Internet Explorer isn’t exactly my favorite browser, but I need to check my web development work in it, and that means running it in Linux. Here’s how I do it.
First, I install CrossOver Linux, which allows me to easily install and run multiple versions of Internet Explorer on my Linux box. Other people use Wine, IEs4Linux (project appears dormant), dual boot, or run Windows in a virtual machine.
CrossOver creates menu items for Gnome and KDE. If you use a different desktop environment or window manager, you might have to create your own, or just launch things from a terminal.
CrossOver (and Wine, on which CrossOver is based) has the concept of “bottles”, separate Windows environments. Since multiple versions of Internet Explorer cannot coexist in a single installation of Windows, I create a bottle for each version of IE I wish to have. Then I open the CrossOver software installer and install each version of Internet Explorer into its respective bottle. The software installer works like many distribution’s package management systems, downloading and installing the package for you. Then I download the core fonts into each bottle. If you work with Flash, ActiveX, .NET stuff, or whatever, install whatever else you will need.
Check your work and open your newly installed versions of IE. Unlike in Windows, you can have multiple versions open simultaneously, which is great for checking your web development work. Neat, huh?
Beginning with version 8, Internet Explorer has built-in developer tools. For previous versions, I download and (using CrossOver’s software installer) install Microsoft’s IE Developer Toolbar, which is handy for tracking down those pesky IE-only bugs (read: I use it A LOT). Be sure to install it in the bottle(s) you want. Other people use Firebug Lite (which would be my choice if only I could get it to work) or any of these tools.