this. But Host OS is your operating system. So if you're on a Mac laptop, which I am, that's your host. Guest OS is what you're installing via the virtual machine, so that's, let's say Windows, Windows 8, Windows whatever it happens to be. That's called the Guest OS. So as we go forward I'm probably gonna use these terms a little bit and say, okay, on your Host OS, bla bla bla, with the Guest OS, bla bla bla, just to give you a heads up.
And just to finish up here I just wanted to show you that this is actually VirtualBox right here, and I have Windows 7 with IE9 as a virtual machine right here, and it's running, and you can actually see it in the background. There's Windows, isn't that cool? So you can see I've got IE here. I'm gonna close all tabs, and you can see there is the operating system. Of course I can change the window size. There's a lot of things we can do with this, and we'll talk a bit about that as we go through.
In this course, Brian Wood explains the how to use VirtualBox and modern.ie to set up virtual machines you can use to perform browser testing. He walks you through each step of the setup process so you can become familiar with these tools and starting using them for browser testing.
- Installing VirtualBox
- Using modern.ie to select virtual machines and platforms
- Downloads up a virtual machine
- Running IE on a MAC
- Performing browser testing on a local or hosted site
- Testing against many versions of Internet Explorer